When Robert Wicks first mooted the idea of playing 3 movements of Pineapple Poll in our January concert I was extremely doubtful. It’s not an easy work at all, two of the chosen movements are fast and lively, with no respite, and the slow movement requires an enormous amount of control to play softly and gently.
But we worked at it, and on the day it went extremely well. The occasion was a concert at Holy Trinity Church, Penn Street, near Amersham, on 23rd January. We first played there last year, and the the audience enjoyed it enough that we were invited back again.
The concert opened with the theme from the 1960s TV series Thunderbirds, arranged by Philip Sparke. Other items in the first half included two numbers played by a saxophone trio, Black and White Rag, Puszta by Jan van der Roost, and Summertime by George Gershwin to remind everyone that summer will come, one day.
As well as Pineapple Poll the second half included the Flower Duet from LakmÃ©, beautifully played again by Vanessa Owen and Annalie Ibison. Then the last few pieces were in a more big band, swing style: Caravan, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, featuring the trumpets, and In the Miller Mood, arrangements of Glenn Miller hits featuring the saxophones. Finally the concert was rounded off by the Radetzky March. Or it would have been, but in response to the applause, and as a memento to the snow earlier in the month, the band played Sleigh Ride as an encore.
Will we be invited back again next year? I hope so, if only for the delicious cakes we were treated to in the interval.