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Category: NEWS Published on Saturday, 02 September 2017

The Springs – August Bank Holiday


August 27th 2017, something really strange happened!!!!!!!!

England had a sunny Bank Holiday Monday!

The band played at our now annual ‘Proms in the Park Concert’ at The Springs Holiday Home Park near Pershore. What a magnificent place to be on a beautiful hot sunny day, the site with its lakes & lawns was a picture. People who have a holiday home there can count themselves very lucky to be in such picturesque surrounding.

With Jacob at the helm the band treated the sun drenched audience to a first half of light concert music. The audience seemed to enjoy our playing and sat appreciating the music whilst looking for shade. (It really was that hot & sunny!)

The band were looking forward to the interval as it was rather hot playing & the staff at The Springs  did us proud with cold drinks, tea, coffee & cakes!!

It was the second half that really mattered & people came for as this was the patriotic bit of flag waving & audience singing. The band warmed up with an exciting modern piece called ‘Starburst’ by Dan Price, a local lad. Then we warmed up the audiences vocal chords with some ‘Good Old Songs’. 

Then it was Proms music proper starting with ‘Jerusalem’. The words of the hymn “England’s green & pleasant land” seemed so appropriate considering the surroundings. 

‘British Sea Songs’ came next. This piece contains the ‘Sailors Hornpipe’ where it’s traditional for the audience to clap along.  It’s also traditional for the band to play it faster & faster to try & beat the audience to the end!! The bands Assistant Principal Cornet, Nick Swarbrick did a great job as did the whole cornet front row, you could hardly see their fingers moving!!! An encore of the Hornpipe was insisted by the audience & Nick, Tom, Bob & Roy duly obliged by playing it even faster! Of course Sea Songs ends with the rousing ‘Rule Britannia’ with the audience in full voice.

The bands last piece was of course Edward Elgar’s ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ with its famous “Land of Hope & Glory” finale. There were lots of singing and lots of flag waving in the sunshine, again an encore was called for & Jacob responded by taking the band through “Land of Hope & Glory” again. 

To round off a lovely hot sunny afternoons music the band played the National Anthem to which the audience respectfully rose to their feet.

What a lovely afternoon in lovely surroundings playing to a great appreciative audience. (The cold lager in the club went down rather well after the concert as well!)


 Bromsgrove Park – 3/9/17

What a difference 7 days can make.

Last week the band was bathed in sunshine and heat at The Springs, this week the band arrived at a desolate, cold and wet Bromsgrove Park. The audience was made up of 2 people sheltering under a tree & Hilary’s other half. It was so cold I thought there was a penguin by the pool, but Sue Musto reliably informed me that it was a heron!

Was the band put off by the lack of audience and the low ambient temperature………. too right we were! But we battled on being the troopers we are. I can honestly say I have been warmer playing Christmas carols in December!!

Towards the end of the first half we played the Christine Aguilera hit ‘Candyman’, a bit of a band favourite to be honest. However, it seemed that the local home for the deluded had closed for the day as a couple of local youths climbed a tree to scream “CANDYMAN” at us for the rest of the half and all through the interval. The Park Attendant had a word with them and they disappeared. (I suggest dragging the pool)

After the break where hot chocolate was the order of the day rather than the traditional ice-cream the audience had increased a little, but the band still outnumbered them. We really did our best to warm them up by playing pieces like Sing, Sing Sing and Birdland, just to get their feet tapping at least. Then the National Anthem brought the music to an end, we must have done well as a number of the audience, well all of them actually came up to us to say how much they enjoyed the music, if not the weather! One Gentleman in particular was very complimentary and asked when and where we were playing next. We mentioned the Tracy Sollis Concert and he said he’ll be there.

Huge thanks must go to our dep’s, Nigel Hall who was our MD for the day and did a great job keeping the audience informed and entertained. Tom King for hitting the high notes on soprano & Neil Kelsall for his excellent euphonium playing.


Tracy Sollis Trust Charity Concert

Friday 15th September saw Avonbank participate is the annual Tracy Sollis Trust Charity Concert at the Evesham Arts Centre. The evening was as usual looked forward to in again joining our friends in the Stour Concert Brass Band and for the first time The Alcester Male Voice Choir were with us. The audience (not a huge one it must be said) were treated to a first half of the choir performance separating the two bands. Special mention here goes to Luke Barker & Martyn Musto for their excellent solo playing.

The choir stated off the second half followed by Avonbank & Stour Concert massed together. What a sound!

Huge thanks goes to the choir for joining us & helping raise money for such a worthy cause. Massive thanks goes to Prince Henry’s School who let us use their facilities ‘FREE OF CHARGE’. Plus of course Sue Sollis & her helpers who works tirelessly for the charity that is so close to her heart. We don’t have a final figure as to the sum raised on the evening, but every penny will be used to fight Leukaemia, such a terrible disease. If you would like to know more about the Tracy Sollis Trust, or just to see where the money raised in events like these actually goes, please look at the Trust’s website