The Band put on its autumn concert on 3rd October at Holy Trinity Church, Aylesbury, to a disappointingly small audience. Unfortunately we’d manage to choose a date that coincided with the England – Australia match in the Rugby World Cup, not to mention Strictly Come Dancing on television, so perhaps the reduced audience wasn’t a reflection on the merits of the Band.
The programme was a mixture of some pieces played at the Vale Park Proms in August, and some new pieces. It opened with the music from the film Back to the Future, which was followed by the Looney Tunes Overture. In complete contrast this was followed by the Fantasia on the Alleluia Hymn by Gordon Jacob. In the Vale Park Proms we had only played the final section of El Camino Real by Alfred Reed, but this time we played the complete work. This was followed by an arrangement of the classic song Autumn Leaves by Joseph Kosma, and the first half ended with Star Wars Saga by John Williams, arranged by Johan de Meij.
The second half opened with three pieces to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the second world war, The Dambusters by Eric Coates, the theme music from the film Schindler’s List by John Williams, arranged for clarinet solo and played by Julie-Marie James, and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by Don Ray and Hughie Prince, which featured the trumpet section. This was followed by a new piece, Thames Journey by Nigel Hess, which pictures in music the River Thames from its source, flowing through the English countryside and London, to the Thames Estuary. Following that, because there’s a new James Bond film coming out this month the band played a selection of James Bond theme music.
The Vale Park Proms ended with the traditional flag-waving finale, but this concert ended with a more subdued version, comprising the Henry Wood Sea Songs (without a singer for Rule Britannia) and Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1.
The audience may have been small, but we enjoyed playing for them, and I think they enjoyed the music. Now it’s time to start thinking about music for Christmas and New Year.