A relentlessly energetic showcase concert was what greeted the sell-out audience at the Assembly Hall, Worthing on Sunday 2nd February. Under the baton of Bd Sgt David Johnson, the RMA band showed impressive versatility through spirited performances of symphonic band master pieces such as Suppé’s Poet and Peasant overture, Friedemann’s Slavonic Rhapsody No 2 and the 2nd Suite for Military Band in F by Holst. Intermingled with this were arrangements from stage and screen – Anything Goes and Puttin’ on the Ritz – and several unmissable solo items which contrasted the elegance and control of Elaine Coker’s oboe playing in David Johnson’s own arrangement of Caccini’s Ave Maria with the suave sophistication of the trumpet of Jon Yates BEM.
The vocal items performed by the highly successful Portsmouth Military Wives Choir under the direction of Lieutenant Sam Hairsine RM were an added delight in a concert which, towards the end of the second half and in its finale, combined tradition with nostalgia and humour. A side- splitting rendition of The Whistler and His Dog and an encore of Radetzky March when even the band burst into song, leaves a note or two of anticipation for what could be to follow when the band travel to the Berry Theatre, Hedge End for their next concert on 16th February. With tickets selling fast at this smaller venue snap them up quick before it’s too late!