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Tilbury Band and London North East Fellowship Band

Celebration Concert
Conductors: David Stokes; Ken Hillson
Featuring: The Dedicated Divas
Hadleigh Temple
Saturday 27th April


Celebrating their centenary this year, the Tilbury Band presented this concert supported by the London North East Fellowship Band and the female vocal group The Dedicated Divas.

Tilbury got things off to a flying start with the march 'Manhattan', although the overall effect wasn't helped by some aggressive tuba playing. They followed with sections from Thomas Rives' 'A Pilgrim Song', variations set to the tune 'Monks Gate'. It was a well-judged account, but it was a pity to omit the central passacaglia.

Set out stall

The London North East Fellowship Band (LNEFB) set out their stall with a nicely paced 'Cairo Red Shield', before continuing with Gordon Langford's tasteful 'All Through the Night', although there were some intonation issues when the cornets joined in.

Tilbury lightened the mood with a colourful reading of 'Breezing down Broadway'; David Stokes demonstrating his control of the band as they responded to his clear direction.

The six singers of the Divas, together with their accomplished pianist, presented the Salvation Army songs 'Gone my Care' (possibly best known through Eric Ball's double quartet) and Ivor Bosanko's 'I'll Stand for Christ'. In between, a setting of 'Ave Maria' brought an oasis of calm.

Ken Hillson led the LNEFB in Roy Newsome's setting of 'Deep Harmony', followed by the cornet feature 'Heralds of Victory', notable for the clarity of the lower parts. Extracts from Mendelssohn's 'Italian Symphony' followed from Tilbury, with some particularly fine playing from the flugel and horns.

Tilbury lightened the mood with a colourful reading of 'Breezing down Broadway'; David Stokes demonstrating his control of the band as they responded to his clear direction.


They opened the second half with 'Birdland', which sounded a little rigid, after which LNEFB played the 'Farandole’ from ‘l'Arlesienne'.

The Divas' second slot consisted of 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy', complete with an accomplished cornet player, a poignant version of 'Feed the Birds', a humorous take on 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' before finishing with a scintillating account of 'The Rhythm of Life'.

Tilbury restored some calm with 'Westminster Waltz' before a majestic 'Triumphal March’ from ‘Aida' from LNEFB led into the massed bands for 'I'll Walk with God' and the march 'Praise'. The evening raised over £1,000 for Havens Hospices.

Peter Bale

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