Saturday, 25 February 2012, saw the London Central Fellowship Band (Bandmaster David Daws) in deepest Essex at St. Luke’s Parish Church, Tiptree, for its first concert of the new year. Some time before the opening bars of Orwell Park, it was apparent that more chairs were needed to accommodate the growing numbers eagerly arriving.
A varied musical feast was provided, while, while building on previous repertoire, included some first-time performances of recently rehearsed music. Several of the items featured on the band’s recent recording Bandology were performed, including Where I Love to Be, Quando Quando Quando, Worcester and the Listen to the Band signature tune, Soldiers in the Park. Items on a Fellowship Band concert program for the first time included Mini Fantasia on a London Theme (Robert Collinson) and Canadian Folk Song Suite (Morley Calvert).
The band’s regular soloists, Alan Garratt (cornet), Jim Rogers (flügelhorn) and Ken Stones (euphonium) each contributed, with Misty, Doyle’s Lament and All the Ways God Has Shown respectively. As always, the band’s own Don Lusher lookalike, Don Jenkins (trombone) was inspiring, with a masterful performance of The Londonderry Air.
Because of the unavoidable absence of principal cornet Dave Thomas, the Fellowship Band was delighted to welcome Roy Kirsop as guest principal. Kirsop further enhanced the evening with several masterful piano solos. The band also welcomed two additional cornet players making their first performance with the group, David Marley and Caroline Seredynski.
The evening was ably compèred by Bandmaster Daws, whose witticisms were dangerously encouraged by an exuberant audience who were shouting for more music by the conclusion of the evening. The Fellowship played out with Bandology, after which they had to say “no more” and leave the stage.
The band received great encouragement from playing to such a receptive audience, meeting new people as well as friends from neighboring Salvation Army corps. The band’s mission statement refers to the members being encouragers within the church; clearly, on this occasion, the church had been an encourager to the band.
London Central Fellowship Band web site