Pre-Christmas Concert at Lovat Fields Retirement Village, Milton Keynes

The band returned to Lovat Fields Village, Milton Keynes on 26 November 2011 to start the Christmas season, and played to an audience of over 200.

Having taken the opportunity to arrive early and “exercise their plastic” at the shopping centres in Milton Keynes, the band started its concert with the classy march Orwell Park, cruised through Take Over Bid and then changed the mood with Latin versions of Where I love to Be and Quando, Quando, Quando sandwiched by two exquisite cornet solos by Dave Thomas: the Mexican inspired Chiapaneacas and an imperious performance of Nessun Dorma. The first half of the programme was completed by a euphonium solo from Ken Stones (All the Ways God has Shown) and a master class in sensitive high range playing from Don Jenkins, who must be at least as young as Cliff Richard, with the trombone solo Londonderry Air finished off with a classy pianissimo high D. The Band concluded a rousing first half programme by regaling the audience with a sparkling performance of Breezin’ Down Broadway.

A brisk rendition of Soldiers in the Park commenced the second session, which featured a flugel horn solo from Jim Rogers, who delighted the audience with a mellifluous rendition of What a Wonderful World, and an upbeat version of vocal solo Now I belong to Jesus by Brian Huke.

Vocal duets in each section of the programme from Celia Dashfield and Dawn Turner, Because He Lives and If the Saviour stood beside Me, were very well received. A reflective period featured an arrangement of the hymn tune Bowes, This I Know, underlined by telling words from Alan Garratt.

The band concluded the evening with a taste of the Proms, featuring an arrangement of Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance march, Jerusalem and I Vow to thee my Country, prior to a brace of Christmas Carols to herald the Christmas Season.

Wanting more, the audience implored the band to perform two extra pieces including a dashing version of Jingle Bells and the march On the King’s Highway. They were left wanting still more!


– TJS November 2011