Aldbourne Band

Conductor: Kevin Smith
The Ellis Theatre
Marlborough College Summer School
Thursday 1st August

Aldbourne warmed up impressively in preparation for their British Open title assault in a few weeks time with an excellent concert on what was their second appearance at the annual Marlborough College Summer School.

From the outset guest conductor Kevin Smith, who stepped in for MD Glyn Williams, led a confident band through a varied audience friendly programme.

Breakneck speed

The spectacular opener, ‘Blackbird Special’ roared at breakneck speed into an ‘Armenian Fire Dance’ which had the enthusiastic audience gasping for breath.

Contrast came with the sumptuous soprano playing of Paul Bilkey’s of Stijn Roels’ expressive ‘Lyrica’, followed by the entire cornet section joining him for a lively rendition of Alan Fernie’s ‘Mexican Holiday’.

Following a slick account of Kenneth Alford’s ‘Army of the Nile’ the band showed the warmth of their tonal quality with the beautiful arrangement of Kenneth Downie’s ‘Myfanwy’ whilst the trip to Spain with a rousing rendition of Emile Waldteufel’s ‘Espana’ led into the silky playing of Rob Marsh on ‘Every Time We Say Goodbye’.

Music from ‘Batman’ brought the audience a cracking filmatic taste of a true Hollywood blockbuster with the shimmering cornet sounds of Willian Himes’ arrangement of ‘Amazing Grace’ offering a fine counterbalance.


Music from ‘Batman’ brought the audience a cracking filmatic taste of a true Hollywood blockbuster with the shimmering cornet sounds of Willian Himes’ arrangement of ‘Amazing Grace’ offering a fine counterbalance.

A super arrangement of Gershwin’s ‘Porgy and Bess’ featured the controlled euphonium sounds of Matt Dixon, before the concert was brought to an end with the Salvation Army quick march ‘Jubilee’.

Ashley Jones

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