Quainton Children’s Prom

On the evening of 7th July the Band travelled to Quainton for a Children’s Concert at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. Quainton Road station was once a junction on the Metropolitan and Great Central joint line, but passenger trains ceased running there nearly 50 years ago, though the line is still open for occasional freight trains. The station is now the site of a railway museum, and is a popular tourist attraction. The concert took place on the platform of the Rewley Road station, which was reconstructed here after being saved from demolition and moved from Oxford. The Band played here for the Steam Fair in September 2011.

The cheerful tone of the concert was set from the start as conductor Claire Lawrence led the band in the Muppet Show theme. The first half included Stephenson’s Rocket, a portrait of the famous early steam locomotive by Nigel Hess, music from the James Bond films, Jungle Book, and Aladdin, and Harry Potter. Appropriately for a children’s concert the Band played Dancing Round the Nursery, a clever medley of nursery rhymes written by Rob Wiffin, and in the second half, Cartoon by Paul Hart captured all the fun of cartoons with inventive music in the style of cartoon sound tracks.

To illustrate the various sections of the Band, the woodwind played an arrangement of Nelly the Elephant and the brass opened the second half with a fanfare written by Claire Lawrence herself. The sax section played Return to Sender, the Elvis Presley hit arranged for saxophone quartet. The children in the audience got the chance to participate as Claire Lawrence handed out lots of percussion instruments for them to shake, bang and rattle to accompany A Grand Day Out, the Wallace and Gromit theme. Also the tubas got a rare spot in the limelight when they played Tyrolean Tubas.

The concert finished in “Last Night of the Proms” style with Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March no. 1, but the enthusiastic audience wouldn’t let the band go without an encore, and the band obliged with a couple of Abba numbers: Waterloo and Thank You for the Music. It’s a shame the audience wasn’t a little larger, but those there certainly enjoyed themselves, and we enjoyed playing there. Let’s hope the organisers won’t be discouraged from inviting us back on another occasion.