The band’s annual concert to close the St Dunstans Festival week took place on Saturday 20th May this year and was an outstanding success with the audience clamouring for more at the end.
The band’s programme began with Paul Drury’s rousing march ‘Jubilee’ followed by Vicky Mace’s lovely rendition of ‘Share My Yoke’. Barry Forgie’s up tempo version of ‘Lady Madonna’ then preceded ‘Napoli’, which was played with amazing speed and accuracy by Richard Warren who left the good sized audience wondering how he managed to fit so many notes in. Leigh Baker’s very accomplished arrangement of the Irish Folk tune ‘Erin Shore’ with extra percussion was the prelude to Emma Pettifer’s super playing of Philip Harper’s humorous version of ‘Under the Boardwalk’, complete with band choreography. The first half of the concert ended with two Goff Richards arrangement – the beautiful Yesterday followed by ‘A Disney Fantasy’.
The band’s Youth Section under the guidance of Robin Traves opened the second half with a programme consisting of: ‘Bound for Australia’, ‘Shortnin’ Bread’, ‘Swing Low’, ‘I Know Where I’m Going’, ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home’ and ‘The Royal March of the Lion’.
The youngsters, some of whom are only 9 or 10 performed their whole programme with a great deal of skill and their performance underlined the progress that the group has made over the past year.
Freddie Mercury’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ opened the full band’s second session and had the audience appreciating once again what a loss he was to the music industry. David Newsom’s superb rendition of Karl Jenkins’ ‘Lament’ from ‘Stabat Mater’ then preceded the light hearted ‘Haven’t Met You Yet’ with the final solo spot being taken by Alan Smithers’ excellent tenor horn performance of Hugh Nash’s ‘Demelza’. The published programme ended with a selection of the best themes from the World’s longest running, and in my opinion, best musical, ‘Les Miserables’. The evening ended on a rousing note with the band’s encore – R.B. Hall’s ‘Death or Glory’ to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the film Brassed Off.
A most welcome and unexpected surprise during the evening was the presentation of a cheque for £250 from the Cranbrook and Hawkhurst Rotary. The money is for the Youth Section and will be used to buy music for the youngsters to play.
The band would like to thank our deps, Cheryl Goodsell, Colin Reid and Sian Lanceley who were covering for several players who were on holiday, as well as David Beeken for his help with the lighting.