In the morning a few members entertained shoppers in Kings Mall, Hammersmith with a selection of Christmas Carols, accompanied by some very enthusiastic toy soldiers, elves and of course Santa Claus himself! We performed 4 half hour slots and drew a good crowd for the Mall’s hourly prize draw, which even a couple of our members were lucky enough to win much to the bands delight…
In the evening it was time for the highly anticipated SOLD OUT Festive Brass concert in The Barn Church Kew where three London music organisations came together for an evening of Christmas music, carols, raffle, mulled wine and mince pies!
Family and friends were entertained upon arrival by two brass quartets from the Richmond Youth Brass Band which led into the Sapphire Brass (chamber group of the Richmond Music Trust Brass Band) opening the concert with an antiphonal Gabriele piece Canzon Septimi toni No. 2.
This led into the Fulham Brass Band conducted by Musical Director Simon Jones performing an eclectic set with Festive Overture by Shostakovich arranged by Antrobus, then the popular Troika by Prokofiev arranged by David Twitchings. The audience had their chance to participate next with the popular carol Once in Royal David’s City which was followed by a special solo: Jingle Bell Rock by Chaulk Wayne arranged by Frank Bernearts, where we were lucky enough to be joined by the talented young soloist William Bazalgette from the Richmond Youth Brass Band. The audience had another chance to participate with Silent Night which led into Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (arranged by Philip Sparke) which highlighted the band’s ability to sway in time with each other and featured Tetsuro Okamura on Trombone, Simon Gale on Flugal Horn and Heather Rowlands on Horn. We finished our set with the ambitious piece Vitae Aeternum by Paul Lovett Cooper which was enjoyed by all!
Next long time associate member of the band and ex-principal cornet Vickie Curran demonstarted that brass education is thriving in London with the Wider Opportunities Students from St. Mary’s who performed their version of Jingle Bells.
After everyone filled up on the delicious cakes and warmed up with mulled wine in the interval the second half kicked off with Richmond Music Trust Youth Brass Band conducted by Musical Director Vickie Curran and Assistant Conductor Simon Bull. The children and Young People performed a popular programme featuring the hymn Great Soul, music from The Lion King and The Snowman and a beautiful rendition of Irish Blessing.
The second half was completed by our friends from North-west London Regent Brass conducted by Musical Director Alan Duguid. Their programme featured the catchy Three Kings Swing which was followed by Bluebells of Scotland featuring the exceptional Fulham and Regent trombonist Tetsuro Okamura once more! The audience had their chance to sing again in Away in a Manger and Ding Dong Merrily on High and the band finished with the atmospheric Pie Jesu and exciting Gaudete.
The grand finale of the evening was the massed band performance of O Come all Ye Faithful, We wish you a merry Christmas and Jingle Bells where the church was literally filled with brass players from all three groups on stage and down the sides who came together with the audience to finish the night with a massed brass sing-song!
Fulham Brass Band would like to extend a special thank you to the Lady Mayoress of Richmond and Twickenham, Clare Head, for the provision of the venue. We will be making a contribution of a proportion of the profits to the Mayor’s chosen charity, which is the Citizens Advice Bureau. And finally – Many thanks to all who organised, the players who performed and the many friends and family who came to watch – it was a fantastic, memorable evening!