Musical Christmas Extravaganza in Derby

The Derby Central Band of the Salvation Army (Bandmaster Alan Losh) joined with the Grand Central Chorus and Vox Concordia at the Riverside Center, Pride Park, Derby, on 3 December 2005 for a Christmas extravaganza.

Len Matthews served as compére for the evening, which began with the Grand Central Chorus. Led by Rob Barber, this male chorus presented several songs in close-harmony barbershop style, including Almost Like Being In Love, The Heather on the Hill, I Only Have Eyes for You, Gospel Medley (consisting of “How Great Thou Art” and “Trumpet of the Lord”), If I Love Again, and They’re All Sweeties. The choir’s set lasted for about half an hour.

The Derby Central Band was up next, adding a Christmas mood with Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (arr. Christopher Wormald) and Rodney Newton’s arrangement of Gaudete. Following the band items, Vox Concordia took the stage. An octet singing in close harmony (in the style of the Singers Unlimited), the group is led by Andy Cox. They began with Jeepers Creepers, All You Gotta Do Is Sing, and Puttin’ on the Ritz. Two solo items were included, an original number sung by Graham Webb, On and On, in the style of the late Jake Thackery (Webb sometimes uses the stage name “Fake Thackery”). When Somebody Loved Me, from the animated movie “Toy Story Two”, was sung by Susan Lee. The band concluded the first half of the concert with the Viennese waltz Schneewaltzer (Goff Richards).

Following the intermission, during which Derby Central young people provided beverages, ice cream and other treats, the Derby Central Band began the second half with William Himes’ Three Kings Swing. The Grand Central Chorus returned for their second set, including In the Summertime, Coventry Carol, Silent Night, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Love Me and the World Is Mine, When I Lift Up My Heart, Carousel, and You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Vox Concordia’s second set included a “Musical Christmas Feast”, which included Jingle Bells, Silent Night, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. John Ward was the featured soloist in this part of the program, singing Arise. They concluded their set with another composition by Graham Webb, A Celtic Prayer.

Following some words of thanks from the band, delivered by Graham Smith, all of the performers and the audience joined together for Joy to the World. The band finished off the evening with the (very) quick march Jubilee (Paul Drury).

Derby Central Band web site