Sunday, May 19, 2024

St Michael’s lit up by Aveley brass christmas concert

AFTER a gap of many years the Aveley & Newham Band were proud to be back performing in the village church of St Michaels, Aveley. A near capacity audience heard the band perform a number of favourite Christmas pieces, under the baton of Andy Austin.

St Michaels Church Choir under the leadership of Eileen Davis opened the evening with the traditional treble soloist singing ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, before the band, choir and audience joined in with full throng. The band then presented the well known selection by Leroy Anderson- ‘Christmas Festival’. This was followed by the horn solo, ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ (arranged by Jonathan Bates) played by the bands principal horn- David Howell.

Traversing across Europe the band went on to feature such favourites as ‘Troika’ and ‘Farandole’, before ending the half with the haunting ‘In Paradisum’ (arranged by Jonathan Kitchen) and ‘Agnus Dei’ (arranged by David Howell) from the Requiem Mass by Faure.

Wilfred Heaton’s enigmatic march ‘Praise’ kicked off the second half, followed by ‘Christmas Finale’ by Paul Lovatt Cooper- featuring the famous Mike Oldfield version of ‘In Dulci Jubilo’. The audience were then given a real treat as they listened to the famous melody from ‘The Snowman’ played by 6 year old Madisyn Cave on cornet and 8 year old brother Braedyn on flugelhorn, accompanied by the Aveley & Newham Band under the watchful eye of a very proud Mum and big sister on back row cornet. The crowd rewarded their lovely lyrical playing with a standing ovation.

Following a quick gallop through ’12 Days of Christmas’, suitably aided by one or two mulled wines, the band ended presented ‘Gaudete’ (by Kevin Norbury), featuring the tunes ‘Unto us a child is born’, ‘Gaudete’ and ‘Coventry Carol’ and bringing the percussion section to the fore.

The evening ended with an arrangement of ‘Joy to the World’ made famous by Andre Previn, arranged for band by Andy Austin. The crowd wanted more- and so they went off into the cold, dark night with the strains of ‘Sleigh Ride’ (featuring principal cornet Bob Osborne on ‘Donkey’) ringing in their ears.

The band were ably supported throughout the evening by St Michael’s Church Choir- who demonstrated their ability to sing many various styles of song- particular favourites were their subtle and harmonious a capella works, including ‘The Infant King’, ‘Stille Nacht’ and ‘White Christmas’. Organist John Knight interjected with his humorous monologue ‘Christmas Waits’.

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