Shipston Town Band30-Oct-2012
Conductor: Howard Gibbs
Soloist: Kirsty Abbotts
Saturday 27th October
Shipston Town Band may be a hundred years old but it is still bursting with life.
This celebration concert saw people from all over the country make the trip to enjoy a fine evening of music making with the organisation’s senior outfit joined by their Stour Concert Brass and Junior Band ensembles.
Former alumni Kirsty Abbotts was the guest soloist, whilst a trio of former conductors in Peter Stevens, David Williams and Dave Lea shared the baton with current MD Howard Gibbs.
The evening opened in stirring style with Kenneth Alford’s ‘The Middy’ which won the band many march prizes in the early 1960’s, before contrast was shown with the hymn tune ‘Colne’ and Eric Ball’s lovely ‘In Switzerland’ – another 1960’s contest winner.
Kirsty provided two contrasting solos with the thrilling, ‘Pandora’ and the beautiful ‘I Hear You Calling Me’, which gave her ample opportunity to display her beautiful sound so envied by many.
Michael Buble’s, ‘Haven’t Met You Yet’ provided a more modern feel before the baton passed to Peter Stevens who conducted the band in the 1970’s and 80’s for the evocative ‘All In The April Evening’.
David Williams led the band through a spirited rendition of the classic ‘Amparito Roca’ before the first half closed with Dave Lea leading sprightly version of ‘Seventeen Come Sunday’ from the Vaughn Williams, ‘English Folk Song Suite’.
The Junior Band contributed two items with conductors Tim Wilson and Charles Matthews sharing the baton for ‘La Bamba’ and ‘Mango Tango’, before the official opening to the second half began with Stour Concert Brass, the band’s non contesting arm, performing two items conducted by David Birch.
The cornet ensemble of Luke Barker, Ewan Parsons, Grace Coates, John Bosley and Megan Barker gave an upbeat feel to the Andrews Sisters hit, ‘Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree’, followed by the band’s young principal cornet Luke Barker delivering a lovely rendition of the theme from the film ‘Dancing with Wolves’.
The lively ‘Waltonian’ march brought the band back to the stage before Peter Stevens returned to conduct ‘All Through the Night’.
Guest Soloist Kirsty Abbotts displayed the full range of her talents with a fizzing ‘Hailstrom’ and the ever popular ‘You Raise Me Up’ before David Williams returned to direct the thrilling ‘Rondo’ from Malcolm Arnold’s ‘Little Suite For Brass’.
Solo Euphonium David Birch took centre stage for a fine performance ‘I Know Why’ before the band concluded their performance with ‘Valero’.
The concert concluded with the massed bands playing the march ‘The Chieftain’ and ‘Cowboys’, a composition of Band Chairman and compere Charlie Cox.
After the final notes rang out it was very noticeable that people were slow to leave the hall, and many hung around recalling memories of days gone by and perhaps recalling an extremely enjoyable concert which had passed all too quickly.
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