Billed as the final concert to be organised by Barbara Wells in aid of Diabetes Research Isle of Wight, the Royal Marines Association Concert Band returned, this time to Cowes Yacht Haven with the first of a series of Christmas-themed concerts on Sunday 4th December.
Spectacular festive favourites such as Anderson’s A Christmas Festival and Ray Woodfield’s ever-popular selection Christmas Melodies were interspersed by a well-selected programme where the band’s MD, Major (Rtd.) Tony Smallwood enabled the band to show what it truly does best! From an early march sequence comprising Colonel Bogey, Famous Songs of the British Isles and featuring members of the RM Corps of Drums, Collingwood, much variety followed. The first half closed with a reverberant arrangement of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber and the second half opened with the ever-popular Dambusters March before a traditional and patriotic finale sequence.
There were notable soloists in this concert too for whom the band provided a fitting accompaniment. Hannah Brear, daughter to Barbara, sister-in-law to the band’s MD, Tony and the inspiration of a significant part of Barbara’s fund-raising shone as soloist in O Holy Night and in duet with Cyrus Dean for The Prayer. Later Dr Kieron Cooney treated the audience to feature on the pipes in Highland Cathedral.
Always made very welcome on their visits to the Isle of Wight, despite the unexpected challenges of a ferry ill-equipped for breakfast refreshments on the crossing over and two coach-breakdowns of the return journey surely the band would consider a future concert with pleasure and expectation, should this opportunity once again be possible...