Macmillan Fundraiser – Tonbridge Castle

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MacMillan Fundraiser – Tonbridge Castle
Report

Sunday, September the 15th was the date of our final outdoor concert for this season and saw the band performing on a lovely sunny afternoon at Tonbridge Castle in Kent.

This was no ordinary concert however, it had been arranged by our Bass player Geoff Collins to fundraise for the Macmillan cancer care charity who had been so important to Geoff and his family as he fought his own battle with cancer during the previous year.

To make the concert even more unusual, we were joined by brass musicians from the across the South East as Geoff had invited members from neighbouring bands with whom he had played or helped out in the past. In total 9 bands were represented, including Uckfield, BAE Systems, Wadhurst and Battle to name but a few.

In all, over 70 musicians took part in the concert which made it a very rare and special occasion for all involved. Having a band of well over double the normal size gave musical director Ian Lanceley a few headaches during rehearsals as individual players had to adjust their playing volume and get used to different seating positions without much rehearsal time.

On the day, with everyone present the potential for disaster was even greater particularly as the band was spread out over a larger area than normal, it made hearing and seeing the conductor much more difficult for those at the back and increased the risk of getting out of time with the rest of the band. However everyone raised their game and produced a high quality concert much enjoyed by the audience.

Luckily for all involved, the PA System Ian would normally use had a flat battery and the audience was not subjected to the normal raft of Ian’s jokes, this did mean the rest periods between pieces was a little shorter than we were used to and the “up-tempo” programme rattled on at a fair old pace keeping the audience entertained and the band busy. It was punctuated by the occasional slower melodic number (yes we do play them now and then), in particular the African theme “Thula Baba” and the three solos, one played on the Tenor Horn by Alan Smithers and two by Geoff himself (played on the Sousaphone – not a normal instrument for an English Brass Band) were particularly appreciated by the audience and visiting band members alike.

Ian was delighted with the performance and had the following comments

“As the guy wagging the stick, I’m so chuffed at the level of musicianship on display with so many players from disparate backgrounds getting together and making music of such a high standard. Thank you all for your time and hard work for such a good cause “

So far (at the time of writing) it appears that over £800 has been raised for the Macmillan charity from collections taken at the concert.
Video Clips

Some of the concert was recorded by band member family and friends on their phones. As with all live recordings the quality isn’t always great and you do get occasional interference from the wind, dogs barking, snippets of conversation and other environmental noises, we hope that this doesn’t detract from the music too much and you enjoy what there is.

Programme
First Half
  • Make His Praise Glorious
  • March : Centaur
  • The Bare Necessities (Bass solo)
  • Thula Baba
  • Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
  • One Day in Your Life (Horn solo)
  • Thriller
  • MacArthur Park
Second Half
  • Prismatic Light
  • March : The Bombardier
  • Beauty and the Beast (Bass solo)
  • That’s A Plenty
  • Water of Tyne
  • Starlight
  • Baroque’ n Roll
  • There’s No Business Like Show Business
  • Firework