The Beaumaris Band and its collaborative ensembles provide the musical heart beat of the island of Anglesey.
Community values are the central core of their existence; its players, of all ages, underpinning the ethos through talent, commitment and boundless enthusiasm.
These traits were on show from the beginning of the concert as Fred Evans nurtured quality sounds from the organisation’s Beginner Band. Their engaging performance, to a near capacity audience, included Stuart Johnson classics such ‘Totem’ and ‘Russian Dance’ as he encouraged the youngsters to express their musicality.
The Intermediate Band conducted for the final time by Bethan Evans, followed.
Their set included pop and jazz standards from the likes of Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington and ABBA. Members of the audience tapped their feet and even sang along, with each piece getting a fine reception – a wonderful coda to the conductor’s tenure.
In popularity terms though it was the Last of the Summer Wind Band under the stewardship Fred Evans that stole the show – a band that fully encapsulated that ingrained community ethos.
Whilst their ages differed, the quality of their performance did not; three contrasting pieces that were clearly favourites with the players, ending with a stirring ‘Highland Cathedral’.
especially horn soloist Nia Wyn, and her rendition of ‘My Heart Will Go On’ – resplendently wearing a 5ft long, fully decorated cardboard model of the Titanic that was soaked by members of the band with water pistols and finally, a full jug of water.
Next up was Beaumaris Youth Band, an ensemble with a renowned reputation for quality.
Under Hefin Evans they showed just why, with an emphatic ‘Fanfare for a New Age’, a charismatic ‘Cornish Cavalier’ march, a contemplative ‘Day Thou Gavest’ and a finger-clicking, ‘Singing in the Rain’. The highlight though was ‘Manhattan Skyline’, played with bubbling energy.
The whole of the second half was taken up with a hugely entertaining nautical theme, brilliantly thought out and delivered under MD, Scott Lloyd.
The slapstick choreography that included a remote control shark balloon as well as a brace of drunken Vikings would have graced the Brass in Concert Championship; especially horn soloist Nia Wyn, and her rendition of ‘My Heart Will Go On’ – resplendently wearing a 5ft long, fully decorated cardboard model of the Titanic that was soaked by members of the band with water pistols and finally, a full jug of water.
Remarkably, she did not miss a single note.
Amid the fun various band awards were made - all further consolidating the impressive musical values that underpin the role of the band within its community.
It was a wonderful exhibition of a template for success others may do well to try and emulate.