RMA Concert Band - Sunday 23rd July 2017 - A view from the audience

By Barbara Bothwell

What do you do on a wet summer's afternoon? I'd guess most people watch telly. Not me on a Sunday in July. Nor did the people in the almost full auditorium at the Alexandra Theatre in Bognor Regis. We were right royally entertained by the Royal Marines Association Concert Band led by Lt. Col. Chris Davis, OBE.

The concert opened with, naturally, with the National Anthem, followed by a Fanfare. During the first half we were treated to some marches, a Rossini overture and some solos. Jon Yates (former Professor of Trumpet at the Royal Marines School of Music) played the beautiful 'Through the Eyes of Love' and ex-Army lady Lisa Lyster gave us the evocative 'Home Away from Home' on her flute. Both tunes that you will recognise. At the end of the first half we had the music from John Williams for ET.

Following the 20 minute interval (during which much ice-cream was consumed) the second half opened with the overture to Lawrence of Arabia. Can you remember the opening with the heart thumping sound of the timpani? On this occasion Connor Lyster (son of Lisa) wielded the drumsticks. It really was a thrilling opening and Connor looked as if he enjoyed bashing seven bells out of those big brass kettledrums.

This second half had an equally varied programme of music from the Big Band sound to Vaughan Williams. And we had a solo from Conductor Chris Davis - on his electric violin - the exquisite Ashoken Farewell.

Then we came to the Finale. The Evening Hymn and Sunset, a Tribute to the Armed Forces then we all stood and waved flags whilst singing Land of Hope and Glory.

I am now looking forward to next year's concert at the Alexandra Theatre.

For details about the Royal Marines Association Concert Band - and to buy by their CDs and souvenirs - do visit their web site at

Most importantly all the monies raised go to Charity.

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