In 2019 Aylesbury Town Council and the Band put on a concert to raise money for the Mayor’s Charity (each year the new Mayor selects a local charity to sponsor and support). The concert was such a success that it was decided it should become a regular event, but unfortunately the covid pandemic put paid to that in 2020 and 2021. This year however, with restrictions lifted, the concert was able to go ahead on 9th April in support of the charity Aylesbury Women’s Aid. In a brief address to the audience the Mayor, Cllr Anders Christensen, explained why he had chosen to support this charity. In his role as a councillor he had been horrified to learn that two out of every three recorded crimes in Aylesbury concern domestic violence. AWA provides support, advice and refuge to women in abusive relationships and their children, and when Cllr Christensen became Mayor he determined they should receive his support.
None of these grim statistics were evident in the concert, however. Conductor John Brown had selected a programme of Celebration, this being the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee having reigned for 70 years. Almost every piece celebrated some sort of anniversary, opening with Century Point, written by Robert Sheldon to celebrate the millennium in 2000. The full programme is listed below, but other highlights included the 35th anniversary of Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the 70th birthday of John Williams, composer of music for a multitude of films, and other pieces recalling the early years of the Queen’s reign. The concert ended on a patriotic note, with Jerusalem by Parry and Pomp and Circumstance March no. 1 by Elgar (a complete performance), with the tune well known as Land of Hope and Glory.
It would have been nice had the audience been a little larger, in 2019 extra chairs had to be found because of the numbers, nevertheless the audience’s donations raised a worthwhile sum to be shared between AWA and the Band.
Here is the complete programme:
|Title||Composer / Arranger|
Written for the millennium in 2000.
|Olympic Fanfare and Hymn|
Celebrating the Olympics and John Williams’ 70th birthday
|John Williams, arr. James Curnow|
|Phantom of the Opera|
35th anniversary of its West End opening.
|Andrew Lloyd Webber, arr. Warren Barker|
|Somewhere (from West Side Story), arranged for cor anglais solo with small wind ensemble, featuring Alison Swindles, cor anglais.|
New film version of West Side Story released in 2022, also celebrating Stephen Sondheim, 1930 – 2021.
|Leonard Bernstein, with words by Stephen Sondheim.|
|Folk Song Suite, 1st movement Seventeen Come Sunday.|
150 years since the birth of Vaughan Williams.
|Ralph Vaughan Williams.|
|Queen in Concert|
52 years since the founding of Queen in 1970.
|arr. Jay Bocook.|
|Suite of Old American Dances. No.3: Western One-Step and no.1: Cakewalk.|
Celebration of American Dance.
|Robert Russell Bennett|
|Theatre Music, 2nd movement: Entr’acte.|
Philip Sparke’s 70th birthday.
|The Beatles – Echoes of an Era|
The Platinum Jubilee.
|Arr. John Higgins|
The Platinum Jubilee.
|Ronald Binge, arr. W J Duthoit.|
|Are You Sitting Comfortably|
A medley of radio programme theme tunes from the early 1950s, celebrating the Platinum jubilee.
|Fauré, Williams, Strachey, Wood, Guiliani, and Rossini, arr. Rob Wiffin.|
|Jerusalem||C Hubert Parry, arr. Rob Wiffin|
|Pomp and Circumstance March no. 1||Edward Elgar|