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A busy weekend for the band.

[Saturday 2nd December 2023]

Saturday 2nd December 2023

Carillon Court for charity Love4Life

This annual concert is played under the dome at Carillon Court shopping centre in Loughborough. This year we played for Love4Life a charity that was founded in 2007 out of a concern for the safety and health of girls who lived on a particular estate in Loughborough. Since then, it has expanded in both aims and reach – to encompass young people aged 11-18, and into Derby. The collectors definitely found their motivation that day – it was freezing cold but the girls found the energy to dance to Fairy Tale of New York!

We played a range of Christmas music and carols. The audience appreciated our playing and clapped vigorously, though they may have been trying to keep warm!

It was the first concert for Claudia Shum (it’s not always this cold, Claudia) a pianist who taught herself to play the glockenspiel so she could join the band, and we were kindly helped out by dep, Ian Bartram on euphonium.

 

Sunday 3rd December 2023

Hodson Hall

Raising the Roof with Caroline Sharpe Community singers and Loughborough Grammar School sax ensemble.

This concert definitely showed the band at its resilient best! Given the number of performers, we weren’t over blessed for space (watch out those on the front row!) but performed our programme with grace and style. We played a mixture of Christmas music and pieces taken from the band’s wider canon. The stirring British Legion March was followed by Highlights from Frozen. The hauntingly beautiful Highland Cathedral was included in a programme that also featured Overture to a Winter Festival and a much-appreciated performance of Fairy Tale of New York, the band’s tribute to Shane MacGowan who died that week. First flute, Yvonne Renouf, showed her versatility by playing with the choir on Star of Bethlehem and the whole evening was closed by a mass performance of White Christmas.

 

Service of Remembrance, Queen’s Park Loughboroug

[Sunday 12th November 2023]

This is always a solemn concert and the weather underlined the day’s mood: cold and damp but still – no pegs needed. As in other years, the people of Loughborough came in droves. Everyone shrugged off the wet and the cold, pulled on wellies, huddled under umbrellas and zipped up waterproofs to listen to the service.

This year we were reminded of the particular and unique importance the word home has for all of us and the challenges faced by those service wo/men who, having spent months or even years longing to be back there, then somehow have to adjust.

The music in the first half reflected the mood of solemnity and reflection with pieces such as Scipio, (Handel) Highland Cathedral (Korb and Roever) and the desperately mournful Prelude to the 49th Parallel (Vaughan Williams). The second half was rather more stirring featuring The British Legion March (Bidgood) Quick March ‘Sea Songs’ (Vaughan Williams) and Colonel Bogey (Alford). A few members of the congregation remained to hear us play but the weather was definitely against lingering.

Autumn concert at Sage Cross Methodist Church

[Saturday 14th October 2023]

Our Autumn concert at the Sage Cross Methodist Church in Melton Mowbray was accompanied by typically cool Autumn weather but a warm welcome awaited the band inside. This was the last of our latest set of performances and included regular pieces from the summer set as well as one or two new ones to keep band members on their toes.

Solos by Thomas Chan (Over the Rainbow) and Zoe Felton (Romance from “The Gadfly”) punctuated a varied selection of marches, film and TV music and lighter pieces such as Fiesta, March of the Tin Soldiers and Ballet Egyptian. As we approach Remembrance Day in a few weeks time the band played “In Flanders Field”, a setting of the John McCrae poem to music and finished off with an Elvis medley called American Trilogy. The encore of “See the Conquering Hero comes” leading into “Rule Britannia” had the audience singing along and brought the evening to a wonderful close.

The band is grateful for the assistance from deps of Andy (Bass Clarinet), Ian (Baritone Sax) and Stuart (Bass Trombone) as well as support from Steve Boyles again on Tuba.

The evening raised over £420 which will be divided equally between the 3 charities supported by the Melton Mowbray Methodist Circuit, these being Water Aid, Shelter Box and Sight Savers. Unfortunately Sage Cross will close in January 2024 and worship will transfer across to the smaller Sandy Lane Methodist Church so this will probably be our last visit to play for the Methodist Church in Melton.

Concert at All Saint’s Church, Thurcaston

[Sunday 24th September 2023]

The medieval church on Anstey Lane Thurcaston was a beautiful setting for our The Band Sounds Out concert this autumn. We didn’t need to raise the roof: the sound rose up among the pillars above the flagged stone floor.

That the programme was carefully chosen was shown practically before we had played a note:  Dave Coble had clearly been considering the evening and altered the order to get it right.

We started with the rousing Colonel Bogey (Alford) the went into Music for a Darkened Theatre (Elfman, arr Brown). Then our first solo spot of the evening as Thomas Chan on Alto Trombone played Over the Rainbow (Arlen, arr Barker). We played the beautiful Schindler’s List with features from Alto Sax (Zoe Felton) Oboe (Paula Gardner) and Flute (Yvonne Renouf). After the break we started with Royal Review and went straight to our other solo spot, Romance from The Gadfly by Dmitri Shostakovich played by Zoe Felton on Alto Saxophone.

The solo spots taken were played beautifully but I want to write a minute about Unsung Heros. Of these there are far too many to count and it may be due to the way we were positioned that I really appreciated the beautiful trumpet playing of our first trumpet, Sue Boyles. In one section of Swing Low (Rouse) her trumpet sang to the vaulted ceiling and her part in Edelweiss (Hammerstein) just hit the spot.

Thanks as ever are due to our talented deps Ian Reeve on Baritone Sax and Frances Tarte on Clarinet, and, technically, Steve Boyles on Tuba, though we are lucky enough to see a lot of him!

Concert in aid of Shepshed Food Bank, in company w

[Sunday 17th September 2023]

Of the concerts that we regularly perform, the foodbank concert has become a firm favourite and listening to Glenis Willcox from the foodbank, it’s easy to see why. The stated aim is the prevention or relief of poverty in Shepshed and the surrounding area by providing regular food parcels to individuals and families in need. Food parcels are distributed every Tuesday and are entirely the result of donations of food and money from local individuals, local businesses, churches, schools and organisations. Every single item or penny given makes a huge difference.  Glenis told us that from an original 8 families, the food bank had now grown to serve 70 families per week.

The programme from this concert drew on the repertoire of the march (Colonel Bogey Alford) and music from film theatre and television (Over the Rainbow, arr Barker featuring the solo trombonist Thomas Chan) Bond, James Bond, and Shindler’s List (Williams) This last featured soloists Zoe Felton on Alto Saxophone, Paula Garner on Oboe and Yvonne Renouf on Flute.

The Caroline Sharpe singers (who included the multi-talented Yvonne as well as Dave Coble) sang songs from, among other sources, Disney (Lumiere’s song in beauty and the beast which was very appropriate to the evening,) and When I Fall in Love (from the film One Minute to Zero.) and we came together at the end to sing – and play – May it Be.

Thanks are due to our talented deps Katherine Lee on Clarinet and Chris Lee on tuba.

Sutton Bonnington Show

[Sunday 3rd September 2023]

What is a country show without a band? Well, rather hollow in some ways, and Loughborough Concert Band was exactly the band for the job at Sutton Bonnington Show.

 

The weather definitely didn’t let the show organisers down and the many visitors were able to sample the attractions in blazing sunshine and with a soundtrack that was as well chosen as ever. Rousing numbers such as Colonel Bogey (Alford) and Fiesta (Bocci) and An American Trilogy (Richards) were a contrast to more dreamy pieces such as (Romance, from The Gadfly) Shostakovich, Shepherd’s Song (Richards)and Over the Rainbow (Arlen, arr Barker.)

 

We were lucky to receive several compliments, one from a former player who was greatly impressed by our performance.

 

It’s always hard to single out players from a group endeavour but special mention should go to Zoe Felton on Saxophone for her solo in Romance and Thomas Chan on trombone for his solo in Over the Rainbow.

 

Thanks to Dave Coble for all his hard work getting us match fit and to the indefatigable Ian Wallis for arranging our role at the show.

 

And many, many thanks to our wonderful Deps, Katherine Lee on Clarinet and Ruth Godfrey on Baritone Saxophone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concert at Newark Castle Loughborough.

[Sunday 23rd July 2023]

Newark Castle grounds has always been a happy concert for us. The event is well supported by Radio Newark and we always get a good sized and enthusiastic audience. But today – the weather Gods may have been against us – there was a buffeting wind that played havoc with the music however carefully pegged to the stand it was and the threats of rain actually came good just before the interval. But only for a minute. We were incredibly lucky that the weather didn’t stop us playing our complete programme and equally lucky that the audience members just sat, wrapped in waterproofs and sing along or clapped in time. They enthusiastically called for an encore at the end – and who could deny them?

The programme opened with Sousa’s Washington Post, passed to Mancini’s Pink Panther and the first half was closed with Fiesta. The interval was shortened due to fears about the weather but the remainder of the programme, and even the final numbers Rock Roll and Remember and Hootenanny, were played safely in the dry and the audience thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon.

Newark has always been a happy concert for the band – also a lucky one judging by today!

Given that we were hit by the holiday season, the band was very lucky to be helped out by talented deps, old friends Steve Boyles and Katherine Lee, Viv and Alex on Clarinet, George Hilliam on trumpet, John on baritone saxophone and Ian on euphonium. Our newest band member, Andy on trumpet, was playing his first concert. We hope he enjoyed it!

Concert in Queens' Park Loughborough

[Sunday 25th June 2023]

This was a glorious day and a most enjoyable concert. The park was flooded with really hot sunshine, a breeze that made musicians reach for the peg bag and many members of the public who made up the appreciative - if scattered - audience. The audience had to scatter to what shade they could find, making it more of a challenge than usual for Eddie Pearson, our compere.

We played two halves, started with The Washington Post (Sousa) and the programme after that took on themes from film and television. The second half opened with Royal Review (Arnold Steck) and again took in well known themes and included another sparkling performance from Henry on drums as he kept us guessing with his solo! Zoe Felton also took a solo with Romance from The Gadfly on alto saxophone.

We were lucky to be helped out by talented deps, old friends Steve Boyles, Katherine Lee and Sue Masters and a new friend, Helen Cutting, on trumpet.

Music in the Park

[Sunday 4th June 2023]

This was distinctly a day of contrasts: one side of the band needed sunglasses and the other side was glad to put on their band fleece. The sun blazed down but a chilly wind was penetrating and played havoc with the music. The audience, nearly 100 strong, was not put off by the weather and judging by the thanks and happy comments at the end, we played well.

The programme was as well chosen as ever, featuring stirring marches, film music and songs from the shows. And even Thunderbirds! Our compere, Eddie Pearson, gave us enough time to peg down the flapping music while he chatted to the audience before introducing the next number.

One of the final pieces, Sparkling Drums featured the drumming talents of Henry Marvell as he showed us what drums can do – thanks Henry!

Concert in aid of MND Association

[Saturday 13th May 2023]

 

 

 

 

Our concert in the tiny and very picturesque Church of St James was very well attended by an audience of music enthusiasts.

Their enjoyment of live music came through even when the very serious reason for the concert was raised. A volunteer from the Motor Neurone Disease Association told us how any money raised on the night would be spent: in training volunteers, in giving grants to help the sufferers and their families and in funding research in the attempts to find a cure.

St James’ congregation had chosen this as their charity for 2023 since one of their members was dying from MND but fortunately lived long enough to know they were fundraising in this cause. At the time of writing the amount raised is not known. However, due to the very generous sponsorship of Charterhouse Holdings, every penny donated would go to the charity.

The band’s programme was as varied as ever including the Standard of St George and Highlights from the Pink Panther, Royal Review and Memory. Our compere, Eddie Pearson, tried to convince us that Jurassic Park should more properly be called Cretaceous Park but, sorry Eddie, no-one seemed convinced.

We were lucky to gain the services of deps Leo Burton and Thomas Ward on trumpet and Andrew Haworth on tuba and luckier still in that the concert organisers provided canapes. So, a message to the lovely deps – we’re not often fed!

UPDATE 21/05/2023: This concert raised  £868. Huge congratulations to everyone at Normanton-on-Soar who worked so hard to raise this fantastic amount, well done to all players and to Dave Coble espcially who led us so well at a difficult time.

Spring Concert at Lark Hill Retirement Village

[Sunday 23rd April 2023]

In many ways this is a concert we won’t forget in a hurry. Our regular conductor and band leader Dave Coble, was unable to join us due to illness, leaving us in the hands of Ian Wallis, our Band Chairman and horn player. We missed you Dave, but Ian did a great job on the day, giving us thumbs ups of encouragement.

Several people stood out for me: Wendy Miller with her solo in Rock Roll and Remember.  Sue Boyles on trumpet, and her husband Steve on tuba, thank you both very much. Simon Challender who was depping on trumpet. Sue also did a great job of encouraging clapping along to the rhythm and performing the YMCA, as did compere Wendy Burns, whose lively and friendly style went down well with the audience members. And this is one audience that didn’t take much encouragement – they certainly know how to party!

So a concert in two parts – sadness because Dave couldn’t be with us and sheer joy at the enthusiasm that the Lark Hill residents showed. We really look forward to Dave’s return and also to the next concert at Lark Hill!

Concert in aid of Passion Youth Space, St Botolph

[Saturday 4th March 2023]

Owing to the pandemic and other, more local issues, this was the first concert for Passion the band has performed at for several years. And in that time Passion has continued to work and grow. For twelve years now, Passion has been providing a safe space for Shepshed young people of 11-18 years of age. There is a home work club and a hot drink in the morning for students on their way to Hind Leys or Iveshead School and drop ins throughout the week. The concert was a financial success as well as a musical one and raised £1020.

Musically, we were joined by the Caroline Sharpe Singers, featuring our own Dave Coble and   Yvonne Renouf. The Singers’ programme included One, When I fall in love and Tell me it’s not true. They always made quite a splash with their ties and scarves, this year the colours were Day-Glo orange and a rather shocking pink. These took all the attention until they came on in their masks! And these were not the masks we all wore during lockdown, these were full on Carnivale masks and colourful operatic masks. And an elephant mask. There’s always one!

The band played a selection that started with the Luftwaffe March and maintained its marshal theme with Star Wars and Symphonic Marches. Other pieces included Highlights from the Pink Panther and Skyfall.

Sadly it was the last concert for oboe player Rachel Gordon, who will look for other outlets for her talents in Dorset. She will certainly be missed.

We had some deps in to cover absentees, Alex Ramsey on trumpet, Frances Iveson on clarinet and Steve Boyles on tuba and we are grateful to them all for their playing.

The whole evening was rounded off with a karaoke rendition of Abba tunes with Thankyou for the music taking pride of place.

Christmas Concert, St Botolph’s Church Shepshed.

[Saturday 17th December 2022]

We are always happy when the Christmas music comes out around the beginning of November. The Christmas combination of joy and optimism is embodied in the music.

St Botolph’s Christmas Concert is always full of this joy and optimism and the 2022 concert was no exception. From the moment Michael Torne welcomed band and audience alike, the atmosphere of warmth spread throughout the evening.

The programme contained a seasonal cocktail: carols (with which the audience was invited to sing) and more modern songs (with which the audience was invited to sing – words magically appeared for All I want for Christmas is You) and further warmed the atmosphere.  Film music such as Troika, Walking in the Air, and Polar Express added a touch of Hollywood glamour.

Audience members commented with admiration for the trombones who stood in unison and made their presence felt, and enjoyment at the warmth of the evening.

 

 

Our last concert of the year – here’s to the next one!

 

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LCB at St Botolph's Church, Shepshed
LCB at St Botolph's Church, Shepshed