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Aldbourne Band

Conductor: Glyn Williams
Immanuel United Reform Church
Swindon
Saturday 26th January


Aldbourne Band has given annual performances at this wonderful venue for the past 57 years (61 in total), so little surprise that a loyal and expectant audience made their way to enjoy the musical treats on offer. 

From the outset Glyn Williams led a confident band through a varied programme, ably supported by the Immanuel Church Choir, conducted by Geoff Gleed, who was also on fine form.

Warmth

John Williams’ ‘Star Wars Theme’, which certainly blew the winter cold away, quickly led into the sonorous warmth of his equally iconic ‘Born on the 4th of July’ and the contrast of Chick Corea’s, ‘La Fiesta’. 

Following the choirs opening spot, which included John Rutter’s touching ‘The Lord is My Sheppard’ and Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’, the band eased their way into a gorgeous rendition of Duke Ellington’s ‘Mood Indigo’, arranged so cleverly by Philip Harper, and his equally inventive take on the cartoon pleasures of ‘The Incredibles’ - played with verve and tenacity.

The first half concluded with Geoff Gleed, a very accomplished organist as well as choir master, leading the combined forces with the finale from Saint-Saens famous ‘Organ Symphony’, which brought the packed house to its feet.

The band upped the ante in return with Billy Joel’s ‘Goodnight My Angel’ which led into the Roald Dahl fantasy of ‘The World’s Greatest Storyteller’ featuring the amazing control of Mathew Dixon on euphonium.

Beatles

The half time tea and biscuits provided the light refreshment before a the band returned with the two Beatles numbers of ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ and ‘With a Little Help from my Friends’.

John Williams’ ‘Scherzo for Motorcycle & Orchestra’ whisked us to the choir’s second half set, which included a splendid ‘Aldbourne Band is Wonderful’ set to the tune of ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’.

The band upped the ante in return with Billy Joel’s ‘Goodnight My Angel’ which led into the Roald Dahl fantasy of ‘The World’s Greatest Storyteller’ featuring the amazing control of Mathew Dixon on euphonium.

The encore of Shostakovich’s ‘Folk Festival’ rounded off a very enjoyable evening from fine band that will surely add even more appearances at this venue in the years to come.

Ashley Jones

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