74 members of the Medina Marching Band surprised the group’s chairman last Saturday (19th December) with a special performance outside his house in Newport, as well as performing for staff and patients at Mountbatten Hospice.

Kevin Hayward, Chairman of the Newport-based marching band since 1997, was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma last year. He has been undergoing various treatments ever since and with coronavirus restrictions in place, it has meant Kevin hasn’t been able to attend any band rehearsals or engagements for nearly 2 years.

Completely unbeknown to Kevin, the band rallied together before marching along Atkinson Drive to arrive outside his house in Cooper Road. The band worked closely with the Council, Island Roads and Police to make this very special surprise happen.

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The band played a selection of some of Kevin’s favourite pieces, whilst in a socially distanced formation. 5 former members, all of whom are now professional musicians in the Royal Marines Band Service, joined the performance. Also joining the band was Piper John Brodie from IOW Highland Pipes and Drums.

Jason Penney, Drum Major, has said:

“Thanks to Kevin, the band has taken part in engagements locally, on the mainland and abroad including Italy, Belgium and Germany. These engagements have included carnivals, shows, concerts, military tattoos, competitions and collaborations with other bands. Not only do we owe him huge gratitude for providing these opportunities to so many individuals, but he is also responsible for the everlasting friendships and memories remain with us now, as a result of his dedication to the band.”

Following the performance at Kevin’s house, the band marched to nearby Mountbatten Hospice to play some traditional pieces, as well as some festive favourites, for the patients and staff.

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