Passion, pop and patriotism at gala

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ARBROATH Instrumental Band played to a large and appreciative audience during their gala concert last week.

On Friday, at St Andrew’s Church, the band opened the programme with the appropriately titled ‘Olympic Fanfare and Theme’ by John Williams.

Matthew Bicket, minister at Carnoustie Panbride Church, served as master of ceremonies and he set exactly the right tone with his humorous asides.

The first half took on a patriotic flavour in keeping with the recent Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen and Team GB’s success at the Olympics and Paralympics.

Following this the music took on a nautical feel with Gordon Langford’s arrangement of ‘Fantasy on British Sea Songs’.

Lyrical playing set the stage for the Sailor’s Hornpipe finale, the blistering tempo no obstacle for the cornet section’s intricate fingerwork.

One of the many highlights of the evening was the performance of Benedictus from Karl Jenkin’s mass for peace, The Armed Man.

To round off the first half of the concert the band played the famous Edward Elgar march Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1.

Ann Ness picked up the baton to conduct the Arbroath Instrumental Youth Band for the second half.

It also included an arrangement by former band member Christopher Robertson of ‘Pencil full of lead’ by Paolo Nutini and the James Brown classic ‘I feel good’.

The youth section finished off their mini set with a Robbie Williams double feature of ‘She’s the one’ and ‘Let me entertain you’.

Retaking the stage, the senior band continued with ‘Academic Festival Fanfare’ their tribute to Brahms.

As a contrast, the band played the recently finished and as yet unpublished movement of composer Dan Price’s ‘The Sea of Serenity’, in tribute to the recent passing of Neil Armstrong.

The technically demanding xylophone piece ‘Czardas’ was tackled with great skill and dexterity and the band finished their programme, with a medley of the 10 most popular hymns as voted for by ‘Songs of Praise’ listeners, woven into a lovely arrangement by Goff Richards named ‘Hymns of Praise’.

Band president Jeff Smart gave the vote of thanks and the concert ended with a very patriotic Scottish medley entitled ‘Skirl’.