A regular and popular concert venue for the Royal Marines’ Association Concert Band is, without a doubt, The Alexandra Theatre in Bognor Regis and, not least, because the audience turns out in full support for this prolific band.
The band’s new Director of Music, Lt. Col. Chris Davis clearly likes to make an assured entrance with the Fanfare to the First Sea Lord preceding a selection of marches followed by the Rossini Overture, Italian Girl in Algiers. Here the dexterous finger work of individual players and in ensemble shone through before the apt programming of some popular solo features. Through the Eyes of Love was stylishly performed on trumpet by the band’s very own Jon Yates (BEM) followed by the beautifully lyrical flute solo, Home Away from Home, played by Lisa Lyster.
Later, in the second half of the programme, the versatility of the director of music saw Chris himself performing the haunting yet hopeful Ashokan Farewell on violin to the delicacy of accompaniment that this flexible band of musicians can achieve so well.
Before the audience were able to indulge in the familiar patriotic-style finale, a further surprise item; the theme from Lawrence of Arabia with a relative new-comer to the band; Connor Lyster, son of Lisa, opening with a powerful timpani solo.
Clearly Chris has further surprises to reveal on his journey with this band and there is much for future audiences to look forward to.