A full band of 29 players, together with Musical Director, Stewart Lewins, and supporters, left Pangbourne at 6.15 am on 26 August to begin its Parisian Concert Tour: the first time the Band had been abroad since the East German tour in August 2005. The next day, we visited Disneyland and played to a large crowd in the Videopolis Concert Hall as part of the Magic Music Days series. Sunday, the 28th, saw a tour of central Paris, with a bateau mouche trip along the Seine, or individual trips, such as to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame to take part in the annual celebration Mass for the Liberation of Paris in 1944. In the afternoon, we gave an outdoor concert in the fin de siecle bandstand of the Jardin du Luxembourg, with its superb acoustics, to several hundred people, as the conkers began falling from the chestnut trees.
Then we had a communal dinner in a nearby restaurant and a trip up the Eiffel Tower as dusk fell. For a few minutes, we saw the whole of Paris bathed in the rays of the setting sun. On our last full day, we were the guests of the Twinning Association of Houdan. We were met by their Chairman, Jaques Pflieger and his Committee, who treated us to a guided tour of the castle keep, the ancient houses (including a coaching inn, which boasted probably the world's first "drive-in takeaway window") and the Church of Ss John and Christopher, with its beautiful stained glass windows and Cliquot organ of 1739 - the oldest in France. We played to the residents of the Hospital in the afternoon and were then treated to a joint concert in the Salle des Fetes with the wind band of Houdan's Ecole de Musique and a party with delicious local food and drink. Then, regretfully, a bientot, because we had to leave the next morning to return to Pangbourne.
Our engagements for the rest of the summer included playing and manning a stall at Pangbourne Village Fete (11 June) - thank you all for supporting us. Then "Music for a Summer Sunday" in the garden of the Old Boot, Stanford Dingley (26 June), our summer showcase concert in the Forbury Gardens, Reading (10 July), the delightful setting of Sulham Fete(6 August) and playing in Victoria Park, Newbury (7 August). Our Autumn and winter programme is still tentative as I write, but we can confirm playing carols in Reading town centre on 14 December, at the Old Boot, Stanford Dingley on 22 December and in the foyer of Sainsbury's, Calcot from noon until 4 pm on Christmas Eve. We hope to see you in the Square and streets of Pangbourne just before Christmas. On 18 October, we have been invited to play at the annual event organised by the Greenham Common Trust, who have supported us generously with grants over the years.
The Band will hold its annual workshop for brass players at Englefield School on the weekend, 29-30 October, under the guidance of the renowned brass tutor and composer, Derek Broadbent.
Our Golden Jubilee year, 2012, will be celebrated with a grand concert and reunion evening in a local school, most probably on Saturday, 27 October. We shall be writing to invite all past players and supporters. Meanwhile, watch this space for details and do not hesitate to contact us for more information.
We have relaunched the Pangbourne Youth Band to cater for all who would like to make music - any age, ability or instrument and restyled it as The Pangbourne All-Comers' Band. It is meeting in the Village Hall on Wednesdays at 6.30 pm. Just turn up with your instrument or ask us to loan you a brass instrument.
Added by stewart October 9, 2011 (12:43PM)
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