Mayor’s Charity Concert

It has become a tradition for Hadleigh Temple Band to present an annual concert to support the Mayor of Castle Point’s charity fund. Successive mayors have enjoyed the traditional ‘Last Night of the Proms’ style concert as local folk turn up to wear patriotic hats and wave union flags.

Cornets starting off the show with ' class=
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Cornets starting off the show with ‘In Good Company’

Major Geoff makes a point

Major Geoff makes a point

On March 2nd, the band turned out in force in their red festival tunics and were ably supported by the corps timbrel brigade and virtuoso euphonium soloist Nick Giles from Norwich.

Nick already has an impressive CV including having played with some of the most successful bands in the country: Fairey Engineering, Leyland, Grimethorpe, Brighouse & Rastrick and G.U.S. The evening’s compère was our own inimitable Major Geoff Ashdown, who, it must be said, at couple of points lapsed into long words such as those used in Old Time Music Hall. Ah, well!

 First half

Nick Giles playing 'The Better World'

Nick Giles playing ‘The Better World’

The first half of the concert was in the mood of a traditional Salvation Army festival, complete with Bible reading and thought.

The band opened the evening by featuring the cornets and trombones in Dudley Bright’s ‘In Good Company’. Other favourites were ‘Treasures from Tchaikovsky’, ‘The Grand March from Aida’, ‘Excerpts from Les Misérables’, finishing the half with William Himes’ arrangement of Wagner’s ‘Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral.’

Nick’s contribution to this was the challenging solo ‘The Better World’ by Norman Bearcroft and Peter Graham’s reflective ‘A Time for Peace’.

Giving the band a bit of a rest from playing, the timbrels performed to ‘Assignment’ from a recording.

Timbrels' sparkling display to 'Assignment'

Timbrels’ sparkling display to ‘Assignment’

Second half

Geoff shows the audience how to enjoy themselves

Geoff shows the audience how to enjoy themselves

The interval gave time for a change of clothes. Off came the festival tunics and on went coloured shirts. No jacket required; fortunately it was quite warm in the hall. The ladies in the band turned out in their evening dresses. Major Ashdown decided to don a tuxedo and bow tie to lead the second half: a ‘Last Night of the Proms’ section.

The first item of the second half was listed as Elgar’s ‘Pomp and Circumstance No.1’ but it is better known as ‘Land of Hope and Glory.’

With a huge personality and a union flag to match, Major Geoff set the tone for the half by encouraging the audience to stand and take part whole-heartedly in the singing along to the band.

Betty Sadler was among those who had a good evening

Betty Sadler was among those who had a good evening

There was also the ‘Fantasia on British Sea Songs’, (for which Major Geoff wore a pirate hat), ‘Rule Britannia’ and ‘Jerusalem’. Giving some relief to the British music was Johann Strauss’s ‘Czech Polka’ and J.P. Sousa’s ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’, in which Dave Harrison took the challenging piccolo obbligato in his stride.

The timbrels presented their jaw-dropping ‘Just a Closer Walk with Thee’ and Nick Giles brought ‘Travelling Along’. Of particular note were the vocal soloists for ‘Rule Britannia’: mother and daughter Sue and Catherine Loftus.

Council dignitaries looking just a little undignified for charity

Council dignitaries looking just a little undignified for charity

The mayor, Councillor Peter Burch, came forward to express his enjoyment and thanks for the concert. The evening rounded off with a fanfare and the National Anthem.

The Mayor and Mayoress say thank you to BM Ken Hillson with Stuart and Keith Johnston

The Mayor and Mayoress say thank you to BM Ken Hillson with Stuart and Keith Johnston

 

Videos

Rule Britannia

Just a Closer Walk

 


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