The band’s Spring Concert was held at St Mary’s Church in Coddenham on the evening of May 21st.
Musical Director, Nigel Cooper wanted to present a concert worthy of the band’s “first section champions” status and set a programme of music that was guaranteed to entertain the audience but also challenge the players. The set list consisted of marches, music from film scores and musicals and some traditional brass band pieces.
The concert began with ‘Akademische Festfanfare’, an impressive opening fanfare followed by the lively ‘El Cumbanchero’. Then followed a solo feature from Principal Cornet player, Georgi Hawkes-Wright. Georgi’s beautiful rendition of ‘First Light’ showed the audience exactly why she received the ‘Outstanding Cornet Player’ award at the area contest in March 2022.
Next up was the film music section of the programme. First up, the iconic 633 squadron, then the haunting but powerful soundtrack from Schindlers List, and finally, the stand out main theme from Indiana Jones.
Following this, an exciting new piece was presented to the audience. The band have been lucky enough to have a new piece commissioned for their 40th Anniversary Year, a piece composed by Philip Harper, Musical Director of the world famous Cory Band. The piece is called ‘Field of the Cloth of Gold’ and the Spring Concert was the first ever performance of the piece in public. (More to come about this piece in a subsequent post). Finally, to close the first half, another firm favourite of both the band and audiences alike, Lord of the Dance.
The second half started slightly differently with the distant sound of a euphonium in the church. Another one of our talented players, Trevor Laird, Principal Euphonium, opened the second half with ‘One Voice’, the well known piece by Barry Manilow arranged for brass band.
The programme then moved on to encompass some traditional brass band pieces with the audience being spoilt once again with another ‘award winning’ soloist. Soprano player, Jason Beattie who won the ‘Best Soprano Player’ award at the area contest this year, treated the audience to a wonderful performance of the piece ‘Demelza’.
Following on from this, the band played ‘The Light of the World’, a classic Salvation Army piece featuring the hymn Aurelia. Then came a piece with a difference; ‘The Two Imps’. This is a duet for Xylophone which featured two of our talented percussionists, Steve Moulton and Reece Whitered. Steve and Reece gave the audience a seamless and thoroughly entertaining performance.
Next up, the musicals section. This included the classic tunes of ‘Let’s Face the Music and Dance’ and ‘I Dreamed a Dream’. Then a newer piece, ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’, which is the finale number in the musical Hairspray. This upbeat and lively piece bought the musicals section and the Spring Concert to a close.
Not only an evening of incredible music, the Spring Concert also saw the return of the band awards. The Jenny Overton Memorial Shield for Bandsperson of the Year was brought out of storage and the band have also introduced a new award for 2022. A new ‘Musical Director Award’ has been commissioned in memory of Stephen Kenna. Stephen dedicated a number years to the band as Musical Director but sadly passed away in 2016.
Bandsperson of the Year for 2022 was awarded to solo cornet player Keith Moye. This award is voted for by the members of the band. Keith was the clear winner for Bandsperson of the year, he has played a major role in helping the band through the last couple of years, taking on the role of chairman at the start of covid and keeping the band going through this difficult time. The award is thoroughly deserved in recognition of his continuing contributions and dedication to the band.
The recipient of the new award, the Stephen Kenna Memorial shield, Musical Director Award was chosen by MD Nigel Cooper. This was awarded to Bb Bass player Andy Coles. Another clear winner, Nigel awarded the shield to Andy for his commitment, positivity and encouragement. Andy gets involved with all aspects of banding and is a true role model to his fellow band members.
Following the success of the Spring Concert, the band looked swiftly ahead to the next events in the calendar. Saturday 4th June saw a small group travel to Aldeburgh Yacht Club for the combined celebration of their 125th Anniversary celebrations with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and on Sunday 5th June, another small group travelled to Coddenham to join in the village’s Jubilee celebrations. A big thank you to those players for the preparation and organisation that went into these events.
Looking forward, the band can be seen at the Bredfield Village fete on Saturday 16th July and will also be working on recording a new CD in July which will be released later in the year.