The Band returned to St Mary’s Church, Aylesbury in the evening of 5th December for the annual Mayor’s Carol Service. Like the Remembrance Service, this didn’t take place in 2020 because of covid, and the occasion was a little reduced this year compared with earlier years. There was no participation from any schools for example, no doubt because of the pandemic. However the church choir and Aylesbury Choral Society were there to help support the carol singing and Aylesbury Band and the organist to accompany the carols.
The Mayoral party arrived to the accompaniment of Majesty from A Little Ceremonial Music by Rob Wiffin played by the Band. After a welcome from the Reverend Doug Zimmerman, Rector of St Mary’s, the first carol, Once in Royal David’s City, was introduced by soloist Libby Hough from the church choir singing the first verse. After the first reading the Aylesbury Choral Society sang Hail to the Lord’s Anointed from The Nativity by Eric Thiman. The service continued with other readings interspersed with more music and carols. The Band played A Christmas Festival by Leroy Anderson, Infant Holy (a traditional Polish carol arranged by Rob Wiffin), and Christmas in the Nursery (also by Rob Wiffin). The church choir sang In Dulci Jubilo , and Aylesbury Choral Society sang How Brightly Beams the Morning Star, also by Eric Thiman, plus And the Glory of the Lord from The Messiah by Handel.
Following the Blessing from Reverend Zimmerman, the service finished with everyone singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas accompanied by the band. After this the evening was rounded off by Aylesbury Band playing Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson and Jingle Bells.
Then the following Saturday, 11th December, members of the Band played for the carols in Hampden Square, Aylesbury. This was another regular event that was cancelled in 2020. Though not as cold as in some years showery rain was forecast, but fortunately it stayed dry for the service. As well as carols, the Band accompanied Little Donkey, Winter Wonderland, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas. The crowd had to sing Jingle Bells so that Father Christmas would know where to go, and as usual they didn’t sing loud enough so it had to be repeated (twice!). Then Father Christmas arrived, and the band played Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
So the last event for the Band in 2021 came to an end. We were next due to play for the New Year’s Concert in Eaton Bray in January, but this was cancelled because of the uncertainty surrounding yet another covid variant causing alarm in some quarters. Will we be able to play a full programme of events in 2022? I hope so, but we shall have to wait and see.