The Band’s Christmas concert this year took place on Saturday 8th December in Aylesbury Methodist Church. It was mainly conducted by Robert Wicks, as Claire Lawrence didn’t know until the last moment whether she could be there or not. As it turned out she was able to attend, and to conduct some of the pieces.
The concert opened reflectively with A Vaughan Williams Christmas, a medley of three lesser known Christmas carols. Then Christmas carols featured again in modern guise in The Proclamation of Christmas by Stephen Bulla. The trumpet section were featured next in Trumpets Wild by Harold Waters, after which the woodwind played A Christmas Calypso accompanied by maracas shaken by the saxophone section. Then the whole band played Soul Bossa Nova by Quincy Jones. The Christmas theme returned with Troika by Prokofiev, then our guests for the concert, the Charles Pope Ladies Choir sang several pieces including Christmas carols. The first half finished with the audience singing O Come All Ye Faithful accompanied by the band.
After the audience had enjoyed refreshments, including mince pies, the second half began with two of Three Carols from Olde England by Duncan Stubbs, Ye Merry Gentlemen and Coventry Carol. Robert Wicks then handed the baton to Claire Lawrence to conduct the three pieces that the Band played to win a Gold award at the Midlands Concert Band Festival in November, Shining Sword, October, and Stephenson’s Rocket. After this came A Winter’s Tale by Philip Sparke. Five members of the brass came forward to play a In Dulci Jubilo, a brass quintet by Stephen Roberts based on the traditional Christmas carol, and then the whole Band played Fantasia on the ‘Dargason’, the fourth movement of Gustav Holst’s Second Suite in F. It was back to Christmas with the perennial favourite Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson, and the audience joined in singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing.
Robert Wicks then thanked the audience for coming, and thanked the members of the Band for all their hard work during the year. He also thanked the committee for their work running the band, and all the other people who help by selling tickets and organising refreshments. Finally the Band sent the audience away to the sound of We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
This was the Band’s last concert of the year, but there are still two more rehearsals before Christmas as we have to be ready for the concert at Penn Street in January.