Our annual concert once again provided for many the ideal lead into Christmas celebrations. “A Musical Christmas” contained the usual balance of musical diversity from the band whilst two guest slots offered a variety of pace and dimension. This was followed by the playing and singing of a selection of Christmas carols and, with compere Nigel Ball thrown in, made an ideal afternoon’s entertainment.
Among the audience at the Woodmead Halls were guests, the Mayor and Mayoress of Lyme Regis, Councillor Owen Lovell and Christine Lovell. As the concert was again held on Sunday afternoon, it allowed residents and staff of the residential homes in the town to attend.
As usual there was a diversity of music with the band opening with “Jingle Bell Rock”, “Down Bourbon Street” (a selection of New Orleans jazz numbers) and a collection of songs from “Oliver”. Besides Christmas songs, there was also the haunting “Mood Indigo” and the reading of the story of “The Night Before Christmas” by our chairman Paul Snowball, accompanied by the band softly playing “In the Bleak Midwinter”.
The first guest spot involved five young cousins, Josie and Klara Smith, Edward and Sophie Rattenbury and Bethany Tattershall, who gave an accomplished and energetic display akin to a scene from “Calamity Jane” as they danced through “Jambalaya” and “Cotton Eye Joe”, complete with checked shirts, boots and straw cowboy hats with tinsel trim. In the audience was proud grandfather Phil, who used to play in the band.
The second guest spot featured local musician Julian Shaw who captivated the audience with a soothing, lyrical interlude as he accompanied himself on guitar singing Ralph McTell’s “Streets of London” and the more upbeat but lilting George Harrison classic “Here comes the Sun”. Nigel, besides keeping the concert moving along, also recited a couple of his own poems.
The band this year has been led by our Musical Director, Brian Scott, who took control of the baton in January. During the concert Brian was awarded for his dedication with The Gordon Broom Memorial Shield, as the Band Person of the Year, presented by Gordon’s son, Stuart Broom (pictured left, courtesy Ralph Herbert).
There followed a second presentation. Robert Poulton was surprised and delighted to receive a special award from Chairman, Paul Snowball (pictured right, courtesy Ralph Herbert). Robert is a great supporter of the band, and never misses a chance to collect on our behalf during the summer concerts on Marine Parade, as well as helping in so many ways. Our chairman Paul was full of praise for his dedication and commitment and nominated him a worthy winner of the award. Robert’s father Geoff is in the band, as is his sister, Catherine Lancaster. Robert, who is 28 and comes from Charmouth, attends practice every week and is learning to play percussion with the band. (This report is based on an article written by Stuart Broom, one of our guests mentioned above.)