It’s unusual for the Band to do two jobs on the same day, but we made an exception on 12th July. The first was Fairford Leys Summer Fayre, which takes place every year in the Fairford Leys district of Aylesbury, and where tha Band has been entertaining the crowds since at least 2007. The afternoon was pleasantly warm and partly sunny, and the Band played three half-hour sessions of light music, music from shows and films, and other well known tunes.
Then in the evening we returned to Little Missenden to play for the Last Night of the “Little Missenden Proms”. The Band had been invited back after having stepped in at short notice to play for the event in 2012, which was successful even though it had been spoilt by rain. This year the weather was dry and very warm, but the weather forecast promised rain later. The concert was held in the churchyard, with the band on a covered stage set up against the west door of the church, a stage which proved to be too small for the whole band so the woodwind had to sit in front of the stage without any shelter. Unsurprisingly after our earlier experience we were apprehensive about the weather, but luckily the rain held off until the end.
The concert was conducted by Robert Wicks, and much of the programme comprised music we had prepared for other recent concerts, including Strike Up the Band by Gershwin, music from the film Frozen, Easy Does It and Swing, Swing, Swing by Rob Wiffin, and the musical Miss Saigon. The second half opened with St Louis Blues followed by Disney at the Movies, Farandole by Bizet, arranged by Rob Wiffin, and Pirates of the Caribbean. It wouldn’t be a “proms” concert, of course, without the traditional finale, Jerusalem, Henry Wood’s Sea Songs, and Pomp and Circumstance March no. 1 by Elgar, where everyone joins in singing Land of Hope and Glory. This wasn’t quite the end, though, after the Band played the closing section of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture a magnificent firework display began in the grounds of the Manor House next door.
So ended a tiring day, at least for those who played both jobs, but it was a successful evening, we played to a good sized end enthusiastic audience, and the rain held off until we were on our way home!