Christmas Concert 2011

The Band’s Christmas concert nearly met with disaster. It was only by chance that we found out that the minister at Aylesbury Methodist Church had arranged a carol service immediately prior to our concert, leaving us virtually no time to set up. Fortunately with a little juggling of times we were able to do a run through in the hall before moving into the church in time for the concert.

The Band was once again joined by Lemon Tuesday ladies choir from Rickmansworth. The programme began with the Band playing Century Point by Robert Sheldon, conducted by Claire Lawrence, and this was followed by the first “Christmassy” piece, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. The band accompanied the audience singing Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, after which John Dablin played the clarinet solo in the Woody Herman version of Golden Wedding.

Now it was the turn of Lemon Tuesday to entertain, singing Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol, Hushabye Mountain by The Sherman Brothers and Ball and Chain by The Staves. The Band then rounded off the first half with A Fireside Christmas by Sammy Nestico.

The second half opened with the well known Troika by Prokofiev. This was followed by A Winter’s Tale by Philip Sparke, which sets out to evoke a winter scene, with a horse-drawn sleigh passing by in the middle section. Lemon Tuesday then sang some more, including Rocking Carol (a traditional Czech carol), Silent Night and Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas. They rounded off their session with an encore – a spirited tango (whose title I didn’t catch) with added percussion played by Claire Lawrence, Robert Wicks, and other people dragged from the band!

The concert ended with three more Christmas pieces, Mary’s Boy Child (arr. Philip Sparke), and Sleigh Ride and A Christmas Festival by Leroy Anderson.

I’m pleased to report that the concert was well attended, the audience was larger than last year, and I’m sure they enjoyed the evening as we did our best to spread Christmas cheer. Many thanks are due to Lemon Tuesday and their conductor Martin Smith for their lively and fun performances.