The Band had just two engagements this Christmas, Fairford Leys Carols and the Mayor’s Carol Service.
Late in the afternoon of Saturday 5th December the Band set up in the arcade that runs along one side of Hampden Square in Fairford Leys, a large housing estate on the western side of Aylesbury, ready to play for the annual carol service. The evening was dry and not too cold, but a strong wind made it feel colder and threatened to blow over music stands and blow music away. Fires burnt in a couple of large braziers to give some warmth to the crowd, though the wind blew dangerous looking embers across the square. Before the service we played White Christmas, Let it Snow, and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, but there seemed to be some confusion over the start time as there was a long hiatus after we finished, so we played White Christmas again! When the service did start, the band accompanied the crowd in a number of Christmas carols, and then played Jingle Bells to let Santa Claus know where to go. The band and the crowd singing obviously weren’t loud enough, so we played and sung it again, and this time Santa arrived in his sleigh to distribute sweets to the children, while the band finished with We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
The following day, 6th December, the Band took part in the annual Mayor’s Carol Service in St Mary’s Church, Aylesbury. We were joined by members of the Aylesbury Choral Society, and the church choir and organist. Before the service started we played Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Troika by Prokofiev, and Christmas Recollections, a medley of Christmas songs including Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. A fanfare from the band announced the arrival of the Mayor’s procession, and then we accompanied the Aylesbury Choral Society who sang O Holy Night by Adolphe Adam. During the service, which was led by the Rector, the Reverend Doug Zimmerman, the congregation sang carols led by the Choral Society and the choir, accompanied by the band and the organist. Then at the end, the band played We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and as the Aylesbury Lions served mulled wine to everyone we played Mary’s Boy Child, White Christmas, and Christmas Festival by Leroy Anderson.
So now we can put the carol books away for another year, but we can’t rest on our laurels as we have two New Year concerts to do in January.