And to the sound of players blowing air through their instruments the Chalford Bands’ summer concert was off to an upbeat start, with “A Ticket to Ride” performed by the combined bands. MD Steve Tubb then took the microphone and explained the theme for the evening – a whistle stop tour around the globe and beyond, with 15 stops en route, all to be measured on a huge map. The tickets on the table said that the next destination was “Real Slime”, an anagram of where one might hear “Chanson d’Amour”. Then off to the Satsuma province in Japan, with imposing “The Last Samurai”. The first set closed by bringing everyone back to Switzerland, as the “Berne Patrol” entered and then left the hall.
The sombrero construction started as the band rearranged the stage, and then the combined band whisked us off to Russia – “Glasnost” by Dizzy Stratford. The next destination was Madagascar, the clever clue being “Out of Africa”. The next stop was New Zealand (“Lady Stewart’s Air”) before the band took us out of this world with “Fly Me To The Moon”.
More sombrero building as the stage was moved again for the senior band. Derrick Witts on Solo Eb bass was once again being disruptive (he’s got previous!): eating cheese and biscuits instead of being on stage. After a quick putting down by MD Steve, Derrick playing a haunting solo sitting in the audience to start “Scarborough Fair”, an intricate and elegant arrangement by Eric Crease. Another soloist followed: Stephen Parker took centre stage for “A Night in Havanna” by Goff Richards. Then “a bit of culture for a sophisticated audience” as described by Steve: a rip roaring Philip Harper arrangement of “The Four Seasons”. Staying in Europe the band then played Steve’s favourite piece of the evening (despite the band’s singing!) – “Balkan Dance” by Etienne Crausaz. And finally we went “Somewhere” from “West Side Story”, another Philip Harper arrangement.
On the home straight now: the sombreros were nearly done as the combined band took the stage for the final set. Off to the Americas for “Manhattan Skyline” from Saturday Night Fever.
Steve then introduced a mariachi band he’d hired, complete with a “ringer from USA Chicken”. The sombreros were judged: the winning table sent their representative to the front and he was handed some pink maracas. Cue “La Danza del Sombrero Mexicano” complete with Mexican encouragement (Cerveza, per favor!) from the sombrero champion.
After all the silliness, the final destination was Australia, with excerpts from “The Greatest Showman”.
The competition for the total distance measured was very close – the winning table were within 0.7cm of the correct answer – amazing!!!!.
“Back to Blighty” for the encore – “Land of Hope and Glory” from Elgar’s march.
A great concert, and once again the band thank the audience for their support.