St. Sebastian Wokingham Band’s annual concert in aid of the Mayor of Wokingham’s charity took place this year at the newly-opened Whitty Theatre at Luckley School. The evening, which was the 10th anniversary of the annual concert, was a little different than usual, as this year it was organised by the Town Mayor, Cllr Gwynneth Hewetson, and we shared the concert with some of her chosen local acts.
Saints opened our set with the premiere of a brand new composition commissioned in honour of the town – The Wokingham March. This was composed by our cornet player and bandmaster, Steve Block, and is based on The Wokingham Song by Roy Lillington. The piece went down extremely well with the audience and afterwards The Mayor was presented with a special memento in honour of the premiere of the piece and the 10th anniversary of the concert, which is now displayed in the Town Hall!
After this presentation, the Bandsman of the Year was announced, which is voted for by band members and given to the member that has contributed the most to the running of the band in the past year. The very-deserving winner this year was our band librarian, and part-time quartermaster, Siân Moorhouse. Siân also received a long-term service award for her 5 years with the band, and a special award was given to Bill Martyn for his amazing 45 years’ service with the band.
Following the awards, our MD, Nigel Howard gave the audience a brief introduction to the film Brassed Off, which had been requested by the Mayor as a theme for the concert, before the band played several pieces from the film. The first piece we played was a Flugel Horn solo, featuring Damon Emes; Rodrigo’s Adagio from Concierto de Aranjuez (famously referred to as Concierto d’Orange Juice in the film). This was followed by Clog Dance and Danny Boy, before finishing with a breathtaking rendition of the William Tell Overture.
The concert was a huge success, and some fantastic feedback has been received. Of course the night was not just ours, and the success is shared with our fellow performers the Wokingham Choral Society, Jaxannah, When We Speak and The Hula Monkeys.
Saints are now looking forward to our next public engagements – our annual marches in Wargrave and Wokingham for Remembrance Sunday on 13 November. We are also busy in December with carolling, and our Christmas Concert this year is on Thursday 15 December at the Wokingham Theatre, in aid of the Wokingham Cancer Care Trust.