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To be honest the weather forecast for this particular Sunday, despite the long heat wave, was not encouraging. Canny band members kept half an eye to their emails in case the worst happened and the concert was cancelled. But since no email came, we all arrived in good time and peered up at the sky like sailors.
The programme was chosen, as so often, to demonstrate the diversity of the band’s repertoire. We went from the driving march Light of Foot to the hauntingly beautiful Song for Trombone (with a solo spot from Mark Greenaway.) We played the evocative Coronation Scot, especially for the railway enthusiasts, Yesterday for those of us still gripped by Beatlemania and Sea shanties because, after all, we are an island nation.
And by then the sun had come out! The audience swelled, the ice cream seller had a queue and people ate picnics. England on a sunny Sunday with a band to listen to!
The second half of the programme began with Star Wars, moved on through Handel’s Royal Fireworks and a piece that proved very popular, Shostakovich’s Waltz Number 2. The Chilli Sauce Rag reminded us it was nearly time for tea and the whole afternoon was brought to a flamboyant end with Hootenanny.
We had spent a lovely afternoon at a beautiful location. Thank you to Newark Town Council for inviting us, the audience for being so enthusiastic and appreciative, to the presenter from Radio Newark who opened and closed the afternoon, to Eddie Pearson who compered us and to Dave Coble who planned the programme, rehearsed us ( even when we grumble!) and conducted us.
A larger than usual crowd sheltered under hedges and trees and umbrellas as they tried to get into shade on one of the hottest days of a very hot summer. And the park was busy with a Scout event and for some time we had no chairs to use in the band stand. However, we got the word that we had to collect our own and the band never blinked and went to collect them. (Except the Alto Saxophone players who sit on the bench at the back!)
The resulting hold ups did mean the audience had a longer wait than planned but were rewarded for their patience with a programme to please all listeners.
We started with the rousing Light of Foot and progressed through the lively waltz, Belle of the Ball. Other favourites included Coronation Scot, Yesterday, Sea Shanties and Star Wars. Come Fly With Me received a cheer as did Magnificent Men and Hootenanny.
With extreme heat (and hardly time for a half time ice cream!) and the chair problem, band members showed their character as well has their musical talents. We all realise that these are the snags of playing outdoors – we cannot predict the weather or how busy park staff are. But it’s always a rewarding concert as families spread rugs and listen with ice creams or a picnic. Long may it continue!
We were asked by Loughborough Lions to perform a Last Night of the Proms Concert with all the old favourites from the BBC’s Last Night. One difference was that ours was scheduled before the BBC had even started the 2018 programme!
Planning a programme for such concerts is always a challenge. Everyone in the audience is waiting for British Sea Songs, Jerusalem and Pomp and Circumstance. However, Band leader, Dave Coble, is an old hand at planning such concerts and, as ever, he rose to the challenge. He provided a programme that suited all tastes as they waited for the big moment.
The first half started with the rousing Luftwaffe March and continued with Leroy Anderson’s Belle of the Ball and Debussy’s Girl with the Flaxen Hair. A medley of Seekers music had toes tapping as did Sir Paul McCartney’s Yesterday. The first half of the evening closed with Gilbert and Sullivan’s overture to Yeoman of the Guard.
An interesting thing for band members is that occasionally, and usually due to the demands of the room we are playing in, we sit next to different players. And for a piece such as The Coronation Scot by Vivian Ellis, which features a variety of instruments as we replicate the sounds of the stream train, this can lead to some discoveries. So I can report with certainty that band was safely left at the station by Catherine Leyland on bassoon, having previously featured the euphonium (Steve Simpson.)
The second half of the evening started with Star Wars, then moved to Handel’s Royal Fireworks and Shostakovich’s Romance from The Gadfly, featuring Zoe Felton on alto saxophone. And then came the old favourites and they were greeted with flag waving, singing and cheers.
The whole evening was compered by Yvonne Renouf who doubled her role as first flute and gave us a much needed breather between pieces.
This concert was held on a beautiful evening. The trees were in blossom and the evening was warm and sunny. The organisers of the concert asked us to play in a Royal vein as this was a day of a Royal wedding, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Chelsea beat Manchester United in the FA Cup Final (not something for which we were asked to play commemorative music!) and the audience was in the right mood for a party!
And the band provided the music. We took them through a march (Luftwaffe March) and jazz classics such as Take Five, and well known favourites such as Yesterday and I Know Him so Well as well as old favourites such as the medley The Best of the Seekers.
The second half of the concert included the Royal connection: Royal Review, The Royal Fireworks and Pomp and Circumstance Number 4.
Solos were taken by Zoe Felton on Alto Saxophone, Kevin Massey on Trumpet and Steve Simpson on Euphonium. The role of compere was taken for this concert by the lead flautist, Yvonne Renouf who entertained us with such nuggets as that of Paul McCartney who apparently considered writing a song called Scrambled Egg, and changing it, for the better, to Yesterday.
Sunday 8th April 2018
Lark Hill Retirement Home
It has to be said from the outset that some band members dressed for cool outdoor weather so the warmth of the air temperature caused a few flushed faces by the interval! That was nothing, however, compared to the warmth of the reception that the Lark Hill residents afforded us.
The programme was carefully planned with a view to the residents’ likely preferences and it was certainly a hit. We could hear murmurs of pleased recognition as Eddie Pearson, our compere for the event, announced such numbers as The Best of the Seekers or Les Miserables. The band took them on a journey of flight (Luftwaffe March and Come Fly with Me,) train travel (Coronation Scot,) space-time travel (Doctor Who and Star wars) and we finished with Magnificent Men - another musical reference to flight. However, without doubt, the best received piece was Floral Dance, Mr Wogan still being held in great affection.
Band members featured in the programme were Keven Massey (trumpet) and Steve Simpson (Euphonium) on I know him so well as well as Zoe Felton for Take Five. Further special mention needs to be made of Katie Campsall, our youngest band member who played her first concert with us as our drummer.
Many members of the audience came to thank us and tell us how much they enjoyed the concert and our playing. It’s always good to get feedback and tells us were we’re getting things right. Here’s to the next one!
Saturday February 24th 2018.
The annual Passion Concert is always something we look forward to. There is usually a good audience and we have the opportunity to play whilst supporting of singers and hear other bands and choirs. And all in such a good cause!
Passion was set up in 2009 by Churches Together. Members of the group had identified a need to offer a safe place for young people, right in the heart of the community. It’s a costly enterprise. Their website says it costs around £2000 a month to keep Passion going, so an event like the concert is a very valuable fundraising source.
The evening was compered by Howard Ketton, formerly minister of the Baptist Church in Shepshed, and started with the band playing Ron Goodwin’s Luftwaffe March. We maintained the airborne theme with Come Fly with Me and then St Botolph’s Church Choir took to the stage. Some of their members commemorated the centenary of the struggle for women’s suffrage by wearing the Suffragette sash as they sang the songs of World War One.
The band played two more numbers and then were joined by Louise, a Passion soloist, who sang Somewhere from West Side Story and I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right out of my Hair from South Pacific.
We closed the first half with a medley from the hit show Les Miserables. After the interval and two opening pieces, the Methodist Church Choir sang songs from My Fair Lady, presumably all rehearsing on the street where you live!
The whole concert ended with a magnificent piece of community singing as the band and all choirs joined the audience for the Last Night of the Proms.
We were a bit depleted with the winter taking its toll on band members but we were very lucky to have such talented deps to call on. It was a fantastic evening which raised the magnificent sum of £1019.45 for Passion.
As always, December was a busy month for the band, which we attacked without a permanent drummer to hold us together. However, the show must go on, and we soldiered on through a busy period with the help from a dep drummer for the concert at St Botolph’s on 21st December.
There were two programmes of brass music for the Loughborough Baptist Church and for Greenfields. At the Baptist Church the group helped raise £400 for Barnardos and at Greenfields they helped to raise £1300 for Glebe House, a charity for which Greenfields had been fundraising throughout the year.
On Saturday 9th December the whole band played in the Carillon shopping precinct raising £221 for the band’s Christmas Charity of Cancer Research.
On 21st December the whole band presented a Concert of Christmas music at St Botolph’s Church. The programmed was shared with Serenade, the choir whose popularity was proven by their growing numbers.
The band’s contribution to the evening included Christmas music such as Christmas Festival and music from the film Polar Express. We also played carols which the audience was encouraged, by our compere Eddie Pearson, to join in with. He also mentioned that the Shepherd’s Pipe Carol was a play on words: did you get it?
The exit “silent” collection and refreshment donations added £821 to church funds.
Another year I’ll try to keep a running tally of how much we help raise for charities, both local and national, in the course of a year, just for interest. As it is, in December 2017, we raised, or helped to raise, £2742 for charity. For doing something we love. Not bad, eh?
The day was bright, but cold and with a keen wind. The temperature was low enough to encourage hats and gloves as the band huddled into the band stand. The carefully chosen programme started with solemn, quiet music such as Hymn to the Fallen by John Williams from Saving Private Ryan and Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by Ralph Vaughan Williams. People hurrying to the Carillon stopped to listen and, when we played Elgar’s Nimrod, broke into applause.
The band did not play throughout the service which as ever included the iconic dispersal of the poppies from the Carillon, but brightened the mood by playing march tunes as people were leaving.
Such marches as Holyrood and Army of the Nile both by Kenneth Alford, put a spring in the step of the congregation as they hastened home to warm up.
This concert took place on Saturday 7th October 2017 in Hodson Hall, Loughborough Grammar School.
Those taking part were:
Loughborough Male Voice Choir
Loughborough Concert Band
A large audience of music lovers gathered in the lovely setting of Hodson Hall for a full and varied programme that included solo singers and choral performances. And the Loughborough Concert Band sitting quietly on the stage as they waited for their turn!
Eddie Pearson, the band’s travelling compere, was there allowing Dave to concentrate on the performance and the band to get their breath back between pieces. They opened with Voice of the Guns and moved to Bond…James Bond. The first half ended with a joint performance of Gwahoddiad, arranged by Dave Coble. This included a real treat as previous members of the choir were invited to sing and the sound was fabulous.
In the second half the band played The Flintstones and Ashokan Farewell and followed it by accompanying Caroline Sharpe as she sang I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables. The whole concert was ended by a performance of The World in Union, again arranged by Dave Coble, which included all performers, singers or instrumentalists alike.
The whole evening was held in aid of Rainbows and raised nearly £2000.
This concert was held to raise funds for Shepshed Food Bank. As Glennis Wilcox, Chair of the Food Bank Committee told the audience, when the Food Bank was started in 2013 twenty-five – thirty parcels a month were distributed. In 2017 the need has increased to thirty-thirty-five parcels per week, so the concert helped raise much needed funds. The evening raised over £500 and the audience really appreciated the programme.
The evening’s entertainment was shared between Loughborough Concert Band and the Caroline Sharp Singers (with some talented band members performing with both groups.) The singers took the audience through a musical smorgasbord of treats with songs ranging from The Kings Ballad attributed to King Henry Vlll and a song from the musical A Chorus Line, to Tell Me it’s Not True from Blood Brothers and a marvellous arrangement of Billy Joel’s For the Longest Time.
The band played a typically varied programme that started with Voice of the Guns and a medley of tunes from The Phantom of the Opera, Over the Rainbow and Bond…James Bond (which included an impromptu competition to see who could spot the most Bond tunes with the piece) and finished the first half with Wagner’s Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral.
The second half of the programme included pieces where the two ensembles performed together: In a Monastery Garden was enhanced by the singers and The Floral Dance gave the audience a chance to flex their vocal muscles as the words were printed on screens for all to see.
It was an enjoyable and lively evening that was held for a cause close to people’s hearts in a beautiful venue.
Sunday 20th August 2017.
Loughborough Concert Band play at Stratford.
For the second year the Band was invited to play in Stratford upon Avon bandstand. This year the weather stayed fine until we had finished playing which meant our audience was able to relax as they listened.
The varied programme included Share my Yoke with the solo played by Keven Massey on trumpet. Another solo spot, performed by Zoe Felton on Romance from The Gadfly, had a moment’s high drama when Zoe faced the hazards of playing outdoors as the breeze tipped her music. As a true performer, she kept playing…
Other pieces included Amparito Roca and In a Monastery Garden, which featured the band singing … in Latin!
Saturday 2nd September 2017.
Concert at All Saint’s Church, Anstey Lane, Thurcaston.
Compered by Eddie Pearson who kept the audience and band well informed thanks to his research in to the musical pieces, the band played a programme that touched a wide range of musical genre. This included what has been described as the worst tune in the world (MacArthur Park) and an alleged band favourite, Wagner’s Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral.
The audience was very enthusiastic and called for an encore of The Floral Dance. All funds went to the Anstey Churches.
LCB at St Botolph's Church, Shepshed