The weekend of the 18th/19th May was a busy one for the band, with an evening concert at Cobham Village Hall on the Saturday and a morning contest at the Hawth Theatre in Crawley on the Sunday.
The theme for the concert was ‘Music from the Med’ and featured music from that area although there were slight detours through Devon, Chicago and Moscow! Solos included cornets playing Bugler’s Holiday, flugel playing Concerto De Aranjuez and percussion playing Drummer’s Delight. A comic feature saw the trombones playing The Bold Gendarmes complete with policemen helmets and swigging from (empty) beer bottles!
The Entertainment Contest consisted of four pieces of music. Points are awarded for (amongst others) deportment, entertainment value, quality of playing and also whther the programme of music is completed within a certain timescale. We left with a prize – The Charles Bushell Memorial Trophy, for the Highest Unplaced 3rd Section band.
The band returned to the Menuhin Hall in Cobham for the annual Autumn Concert on the 10th of November. ‘A Journey Through Time’ was the theme, starting with The Essential Joseph (37 BC) and progressing through various items such as Hallelujah Chorus (0 BC), Alexander (356 AD), In Tudor Days (1485), Selections from Titanic (1912) and ending at Brooklyn (2003).
The guest soloist was Linden McKenzie on Trombone. Linden is a has appeared at many events and festivals around Europe such as Vienne Jazz Festival, Montreaux Jazz Festival, IOW Festival and many others.
As well as playing solo parts with the band, Linden demonstrated a technique of playing two notes at once (multiphonics) where one note is played and another ‘sung’ through the instrument. He then effectively played a duet by himself called ‘The Warrior Comes Out To Play’
The bandsman of the year award was presented to Wesley Johnson
An encore of Seventy-Six Trombones was played and while not quite featuring 76 trombone players, we did have 4 of the band’s trombonists, 3 of the band’s Eupononium and Baritone players playing valved trombones, Linden McKenzie and our conductor, Robin Langdon.
On Saturday 8th of September the band returned to the annual Last Night of The Proms in St Andrews Church, Cobham. The event is part of the Heritage Day celebrations in Cobham and provides the audience with an opportunity to wave the Union Flag and sing along to music such as Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory. Guest soloist was Olivia Safe, a superb soprano singer who can claim to be able to achieve the highest soprano voice in Britain. Olivia has performed at many events including with Robbie Williams for the BBC Electric Proms, Twickenham stadium for the EDF Rugby Final and at the Great Hall Of the People in Beijing.
The band usually plays twice on Heritage Day and today was no exception, with the band appearing at Walton Wharf in Walton on Thames during midday to support the event there.