We have enjoyed a full and rewarding outdoor summer programme, with every engagement in sunshine and no cancellations through rain - just one abrupt closure.
Bandstand concerts at the Victoria Gardens, Newbury (9 June) and the Forbury, Reading (28 July) were well attended and a chance to meet old friends in the audience. It was also a pleasure to play again for customers in the gardens of the Old Boot Inn, Stanford Dingley (30 June) and of the Elephant Hotel at the annual Beer Stampede (25 August). At Sulham Fete (3 August) in the grounds of the big House, children danced to the music and then rain suddenly fell as we finished our last tune, with no hope of an encore. Our last outside engagement was for Ufton Nervet's fete (31 August), held to raise money for their Charitable Trust to establish a cultural centre in St Peter's Church. We have been asked to return next year.
One of the Band's showcase events is its Autumn Concert. This year, it was as the Michaelmas Festival Concert at St Michael's RC Church in Sonning Common on 28 September. All proceeds (555 pounds) went to the Church's building fund. The Band greatly enjoyed the intimate atmosphere and rapport with the audience and will return for a carol concert on 8 December.
Last Christmastime, we played carols to patrons of the Volunteer Inn in Theale and, in return, we were asked to provide a small ensemble for their "Proms at the Pub" event for local groups on the evening of the Last Night of the Proms (7 September), to raise money for the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance and for Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue. We wrote special arrangements of Last Night favourites (ballads and martial music) for the eight players. None of them featured in the broadcast, so we were pleased to keep traditions alive.
The All-Comers' Band for learners and born-again musicians of all ages (currently 10-82), on any portable instrument, meets on Wednesdays in term time in the Village Hall, from 1830 -1945, before main Band practice. This is thriving, with 11 regular players, including flute, oboe, tenor sax and drums, besides a full complement of brass, under our Musical Director, Stewart Lewins. We play four-part arrangements of popular tunes. This summer, the All-Comers' played at the "Picnic in the Paddock" event, as part of Sonning Common Primary School's Centenary celebrations and then at Pangbourne's Hall of Sound evening on 26 July and will appear again early in the New Year.
As I write, we are getting ready for our Christmastide activities and look forward to meeting you. Your support for our licensed collections is greatly appreciated, as it is a very significant contribution to keeping us playing for your enjoyment. Our programme into the New Year is, so far:
Call Edmund Pike, our secretary, 0118 972 4249 for more information.
Added by stewart November 26, 2013 (11:07AM)
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