From Strauss to Elgar, Puccini to Parry, Chalford Band served up a Proms inspired treat for a good-humoured Subscription Rooms audience already basking in 30 degrees heat and a world cup quarterfinal victory for England.
Right from the start MD Steve Tubb had the audience involved, stomping and chinking wine glasses in rhythm with Strauss’ Radetsky march. The next item was a LNOTP stalwart, Sparke’s arrangement “Jerusalem”, first used by the band at a WI concert in May, some of whom were in the audience.
The next item was a bit of mystery, with Steve vs. Kelly – Steve admitted it was the first time he’d conducted it in public and likely to be the last – he invited 2nd horn Kelly Brazneill to explain why she always badgered Steve to play it – the audience got to choose whether it was consigned to public burning or another outing. Everyone was transported back to 1977 as “The Floral Dance” got one of the biggest cheers of the night.
The combined band set closed with another Proms classic, “Fantasy on British Sea Songs”.
The Youth band started the next set with Fernie’s “Starlight”, followed by “Love Changes Everything”. A great sound from the band that came 3rd in the National Youth Brass Band Championships. More classical influence with “Sicilliano”, before they were joined on stage by the Junior band – the first time ever Youth & Junior bands had combined.
The Youth band then left the stage to the “tiddlers” & “stars of the show” as Steve introduced them. Admirably prepared by Bev Godwin, they performed “Pastime with Good Company” and “La Cucaracha”.
Then the Senior band took to the stage, starting with Peter Graham’s “A London Celebration”. Emily Godwin stood up for the only solo item of the night, “Nessum Dorma” by Puccini – and she absolutely “smashed it”!!! The hypnotic “Gota” followed, and then the trombones showed their stuff with “Dem Bones”, chosen to recognise 70 years since the birth of the NHS. The pace slowed with “Nimrod” from the Enigma Variations, before the band ended their set with the increasingly upbeat “Kalinka”, a nod to the World Cup in Russia.
After a brief break for the raffle, all players were back on stage, for a wartime singalong, “Bless ‘Em ‘All” by Gavin Somerset, to mark 100 years since the end of WW1. You can’t have a Last night of the Proms concert without “Land of Hope & Glory”, so that was next, with the backdrop of all the flags etc. made during the concert.
After the prize for the best dressed table was given out, an encore was demanded, so time for another Proms staple, “The Hornpipe” (despite table 9 claiming there was a “hornpipe ban” in place”!). That wasn’t enough for the audience, so the concert concluded with another rendition of “Land of Hope & Glory”.
The band would like to thank all the parents and other volunteers that helped to make the concert a success – from the table layers, flower arrangers, decoration makers, cheese cutters etc, and to all the players, especially the younger ones, for the long hot rehearsals.
(Answers to the Crossword are here)