This year, appearing at the Civic Theatre in Chelmsford on Saturday 25th July, the Royal Marines Association Concert Band performed largely a nautically-themed programme interspersed by some well-chosen showstoppers from the stage, screen and classical worlds.
Notable features included the fitting tribute march HMS Trinidad written by RM Musician George Lloyd, who served on board this ill-fated cruiser on Arctic Convoys during World War II. The RMA Concert Band also presented an arrangement of the much acclaimed Irish spectacular, Riverdance.
Opening with the haunting sound of Sid Tanner’s flute other players joined to form a Cèilidh band – notably the band’s director of music Tony Smallwood on accordion, Rodney Preston on fiddle, Spence Bundy on soprano sax and Billy Monaghan and Jamie Woodford on percussion. As the momentum increased they too were then joined by the full band, who took the audience into the interval in a truly breath-taking finish!
Joined in this concert by the Military Wives choir from Portsmouth under the direction of Andrew Cleary, the audience was treated to a mix of delightful choral solos and pieces accompanied by the band; an aptly chosen Vera Lynn selection and the ever popular number Wherever You Are to name a few.
In this concert too both band and choir felt the privilege of performing alongside their special guest, Normandy Veteran, Jim Radford who presented his very own tribute pieces – the second; Shores of Normandy sensitively accompanied by the band; the poignant finish leaving a hush over the theatre as band and audience were left in deep reflection.
To be sure of catching the band in their next unmissable Last Night of the Proms experience, make sure you book tickets for 3pm on Sunday 6th September at the Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis at www.alexandratheatre.co.uk