Castle Point Mayor's Concert

This year’s concert, held on 15 March 2014 in the Hadleigh Temple hall, marked the first major event for ’s new Bandmaster, Marion Still. Still shared conducting duties with newly-appointed Deputy Bandmaster, Alex Campbell.

Following the entry of the mayoral party, led by the Castle Point Mayor, Councillor Maryse Iles, the toe-tapping march Temple 85 (Norman Bearcroft) got things off to a lively start. In a total change of style, Campbell led the band in Soul Bossa Nova, as featured in the film Austin Powers, among others.

From the world of stage musicals came The Music of the Night (Andrew Lloyd-Webber) from The Phantom of the Opera, with its dark, brooding chords. 007 Light (Markus Frei) was given a first airing by the band. This jazz-influenced setting of “This Little Light of Mine”, with allusions to music from the James Bond series of films, was introduced to the corps a few years ago by the Swiss group Brass of Praise. The performance was accompanied by suitable images projected onto the screen.

Gabriel Faure’s Pavane offered a complete contrast, with delicate arpeggios and smooth lines. This was followed by the band’s two deputy bandmasters, Keith Johnston and Alex Campbell, on cornet and flügelhorn respectively, joined forces to present the Flower Duet from Lakme.

Since Jesus Came into My Heart attempted to capture the essence of the old “how do you do” testimony session, with John Ashcroft on trombone doing his best to emulate Don Lusher.

Following a Bible reading and thoughts brought by Major David Woodman, Hadleigh Temple corps officer, the band played Eilav Herikstad’s All to Jesus, singing a verse and chorus of the original beforehand. To close the first half, Bandmaster Still opted to revive the march Temple Vision, taken at a cracking pace, which was written by Martin Cordner to mark the opening of the corps’ new suite of buildings.

The second half commenced with Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4 (Edward Elgar), complete with a singing practice as the audience familiarized itself with the words, “England shall be free”. The concert then moved back to the movies, with I’ll Walk with God from The Student Prince, which built up to a ringing climax.

The familiar trio of Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 allowed the audience to exercise their lungs in “Land of Hope and Glory”. The concert continued with other staple items from the “Last Night of the Proms”, including Fantasia on British Sea Songs (Henry Wood) and Rule Britannia, with Britannia represented by Sue Loftus and her daughter, Catherine Mason.

The audience joined in heartily in Jerusalem and two verses of God Save the Queen. The benediction was An Irish Blessing, featuring a quartet of Alex Campbell, Brendan Still, Ken Ballard and Robin Bryant, with the reset of the band spread out among the audience.

With Hadleigh Temple Timbrels contributing two items, it was an enjoyable evening. Money was raised for a worthwhile cause and the Corps’ links with the local community were strengthened.

Report submitted by Peter Bale