The Saint Sebastian Wokingham Band recently held their annual Gala Concert, which also saw the presentation of their annual player awards.
Following the rousing march ‘Ravenswood’ the band continued in usual style with the overture from ‘The Marriage of Figaro’. Following an earlier panic where repiano cornet Maria Lacey had to go back home to pick up her forgotten music and returning literally as the band were taking the stage, Maria along with identical twin Sally, flawlessly performed ‘the Flower Duet’ from Lakme.
Continuing with opera but this time form Italy, the band played Alan Fernie’s ‘Italian Fantasy’ a selection of popular themes including Funiculì, Funiculà, Nessun Dorma, O’ Sole Mio and Grand march from Aida. Concluding the first half, was the descriptive music from Karl Jenkin’s ‘The Armed Man’.
Following a short interval, the band started the second half with Hogarth Lear whirlwind of ‘Pel Mel’. In memory of the recent passing of Graham Woodward who was avid follower and close friend of the band not to mention Father of our MD Lee, the Band played Elgar’s Nimrod. Resetting the mood, the band played the Ray Woodfield portrait of circus life ‘Russian Circus Music’ with sections depicting the tumbling acrobats, scary bears and elephants and not forgetting the clowns.
Providing a short rest for the band, it was time to announce this year’s players awards.
The Bandsman of the year award is given for an individual’s service towards the running of the band, and this year was presented to the Band’s Chairman Paul MacNeill.
The next was for the light hearted ‘Facebook player of the Year’. Following all rehearsals, MD Lee Woodward votes for the player or section he believes to have played the best throughout the rehearsal. This year, Solo horn Jen Butchers was the worthy winner of this coveted award.
Finally, the Musician of the year. This year was presented to Wayne Filer on soprano cornet because of his “consistently high standard of playing at rehearsals, concerts and at contests”
Demonstrating one the reasons why he was voted Musician of the year and under extreme pressure, Wayne took the stage and performed Paul Duffy’s jazzy ‘Oh When the Saints’.
The Band then continued with the ever popular Last Night of the Proms including Fantasia on British Sea Songs, the hymn ‘Jerusalem’ and ending in style with Pomp & Circumstance March No. 1.
“I’m so Proud of Saint’s. It’s been a good year contest-wise, a respectful result at the Areas and a win at the SCABA entertainment contest. All of our concerts have been great; I purposely put out challenging music but the band take it in their stride and play it to a high standard. I’m blessed to have a committed band with great players all around the stand. Thank you to everyone and keep up the good work.” MD Lee Woodward.