The corps’ Annual Festival of Remembrance is an event that is looked forward to with great anticipation by many people in the local community and this year was no exception. With a full hall, Hadleigh Temple welcomed The Essex Police Band for its ninth annual Festival of Remembrance. The band was directed by their former bandmaster, Keith Manners, who was standing in for current bandmaster (Nigel Cooper) who was unfortunately unable to fulfil this engagement with the band.
The evening followed the well-established and popular format, with Hadleigh Temple Band welcoming the guests with Lt. Colonel Norman Bearcroft’s first published march ‘To Regions Fair’ before the two bands united to play ‘The British Legion March’ for the entry of the flags. The audience then rose to their feet for the National Anthem.
Musical contributions from the Essex Police Band included ‘Horizons’ (Lovett-Cooper) ‘A Big Band Explosion’ (Arr. Fernie) and ‘Glasnost’ (Dizzy Stratord). With the words displayed on the big screen, the sing-along selection ‘Keep Smiling Through’ (played by the united bands) proved a very popular inclusion in the programme.
Hadleigh Temple Timbrel Brigade produced a lively display to ‘Goldcrest’, and the Singing Company captivated the audience with their singing in ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’ and ‘All there is of me Lord’. The Songsters contrasted the reflective mood of ‘Your Grace still amazes me” and the ever popular Chris Mallet arrangement of ‘To God be the Glory’.
A former corps officer of Hadleigh Temple, Major Noel Wright, was the guest speaker for the evening and in his own inimitable style challenged everyone present that they had one life to live and that life should be lived for God.
The Service of Remembrance section was preceded by Hadleigh Temple Band presenting the euphonium solo ‘Benedictus’ featuring euphonium soloist Chris Carter. Major David Woodman led the service which was focused on a drum head constructed by a representative percussionist from each band. Following the singing of the hymns, ‘Our God our help in ages past’ and ‘Abide with me’ the ‘Last Post and Reveille’ were played by the principle cornetists of each band (T Jay Mackenzie Keith Johnston).
While the various standard bearers left the hall, the combined bands playing the march ‘Victors Acclaimed’ and the evening closed with the moving arrangement of ‘St Clements & Sunset’.
Hadleigh Temple is indebted to S Stibbards and Sons Ltd for their financial support of this event. Robin Bryant has been the organiser of the Remembrance Festival for the previous eight years, but due to undergoing recent surgery, was unable to fully fulfil the role this year. So grateful thanks also go to Shelley Carter who undertook the organisation of the event in the absence of Robin.