But this and the band’s trademark patriotic finale, which commenced with Tony’s own evocative march: “Victory in Europe” and the sobering and moving John Williams composition, “Hymn to the Fallen”, were well contrasted by the other elements of the concert.
Eric Payne showed considerable style in his alto sax solo feature by the pen of Michael Buble entitled, “Lost.” At this point the whole band switched into the famous Big Band style with a memorable Sinatra medley arrangement simply called “Sounds Like Sinatra” and in the follow up trumpet & trombone duet, “All I Do Is Dream of You”, featuring some great playing by Alan Flood and Stephen Close. Perhaps most memorable, however, was the real poise and control achieved by Tony and the band in the aptly chosen Ralph Vaughan Williams moving tribute “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis”. Written in 1910 and performed for the first time in September of that year at Gloucester Cathedral for the Three Choirs Festival. Vaughan Williams himself conducted, and the composition proved to be a major success!
Notable too for this 3 choirs festival, was the significant contribution of the Innsworth Military Wives Choir conducted by their lovely director, singer and songwriter Gita Wymer soon to leave the UK for her native Norway following the recent retirement of her husband from the armed forces. She and her successor, Ralph Barnes, must take well-deserved pride in the true beauty and clarity achieved by their wonderful singers. – We thank them most heartedly for their support and particularly choir memberJo Benbow who with her colleagues, helped to publicise this great event.
The band next performs in their current home at The Royal Marines’ Museum, Eastney, Portsmouth for a special St George’s Day Concert on Thursday 23rd April. 7.30 p.m. – Limited seating so book now to ensure you are not disappointed.