On 31st March Darent Valley Youth Music played at the Eynsford Easter Fair in aid of St Martin’s Church and the Ellenor Hospice. Despite it being half-term and the start of the Easter holidays, a good selection of over 30 players from Enterprise Band and Darent Valley Concert Band came together to play a selection of pieces largely from the American song book including (among others) a rousing rendition of The Thunderer (Philip Souza); The Preacher (Horace Silver); Mercy Mercy Mercy (Buddy Rich); King of the Road (Roger Miller); Georgy Girl (Tom Springfield); Waltz King Favourites (Strauss); Waltz Espana (Keith Bartlett); Latin Celebration (Tatgenhorst) and highlights from the musical “Fiddler on the Roof” (Jerry Bock). Although the music was intended to be incidental, the performances attracted a good deal of interest and were heartily well received …even busy traders taking time out to applaud and enjoy the music. For pictures of the event, click here.
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!