Saturday 8th April saw both the Senior Band and the B-Band put on a great show in Bletchington Village Hall. The warm weather brought out new as well as familiar supporters to hear a varied programme of brass band standards, like ‘True and Trusty’, favourite show-tunes, like ‘Big Spender’ and challenging classics, like Rimsky-Korsakof’s ‘Cortège from Mlada’. We were also treated to three special solo performances, with Bridget Owen on soprano performing ‘Drink to me only’, Mik Barwick on cornet for Mungo Jerry’s ‘In the Summertime’ and Rory Gratwohl on euphonium for ‘She moved through the fair’.
After dedicating much of our rehearsal time to preparing for the Area Contest in March, the band had had a very busy fortnight preparing intensively for the concert. Inspired by the sight of Musical Director, Sheldon Barwick’s matching orange shirt and shoes, the band produced a really confident performance on the night, and finished with a high-speed encore of the Russian folk-tune ‘Kalinka’. Although missing Ed Pick on trombone and Anna Hopkin on Eb bass (both abroad on school trips), the band had worked hard to fill any gaps in the overall sound, and we were especially lucky to have the support of former BSB member, Jack Walter, who stepped at short notice on BBb bass.
The concert also saw the first official performance of the Bletchington B-Band. After 20 years as the Training Band, our growing group of learners and improver players has recently changed name after the foundation of a new beginners’ training band under Tony Saunders. The B-Band played a very accomplished set of rock classics – ‘Living on a Prayer’, ‘Smoke on the Water’, and ‘The Final Countdown’ – showcasing confident rhythms and impressive stamina. Regular supporters of BSB will have seen for themselves the B-band’s rapid progress under the directorship of Mik Barwick, supported by parents and Senior Band members. The introduction of a third band shows the strength of our learner’ programme. Several members of our Senior Band are products of the Training/B-Band, among them Megan Raffell, recently promoted to 1st cornet and making her debut in her new seat at the Spring concert.
BSB is reliant on the financial support and goodwill of many people, and we were lucky on both counts at the Spring concert. Especial thanks go to Rich Hartwell, Jane White, Hannah Cornwell, and our President, Mrs Irene Barwick, for their evening’s work overseeing refreshment, tickets and the raffle. We’re also grateful to all the people who came to hear us. It wouldn’t be a concert without an audience!
The Senior Band’s next public appearance will be the Longwick Fete on 29th April, while the B-Band will be taking part in the national Brass Fest UK, with a free event at the Village Hall on 9th July. You can learn more about these events keep up-to-date with our engagements through the ‘Engagements’ tab above, through our Facebook page, or by following us on Twitter @BletchBand. For more photos click here.
Jane Masseglia 2017