Our concert at St Thomas' Church featured new music from some of the principal writers for concert band: Philip Sparke and Peter Graham, and US composers Frank Ticheli and Richard Saucedo. Ticheli's beautiful arrangement of Loch Lomond has symphonic depth; Saucedo's Into the Clouds! is an exciting tour de force. The programme was well-balanced by popular favourites, including a South Pacific selection.
The audience was disappointingly small; perhaps the event "just slipped under the radar", according to Mr J Taylor, writing in the Salisbury Journal:
I could only conclude that many must have thought “oh dear – military marching music – not for me”. Oh, how you missed out, people of Salisbury! This was a concert of wide-ranging music ... A magic arrangement had the strong tune of Loch Lomond, with that heart-tingling Danny Boy arising somewhere from the centre, and inter-reacting to each other as the piece develops. Another hugely evocative piece was the slow movement from Philip Sparke’s Theatre Music. For lovers of jazz, there was a brilliant medley from between and just after the wars – it got the whole of St Thomas stomping despite the low attendance. At the end, the band rightly got their standing ovation and demands for more. Those who came know just how good it was.
Given that all this talent is given free to raise money for charities (and don’t forget the many hours of rehearsals) it is sad that Salisbury City Band of The Royal British Legion does not have more support. So, please, next time you see or hear that they are producing a concert, don’t have preconceptions that it is all about marching music. As Ed himself says, “I just love conducting this band – I can throw anything at them and they can play it, and play it really well."
Also in April, we were proud to play for West Wiltshire District Scouts' St George's Day Parade at Jubilee Wood, West Ashton.
May saw us back at our favourite outdoor venue, Old George Mall. The natural acoustics enhance our playing, and it's always fun to entertain the shoppers!