Under Jezz Laing’s leadership, Phoenix Big Band began their lively programme with Born To Be Wild (Bonfire arr. Sweeney) followed by spirited performances of Summertime (Gershwin arr. Sweeney); Birdland (Zawinul arr. Laing); In the Mood (Glen Miller) and The Chicken (Jaco Pastorius). Congratulations to Adam, Callum and Matt who -at the eleventh hour and fifty-ninth minute- used all their musical talents to improvise throughout Birdland after their scores were accidentally mislaid.
Following a short break, Duncan Dwinell conducted Darent Valley Concert Band through probably their most ambitious programme to date including: Andalusia (Hugh M Stuart) featuring the talents of George on solo flugel horn; March -Folk Songs from Somerset (Ralph Vaughan Williams); Mars from the Planets Suite (Gustav Holst); Nimrod from Enigma Variations (Edward Elgar) starring our resident percussionist Peter on solo cello; and Danny Boy (traditional arr. Warren Barker). The whole concert was concluded with a rousing rendition of the magnificent Finale from Saint-Saens Symphony #3 (Camille Saint-Saens arr. Curnow) when we were privileged to be accompanied by Mr Alan Saunders on organ. Saint-Saëns said of his composition: “I gave everything to it I was able to give. What I have here accomplished, I will never achieve again”. The Concert Band will doubtless echo his sentiments. What a majestic and theatrical finale!