As normal, we were able to introduce several new items into the programme which were enjoyed by the audience, and one particular march had been commissioned by one of the regular audience members at Womersley, and it was a delight to meet him, and everyone associated with the church as much as it was a delight to perform the piece for him.
As normal, the Judith Cooke and the other church followers put on a warm and welcome buffet for the members of the audience and the also the Band, for which we thank them dearly. It is always a pleasure to perform here, and it has started off our season in the best possible way.
Don and Steve, the pub owners, have been extremely delighted with the turnout out the previous events last year and requested a similar event to be performed in their pub this month. The Oompah band didn't let them down, and to a full audience in the pub, they put on a great show where the entertainment actually got better as the evening progressed, helped by a steady flow of beverage for both the band and the audience, even if the musical crispness was lost towards the end of the evening, adding hugely to the entertainment value. As has become tradition at these events held in the Jenny Wren, the owners even supplied a German Style buffet for everyone during one of the intervals.
If you would like to come along and join all the fun and entertainment, then the next event being held is in August. See our Future events page for more details.
As the band prepared for the performance, the audience arrived, and it was made up of quite a lot of children form the school who came along with their folks. As the concert progressed, the natural school teacher talents inside Graham shone through, as he got the children so involved between pieces of music. He introduced each section of the band and got us to show them our instruments. Each time, an instrument was brought forward and several of the children were allowed to have a go each time and try to make a noise. As each child managed to do so, a big round of applause came from the audience and band members alike.
Everyone enjoyed not only the music, but the involvement of the children. We have heard that nearly every one of the children there that evening have now asked to join the school band to play a brass instrument, which reflects the comments of the headmistress on the night itself, when she said the Band ought to take this type of "educational" concert to other schools in the area, as she was so delighted as to what the Band had brought to the school, far more than just a concert of music. Something we would like to do, except that many members have to work during school times, making this not practical.
Everything went according to plan, and I believe everyone there enjoyed the whole occasion of which we were pleased to have been a small part. We wish the Carole and Mark every happiness in their new life together as man and wife.
The weather was fantastic for such an outdoor event and we even decided that jackets would be too hot. This year we were performing as one of the events as part of a full gala day, with lots of stalls, bouncy castles, entertainers, birds of prey displays and more. So there were already plenty of people in the area for the gala, and many of them took some time out of their day there, to sit and listen to us perform. It was a lovely day in lovely weather and we all had a great time performing in this beautiful band stand.
We played a range of musical styles of pieces throughout the day, from 11:30am to 3:00pm, which included a couple of well earned breaks.
During the second interval, the mayor came over to us and said how much he enjoyed our style of music and how he would have liked to have listened to more, except that they had several other duties to perform that day. However, he has already asked us to return for a similar event next year.
At one point the whole carnival was close to being cancelled due to lack of floats and support for the event. But thanks to late entries by such as two local Asda Stores, the event went ahead as planned. So there were plenty of floats and entertainers in the procession as we marched around the village on this very hot and sunny day. It was great to see so many people lining the route, cheering everyone on as they marched passed. The break at a local hostelries half way round was very welcome, as was the cooling water from children with water pistols on several of the floats as they sprayed people going by. The processions ended in the playing fields were there were plenty more stalls of food, gifts, games and more going on to entertain the people. Let's hope this event continues to get the support it needs to survive, as it will be a shame to loose yet another village event, in the same way as many other events throughout the country have died away.
Some photographs from this event can be found on our gallery pages.
As usual, the concert provided more than just the band playing, and there was some lovely singing from Karen and Emma during our forties section where many of the audience joined in, and percussion instruments were handed out to many of the children so they could play along with the band to several pieces. The Oompah Band once again provided great hilarity and enjoyment with just a few items from their repertoire, and this was made all the more hilarious as Steve, the front man, was rapidly loosing his voice, to everyone's amusment.
The feedback from the people as they left was probably the best we have had in years, as they all seemed to enjoy the show show much, and this has continued after with several people contacting the band at a later time to say how much it was enjoyed.
Set up at the front of the church, we were in full view of the congregation and well placed to witness the ceremony itself. We performed some pieces as their guests arrived and then with tears of joy in his eyes and almost overcome with emotion, the groom took his new wife, with the church organ leading the hymns. During the signing of the register, we again entertained with more music, even receiving a round of applause; not common for such events. Everyone in the Band would all like to wish the couple all the happiness in their new life together.
And what a great evening it turned out to be. We had arranged for a full evening of forties style entertainment, which not included the Main band performing a lot of music from the period, but Kathryn also sang several lovely songs accompanied by her brother, Paul on the keyboard. Then Martin and Simon Coates, along with Kathryn and Paul again, performed in public for the first time as a new band. So new, they hadn't even got around to giving themselves a name at the time! Along with singing and music, we had puzzles and word-searches based on forties questions, and there would even have been a quiz if the questions and answers hadn't been forgotten! During the interval we served "tea and cakes," again quite traditional for the period, whilst forties music was played in the background for people to dance to.
Many of the Band and audience dressed in forties costume which added greatly to the event, and we believe we have a full and workable package to offer, for anyone or any group after an all-round evening of forties entertainment!
Most of the Band had never stepped inside a prison complex before, so this was something of a new experience to us all. However, despite the obvious security precautions, and many locked gates to have to pass through, the process was far from overwhelming, and even the younger Band members did not find anything too arduous. In fact the staff could not have been more friendly and helpful.
We set up inside the chapel as the inmates began to arrive, and on-queue, Graham introduced the pieces in turn as we gave them a tour of how Brass music has evolved over the many years it has been in existence, from early formal marches, through Jazz and films, to modern Rock & Pop. A superb solo by Russell Simpson, which he performed for the first time in public, was very well received by audience and Band members alike, and Russell seemed to have made good friends of some of the inmates, who joyfully called out his name in between pieces after that point.
It was quite hard work for the Band, due to the limited time we had available, we put in a lot of music in a very short time. But everyone there seemed to leave very happily, and the staff invited us for well earned refreshments after we had packed up, when they too expressed their grateful thanks for an enjoyable evening.
So we hope they all enjoyed their concert as much as we enjoyed the experience of being inside a prison complex.
The characteristics of the hall initially made out music seem intense, but we quickly adjusted and put on a fine performance for the group. As several band members are in, or have been members of HCDG, the interval was a friendly time, full of people catching up with old friends. HCDG members had put on a wonderful buffet for audience and Band alike, which was very well received by all. Even the hungry members of the band couldn't polish off all the food available!
This years concert was, entitled "A Time To Celebrate" and contained many pieces from our brand new festive CD of the same name. The CD went on sale at this concert and was very popular with the audiance after they heard the wonderful music at the concert itself.
As well as the main band, there was plenty of variety in the form of the popular Bratwursts Oompah Band and a performance from an excellent splinter group of the Band who only got together earlier in year. The concert alsoincluded all the usual opportunities to join in the fun and singing which have become popular with our own Christmas Concerts over recent years.