Longest Line of Fanfare Trumpeters (Valved instruments)
World Record Attempt at the DCUK Essex Show CONFIRMED! Official Report
Thurrock Marching Brass in conjunction with the Marching Band Activity UK Facebook Page entered into the record books today with confirmation that their joint effort to stage the Longest Line of Fanfare Trumpeters (valved Trumpeters) at the Thurrock Marching Brass hosted DCUK Essex Show on Sunday 7 September 2014 has been confirmed by Guinness World Records as setting a new World Record, beating the previous record set at Horse Guards Parade in 2012, with a total confirmed Fanfare Trumpeters of 105. In addition, there were 2 Timpani players, a Principal Conductor and three additional Drum Majors all taking the historic line through an original composition that was commissioned for the event.
After submitting all the evidence, which included signed statements from three independent stewards and two independent witnesses, together with photographic and video materials along with a confirmed list of participants and all other necessary signed schedules, documentation and a full copy of the original score, Guinness World Records confirmed in writing that the attempt had been successful late on Tuesday 16 September 2014.
The World Record attempt took shape more than a year ago when John Butler, creator of the Marching Band Activity UK Facebook page and Paul Morgan, Chairman of Thurrock Marching Brass were working together to promote John’s Page, which brings together all types of music and marching organisations in one place to share positive experiences and to give them all a community area which they can all come along to and enjoy.
Paul was looking for something special to showcase at the marching band competition that Thurrock Marching Brass were in the throws of planning and together, John and Paul identified something that was unique and close to Paul’s own heart in the Longest Line of Fanfare Trumpeters. Paul, and some of the staff at Thurrock Marching Brass had not long secured a Gold Medal at the 2013 British Youth Band Association’s Individuals & Ensembles competition in the Fanfare category. That was the beginning of a journey that would see countless hours of planning, rehearsals across the UK and the bringing together of musicians from all across the country with some as young as 10 years old and our oldest at an impressive 69 years!
It was important to mark this historic attempt with something unique and special in terms of the music to be played, and so Paul commissioned the incredible talents of Thurrock Marching Brass’ young Music Director, Reece Crisp to create an original piece that would be fit for the occasion. Reece did not fail to deliver, and penned what was later called Fanfare Steadfast. A salute to the brittishness that the classic fanfare represents and also to signify that from a steadfast base, anything is possible to achieve.
A call through the Marching Band Activity UK Facebook page to all those interested in taking part was then made. In addition, all other channels of communication through word of mouth, social media and the local press and radio started to amass an initial interest that at one point exceeded 153 potential participants. Paul then had the task of setting a stringent rehearsal schedule and set about travelling across the UK teaching the piece to the candidates. The challenge was that because the potential participants were spread so widely across the UK that it was a logistical impossibility to get everyone together at the same time. In fact this saw the final participating line only come together in full at the actual World Record attempt itself. Paul enlisted the help of friends from the South, East, North and West to assist him in getting those that would ultimately make the final line-up into shape, and some special mentions to Ian Lyall, Andy Cartwright and Nick Hibbs for all their support and in some cases for just being there ready to assist.
The initial idea was to have every participant on Herald Fanfare trumpets, and the task of securing these was in itself something that was incredibly daunting and difficult given that the very vast majority of these types of instruments are already in active service somewhere around the globe, and not usually available outside of those circles for efforts like this. Some great friendships were forged along that path though and some future opportunities opened up as a result of that, but Guinness confirmed a slight change in the make-up of the instrumentation which allowed the final line-up to take a slightly different shape. With this change Reece Crisp had to amend the score to allow for different key instrumentation as a result and the final piece consisted of 7 unique parts all replicated in the keys of Bb, G and F with the arrangement catering for no less than 17 individual voices across the fanfare line with the addition of the Timpani voice.
The day of the show came and for the first time members of the final line-up started to meet and greet one and other. Nerves were clearly evident in some quarters, but once everyone was called to position, Principal Conductor Paul Binder took control. His vast experience and musical background as Band Master of the Romford Drum & Trumpet Corps was exactly what was required to settle everyone down. His authority on the podium and the strength of the Drum Majors assisting him, including 12 year old Sophie Corcoran proudly waiting to share the conductor duties in her Thurrock Marching Brass uniform, readied everyone into their line.
Paul presented his Herald Fanfare trumpet, loaned by Roger Steele at Concord Performance Ensemble in Sheffield, to a surprised John Swindells, who was called out and honoured for having completed an incredible 60 years in Scouting. Paul then reached for his Bb Trumpet and dashed, much to the amusement of the audience, into his position ready for Mr Binder to get the proceedings under way.
Three stewards paraded the entire fanfare line, not only independently counting each of the participants, but also verifying that each were participating. Two independent witnesses also monitored the activity of the stewards and also independently counted each participating member. Their task was to agree the final totals and also to eliminate any who were deemed not to be contributing throughout the attempt.
Mr Binder then confidently started his initial beat and brought in the Timpani for the start of the piece. The following 2 minutes saw a packed Aveley Football Ground enjoy the culmination of a year’s long effort to bring together like minded individuals from all types of musical background to create a musical extravaganza that was simply unique and wonderful to be a part of.
A very appreciative audience let the participants know just how they felt they had done and to you could see a smile on each and every participants face that said “we did it!!”.
After checking and verifying the final totals from each of the observers, and knowing that the existing record stood at 91 fanfare trumpeters, the chief Witness confirmed that all five verifiers had arrived at exactly the same total. 105 fanfare trumpeters and a new World Record pending Guinness approval. More thunderous applause for an incredible effort by everyone involved and something to be very proud of for many years to come.
Speaking of the attempt, John Butler, creator of the Marching Band Activity UK Facebook page said “There were times when Paul and I thought that this would not happen, but I am absolutely delighted to have been here to witness this spectacle. I can’t thank everyone who has supported the Marching Band Activity UK page enough for what it has started to become, and to work alongside someone like Paul Morgan has given me so many new things and ways to look at approaching tough challenges ahead. I am sure my wife Jen has forgotten what I look like given the amount of hours that it takes to keep everything going, but there is no doubt that Paul has driven this engine and musical presentation better than anyone I could have imagined to have done. I look forward to many more opportunities in the future, but for now, what an achievement by everyone. Well done indeed!”
Adding to this, Paul Morgan comments “Wow Wow Wow!! I am so very proud of each and every participant for the way that they have come together as a team with absolutely no prior unified ensemble work given the challenging logistics. Reece Crisp’s brilliant creation in terms of Fanfare Steadfast was truly brought to life, and I know that he is immensely proud of this too. Paul Binder lead the line in a perfect way. He commanded us all right from the very first note to the last, and I can’t thank him enough for all his support throughout the process. It was fantastic to see so many people from different musical backgrounds come together to achieve something so amazing, and to have family members perform together, Fathers, Sons, Mothers and Daughters – including myself with my one of my daughters performing in the line was just an amazing feeling. Finally, there are many people who work tirelessly in the background, going unnoticed, and making a difference. John Butler created the Marching Band Activity UK Facebook page for everyone. It has grown immensely over the past year, almost in tandem with the World Record attempt, but I have seen first-hand just how hard working and dedicated he is and so thank you John for all that you do for all of us, especially for your help and assistance on this project. I couldn’t think of a better way to conclude a show that returned home after 25 years, and the success of DCUK Essex for Thurrock Marching Brass was enriched all the more by those that took part in this great effort. Well done everyone!”