2012-13 Season

As previously reported the season kicked off with concerts at Hendon, Leigh on Sea, Milton Keynes and for the second year an appearance at The Symphony Hall, Birmingham. 2013 saw further concerts at Newport Parish Church , Saffron Walden in February and East Bergholt Parish Church, Ipswich the following month. April witnessed a return visit to Bourne, Lincolnshire, this time playing in the Abbey. The Season closed with a long awaited visit to Leighton Buzzard Salvation Army in June.

An appreciative crowd greeted the band at Newport. Our regular soloists contributed including David Daws on Euphonium with Leidzen’s Song of the Brother. It was good to meet up with past member Bill Scott and his wife Gill, who both worship at the church. In the event  Bill was pleased to deputise on BBb bass, an added pleasure.

The band were delighted to have as guest conductor for the evening Nathan Cole. Nathan has until recently been a member of the International Staff Band percussion section and bandmaster of Bristol Easton SA Band.

The visit to East Bergholt will be remembered for some time for its wintry conditions. Persistent heavy snow showers over the South East had made travelling conditions  very challenging ,none the less a full band and an appreciative audience combined to make an inspiring evening of Praise….all this just some six hours before the onset of Palm Sunday!

Under the guest leadership of Julian Bright the band , in addition to some well established repertoire, presented a number of fresh pieces including The Torchbearers,( Eric Ball), Shine on Us, arranged  Andrew Mackereth,  Bill Himes’s Soli Deo Gloria, plus another Ball classic The Kingdom Triumphant.

Julian skilfully welded band and audience together in a united rendition of Rossini’s William Tell. (Are we forgiven, Mr Rossini !) After some words of reflection and a closing blessing, it was time to brave the outside elements and journey home …an adapted version of the christmas carol See Amid the Springtime Snow might have been appropriate!

The visit to Bourne was the band’s second concert in the support of the local Methodist Church. On this occasion it was a delight to enjoy the acoustics of the Abbey Church and be so well received.

The last concert of the season was at Leighton Buzzard Salvation Army Hall and proved to be a particularly uplifting time of Salvation Army music making. The local Singing Company supported the band, their singing and presentation was  joyous and  uplifting. The band featured its regular soloists and some new upbeat numbers from the pen of Kevin Larsson. Army of the Brave, (George Marshall) (Festival Series No.6)  and How D’ya Like Your Eggs in the Morning provided some interesting contrast.  James Anderson’s Song Setting The Sweetest Name I Know preluded some challenging thoughts from Band Sergeant Alan Garratt. Our gathering together concluded with Valiant Warriors from the pen of Ray Bowes.

As the evening progressed there was a buoyant feeling within the bands playing perhaps inspired by the awareness that after three years of leadership, this was David Daws’ last night with the band. But more news of that on the next posting.