Christmas this year has been less busy for the Band than some previous years. For a number of reasons it proved impossible to hold our usual Christmas concert, but the Band was again invited to provide music for the Mayor’s Carol Service, and for the carol service in Fairford Leys.
The Mayor’s Carol Service took place at St Mary’s Church, Aylesbury, on 1st December. Unfortunately our conductor, Claire Lawrence, was extremely busy with RAF Central Band and wasn’t able to be there, and Robert Wicks wasn’t able to be there either, so Claire’s husband Geoff nobly stepped into the breach. The Band played a couple of pieces of Christmas music as the congregation waited for the Mayor, then the brass played a fanfare as the Mayor’s procession arrived. The Band and organist accompanied the congregation singing Christmas carols, and the Mayor and other dignitaries read Bible readings from the Christmas story. The service also included a performance by Turnfurlong Junior School choir. At the end of the service the Band played, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and then Sleigh Ride as the Mayor’s party handed out mince pies and mulled wine.
Subsequently the Mayor of Aylesbury, Tom Hunter-Watts, wrote to the Band to thank “all the musicians who contributed so wonderfully well to the Carol Service at St Mary’s on Sunday. It is very much appreciated… I spoke to members of the public that evening who told me how much they enjoyed the Band’s contribution to the service”.
Then the following Saturday, 7th December, the Band went once more to Fairford Leys, Aylesbury, to play for the carol service in Hampden Square, again conducted by Geoff Lawrence. The weather this year wasn’t so cold as it can be, and the rain stayed away, although the Band were sheltered anyway under the arcade outside the Fairford Leys Centre. Once again the Band played some Christmas music before the service, and then accompanied the carols. This service featured another school choir, from Bearbrook School. At the end everyone sang Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer accompanied by the Band to guide Father Christmas, who arrived with gifts and sweets for the children. Finally the Band played We Wish you a Merry Christmas. For most it was then time to go home, but the Saxophone Quartet stayed to play indoors for the rest of the Christmas celebrations.
And that was it for Christmas this year. Not that the Band can put their feet up, for we have to prepare for a New Year’s Concert in Eaton Bray on the 11th January.