Midsomer Norton and Radstock Silver Band thrilled listeners at their Autumn Concert in Wells.
The Midsomer Norton & Radstock Silver Band held their Autumn concert at St Thomas’s Church in Wells on Saturday 6th October. After a very busy summer season St Thomas’ is an exciting new venue for the band in 2018. Musical Director, Joanne Sykes conducted a varied programme centred around the theme of ‘Reflect and Celebrate’ to commemorate not only the centenary year of the end of the Great War but also of the formation of the Royal Air Force. Blockbusters included 633 Squadron, Dambusters March and a thrilling performance of Peter Graham’s epic work ‘Cry of the Celts’ each movement featuring the bands talented soloists.
Compere for this special evening concert was none other than BBC Radio Somerset’s Claire Carter, no stranger to the Brass concert circuit in Wells. Perhaps more surprising on the night was the appearance a of BBC television cameraman recording for the Monday’s Points West bulletin. No pressure for the band then!
Guest soloists featured highly in the cleverly crafted programme. Stephen Sykes masterfully performed his feature solo of the night ‘Stardust’ in front of a spellbound audience. Less than two years ago Stephen was critically ill with late stage Hodgkins Lymphoma and barely able to lift his trombone let alone play it. A rallying cry was put out to the world wide brass band community and vital funds were raised to pay for the special treatment needed to save his life. Saturday’s concert was a milestone occasion, his first public performance since his illness struck and it did not disappoint.
The musical variety did not stop there. Siona Stockel, Soprano together with Nicola Bracey, Piano both professional musicians resident in Wells brought a touch of nostalgia to the evening with a selection of songs made famous by Forces Sweetheart, the legendary Vera Lynn. The concert was rounded off in fine style with an encore that raised the roof. Finlay Bradley, the band’s talented percussionist literally blew a stunned audience to the evening’s close with his virtuosic drum solo in Louis Prima’s ‘Sing Sing Sing’. What a finish by this fine ensemble, The Midsomer Norton & Radstock Silver Band.
Special mention should be made of the evenings venue and the support given by our hosts at St Thomas Church. This is a magical place to hold a concert and with first class facilities to match the band hope to perform there on a regular basis in future. A ‘must’ date for your diary in the run up to Christmas is Saturday 8th December. The band will again perform in St Thomas Church, with their own take on popular seasonal favourites. One not to miss!
For more information about the bands forthcoming events check their website: msnrsb.org.uk