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The day was bright, but cold and with a keen wind. The temperature was low enough to encourage hats and gloves as the band huddled into the band stand. The carefully chosen programme started with solemn, quiet music such as Hymn to the Fallen by John Williams from Saving Private Ryan and Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by Ralph Vaughan Williams. People hurrying to the Carillon stopped to listen and, when we played Elgar’s Nimrod, broke into applause.
The band did not play throughout the service which as ever included the iconic dispersal of the poppies from the Carillon, but brightened the mood by playing march tunes as people were leaving.
Such marches as Holyrood and Army of the Nile both by Kenneth Alford, put a spring in the step of the congregation as they hastened home to warm up.
This concert took place on Saturday 7th October 2017 in Hodson Hall, Loughborough Grammar School.
Those taking part were:
Loughborough Male Voice Choir
Loughborough Concert Band
A large audience of music lovers gathered in the lovely setting of Hodson Hall for a full and varied programme that included solo singers and choral performances. And the Loughborough Concert Band sitting quietly on the stage as they waited for their turn!
Eddie Pearson, the band’s travelling compere, was there allowing Dave to concentrate on the performance and the band to get their breath back between pieces. They opened with Voice of the Guns and moved to Bond…James Bond. The first half ended with a joint performance of Gwahoddiad, arranged by Dave Coble. This included a real treat as previous members of the choir were invited to sing and the sound was fabulous.
In the second half the band played The Flintstones and Ashokan Farewell and followed it by accompanying Caroline Sharpe as she sang I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables. The whole concert was ended by a performance of The World in Union, again arranged by Dave Coble, which included all performers, singers or instrumentalists alike.
The whole evening was held in aid of Rainbows and raised nearly £2000.
This concert was held to raise funds for Shepshed Food Bank. As Glennis Wilcox, Chair of the Food Bank Committee told the audience, when the Food Bank was started in 2013 twenty-five – thirty parcels a month were distributed. In 2017 the need has increased to thirty-thirty-five parcels per week, so the concert helped raise much needed funds. The evening raised over £500 and the audience really appreciated the programme.
The evening’s entertainment was shared between Loughborough Concert Band and the Caroline Sharp Singers (with some talented band members performing with both groups.) The singers took the audience through a musical smorgasbord of treats with songs ranging from The Kings Ballad attributed to King Henry Vlll and a song from the musical A Chorus Line, to Tell Me it’s Not True from Blood Brothers and a marvellous arrangement of Billy Joel’s For the Longest Time.
The band played a typically varied programme that started with Voice of the Guns and a medley of tunes from The Phantom of the Opera, Over the Rainbow and Bond…James Bond (which included an impromptu competition to see who could spot the most Bond tunes with the piece) and finished the first half with Wagner’s Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral.
The second half of the programme included pieces where the two ensembles performed together: In a Monastery Garden was enhanced by the singers and The Floral Dance gave the audience a chance to flex their vocal muscles as the words were printed on screens for all to see.
It was an enjoyable and lively evening that was held for a cause close to people’s hearts in a beautiful venue.
Sunday 20th August 2017.
Loughborough Concert Band play at Stratford.
For the second year the Band was invited to play in Stratford upon Avon bandstand. This year the weather stayed fine until we had finished playing which meant our audience was able to relax as they listened.
The varied programme included Share my Yoke with the solo played by Keven Massey on trumpet. Another solo spot, performed by Zoe Felton on Romance from The Gadfly, had a moment’s high drama when Zoe faced the hazards of playing outdoors as the breeze tipped her music. As a true performer, she kept playing…
Other pieces included Amparito Roca and In a Monastery Garden, which featured the band singing … in Latin!
Saturday 2nd September 2017.
Concert at All Saint’s Church, Anstey Lane, Thurcaston.
Compered by Eddie Pearson who kept the audience and band well informed thanks to his research in to the musical pieces, the band played a programme that touched a wide range of musical genre. This included what has been described as the worst tune in the world (MacArthur Park) and an alleged band favourite, Wagner’s Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral.
The audience was very enthusiastic and called for an encore of The Floral Dance. All funds went to the Anstey Churches.
Queen’s Park in Loughborough was opened in June 1899 to celebrate the Diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria. Over a century later, Loughborough Concert Band played to provide free entertainment for the public.
The varied programme consisted of classic pieces such as Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba and Ron Goodwin’s stirring Tall Ships as well as modern pieces such as Oklahoma! by Rodgers and Hammerstein. As the Scottish strains of Braveheart, by James Horner, rang out through the park the heaven’s opened and tested the enthusiasm of the music loving listeners. But with true British stoicism, they retreated to the trees and clapped with even more enthusiasm to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.
Zoe Felton took solo spot in Romance from The Gadfly, by Shostakovich and Kevin Massey performed a solo in the beautiful Share My Yoke, written by Ivor Bosanko.
A typical English afternoon of sunshine and showers ended with An American Trilogy arranged by Geoff Roberts.
An audience of music lovers flocked to All Saints Church Thorpe Acre to hear a concert in aid of Lions Charities. Amongst the audience were Mayor and Mayoress of Charnwood, Councillor Pauline Ransom and her consort, husband Trevor, and Lion President Ann Parsons. MP Nicky Morgan, having been called urgently to London, following the general election, sent apologies. Members of the John Storer House blind group were transported to the concert by Lions members.
The concert was set to include last night of the proms favourites but the programme that lead up to this included many pieces that were enthusiastically received. Amongst these, Oklahoma! had toes tapping and was given a rousing round of applause. And who knows, perhaps people sang along quietly to such numbers as Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ and The Surrey with a Fringe on Top!
Stand out pieces from the programme included Share My Yoke featuring Kevin Massey on trumpet, Romance from The Gadfly featuring Wendy Miller on alto saxophone (like a clarinet but more bendy as compere, Eddie Pearson informed the audience,) and the Theme from Schindler’s List with solos taken by Zoe Felton on alto saxophone, Paula Gardner on oboe and Yvonne Renouf on flute.
The culmination of the evening, however, was The Fantasia on British Sea Songs, Jerusalem and Pomp and Circumstance. The audience sang their hearts out, waved their flags and stamped their feet. At the end of a week of political upheaval, it was just what they needed!
This concert was performed as part of the Nanpantan Arts Festival, on Thursday 10th May 2017. The festival included many different acts and, on the Thursday night, us!
The venue was Holywell Primary School, the old stamping ground for several band members, which brought back a few fond memories.
For this concert we were lucky enough to be compered by Pat Rozycka. Pat usually plays clarinet for the band but sadly broke her collar bone in an accident and was unable to play. However, we gained by her unfortunate event as she regaled the audience with the background of the pieces we played. When introducing Thunderbirds she did a countdown from 5, very familiar to those of us of a certain age who were avid fans! She also told us the given name of Lady Penelope’s chauffeur Parker, (Aloysius) - very useful information for a pub quiz.
The hall was filled with an audience of all ages who thoroughly appreciated the programme of popular tunes. At the end of Tall Ships one audience member as heard to exclaim “Wow!” but the best comment, to Pat from a Scottish lady, was how much she enjoyed Braveheart! It was pleasing to get such positive feedback from an audience who clearly enjoys music enough to stage a week of events.
Saturday 6th May 2017.
A group of us visited Birmingham Town Hall to attend a concert by Mnozil Brass. We met at The Peacock Inn, Kings Norton, for a meal together and then took the roller-coaster that is the Birmingham road system into the city centre. At least two of us in the car were glad not to be driving and we were all glad to follow Ian’s lead!
Birmingham Town Hall made a lovely venue and the band came out to entertain us for over two hours. For over two hours (apart from the interval) they never stopped playing and performing. How they keep going is the question. As well as their superb musicianship they used mime, movement and magic to paint sound pictures. One which brought memories flooding back when they used mime and music to illustrate an old record player stuck on the record, as these things used to do. Perhaps not one for those under 20! The evening culminated in Lonely Boy, a real team effort with one band member playing two trombones and two trumpets with both feet and both hands. And, at one point.no chair! You really had to see it to believe it!
Many thanks to Ian for organising such a great experience for us.
If, like me, you thought Amparito Roca (The Sheltered Cliff) might have a romantic history, I’m sorry to disabuse you.
Amparito Roca was composed in 1925 by Spanish musician and composer Jaime Teixidor (1884–1957) who named it after one of his piano students, then 12-year-old Amparito Roca (1905–1977).
It was first performed in September 1925 in the theater El Siglo in the town of Carlet where the composer lived at the time. It is a pasodoble and one of the better known pieces of Spanish music around the world.
Jaime (Jaume) Teixidor (or Texidor) was born in Barcelona, Spain, on April 16, 1884, and died in Baracaldo, Spain, on February 23, 1957. He was a Spanish musician, conductor, publisher, and composer.
After studying composition and conducting in Barcelona, he joined the army in 1906 as a musician, playing the saxophone. He became the director of the 68th “Africa” Regiment Band (Banda Música Del Regimiento 68) in the autonomous Spanish city of Melilla on the Moroccan coast. He retired from military service in 1920 after thirteen years with this band.
In 1924, he directed the Banda de Musica Primitiva in Carlet and also taught piano and violin. He resided in Carlet for only a couple of years and then moved to Manises, Valencia, to lead the Banda del Círculo Instructivo Musical. In 1928, he won a competition to direct the municipal band of Baracaldo which he did until the end of his life. One source indicates he gave up the direction of the band for political reasons during the Spanish Civil War. In Baracaldo, he also set up a music publishing firm, which published his own compositions and also the work of others.
He composed over 500 works. These include marches and pasodobles as well as boleros, foxtrots, jotas, sambas, tangos, schottisches, and waltzes for band.
And just look what instrument he played!
Saturday 4th March 2017
Passion Concert, St Botolph’s Church, Shepshed.
This annual event is held to support Passion, the youth space in Shepshed that was the vision of the local Churches’ Together. This year the concert was honoured to have in the audience the Bishop of Leicester, Martyn Snow and his wife, the Mayor and Mayoress of Charnwood, Lord and Lady Crawshaw, the Chair of the Town Council, Claire Poole, and the local MP, Nicky Morgan. The programme for the evening included not only contributions from the Band but also choirs from different churches, so it was a full evening.
The title of the evening was The Magic of Music and the band’s programme featured film tunes and – in one notable case – a nostalgic reminder of a children’s favourite – Thunderbirds. Superman, James Bond and The Pirates of the Caribbean made up the first part of the evening. We joined the children of St Botolph’s School and the young people from Passion in Highlights from Oliver! The second half of the evening opened with the evocative Braveheart, stirring feelings of clansmen running across the glen. We continued the Scottish theme with Highland Cathedral.
St Botolph’s Church Choir, resplendent in bright summer clothing, sang a selection of songs from Summer Holiday, with members of the band singing quietly along. The Methodist Church Choir sang songs from the 1970s and ‘80s including Bridge over Troubled Water and Morning has Broken. The Baptist Choir sang a selection from Mary Poppins, again used by the band as a discreet sing-along.
The whole evening was ended by music of Last Night of the Proms: Fantasia on British Sea Songs, Jerusalem and Pomp and Circumstance.
The band was assisted by deps Paul Hillyer and Gary Newton and solos were performed by Kevin Massey, Paula Gardner, Wendy Miller and Zoë Felton. As always, St Botolph’s congregation proved the perfect host to the band, ensuring we were well looked after.
December 2016 was a busy month for the band. There were a number of playing opportunities and small groups formed to take advantage of this.
Shepshed Community Nativity
This lovely event called on reed players to play carols and some Christmas music to a packed church. The spirit of Christmas was evoked in a tale written by a member of the cast.
Loughborough Baptist Church,
A flute group and brass group played for the Loughborough Baptist Caroling Christmas event. Both sounded wonderful and very Christmassy!
Whole band concert in Loughborough Carillon in aid of Shepshed
First Responders. They collected a total of £274.60 and felt it was well worth the effort.
Whiteacres Care Home.
This event was arranged by one of our clarinet players. A small group played Carols and Christmas music for the residents of Whiteacres. The playing was very much appreciated by the audience and homemade mince pies added to the seasonal cheer.
A small group of band members played carols for Loughborough Lions whilst they accepted donation from the public.
Loughborough Lions dinner at Longcliffe golf club.
A group of band members played carols for the diners to sing to. They were rewarded with chips and chocolate but presumably not together! However the playing at the Carillon and at Longcliffe elicited a very grateful response from the Lions for enhancing their events.
Christmas Concert at St Botolph’s Church Shepshed.
Whole band concert with Serenade, St Botolphs Church Shepshed. This annual - and very enjoyable - concert at St Botolphs was held in the presence of Nicky Morgan MP and other local dignitaries. A programme of carols and Christmas music was interspersed by the singing of local choir Serenade. In true St Botolph’s style, there was no admission charge, but audience members were encouraged to pay to leave and this raised £680.
During the evening Ian Wallis presented Dave Coble (Musical Director) with a hamper on behalf of band members in recognition of his hard work and unfailing encouragement.
Such a packed month enabled the band to help raise money for many local charities. It was also lovely to play this music and rewarding to know that people – either sitting in an audience or passing a collecting bucket – felt we were enhancing their Christmas.
Johann Christoph Denner is generally believed to have invented the clarinet in Germany around the year 1700 by adding a register key to the earlier chalumeau. Over time, additional keywork and airtight pads were added to improve the tone and playability.
The word clarinet may have entered the English language via the French clarinette (the feminine diminutive of Old French clarin or clarion), or from Provençal clarin, "oboe". It would seem however that its real roots are to be found amongst some of the various names for trumpets used around the renaissance and baroque eras. Clarion, clarin and the Italian clarino are all derived from the medieval term claro which referred to an early form of trumpet. This is probably the origin of the Italian clarinetto, itself a diminutive of clarino, and consequently of the European equivalents such as clarinette in French or the German Klarinette. According to Johann Gottfried Walther, writing in 1732, the reason for the name is that "it sounded from far off not unlike a trumpet". The English form clarinet is found as early as 1733, and the now-archaic clarionet appears from 1784 until the early years of the 20th century.
While the similarity in sound between the earliest clarinets and the trumpet may hold a clue to its name, other factors may have been involved. During the late baroque era, composers such as Bach and Handel were making new demands on the skills of their trumpeters, who were often required to play difficult melodic passages in the high, or as it came to be called, clarion register. Since the trumpets of this time had no valves or pistons, melodic passages would often require the use of the highest part of the trumpet's range, where the harmonics were close enough together to produce scales of adjacent notes as opposed to the gapped scales or arpeggios of the lower register. The trumpet parts that required this speciality were known by the term clarino and this in turn came to apply to the musicians themselves. It is probable that the term clarinet may stem from the diminutive version of the 'clarion' or 'clarino' and it has been suggested that clarino players may have helped themselves out by playing particularly difficult passages on these newly developed "mock trumpets".
These days the most popular clarinet is the B♭ clarinet. However, the clarinet in A, just a semitone lower, is commonly used in orchestral music. Since the middle of the 19th century the bass clarinet (nowadays invariably in B♭ but with extra keys to extend the register down a few notes) has become an essential addition to the orchestra. The clarinet family ranges from the (extremely rare) BBB♭ octo-contrabass to the A♭ piccolo clarinet. The clarinet has proved to be an exceptionally flexible instrument, equally at home in the classical repertoire as in concert bands, military bands, marching bands, klezmer, and jazz.
LCB at St Botolph's Church, Shepshed