The 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band (better known as The Spitfires) returned to Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church last weekend for a St George’s Day concert in aid of One Community.
As we have come to expect from a band of such high calibre, the concert showcased the musician’s skills and wide repertoire. We were also treated to a display by the band’s Corps of Drums, who had been busy with other scouting activities at the October concert.
The concert opened with a fanfare of bugles from the back of the church – I think this may have surprised some of the audience, who weren’t expecting the music to come from behind them. This fanfare led into the opening number, a selection of three marches – as you would expect from a marching band.
The programme of music continued with a wonderfully evocative rendition of “Writing’s on the Wall” – which apparently is the theme from a James Bond film, not Belshazzar’s Feast as I had thought. Other music from films and shows included selections from Mary Poppins and Hairspray.
Two young soloists took to the stage with Elvis Presley’s (and numerous others’) Can’t Help Falling in Love and the Salvation Army hymn Share my Yoke respectively. The music of Billy Joel (or Jelly Bowl as Director of Music, Greg Walker would like us to call him) provided a pop selection, and The Floral Dance was played as a tribute to Sir Terry Wogan. If you don’t know why The Floral Dance is associated with Sir Terry Wogan, you are too young.
Greg Walker explained that the deaths of Victoria Wood and Prince had been far too recent to provide music for, but in a future concert I think a marching band arrangement of Purple Rain would sound fantastic (just saying!).
Because it was St George’s Day, the band chose a Last Night of the Proms style finale. Jerusalem, Evening Hymn and Sunset, Hornpipe, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory. The audience were encouraged to join in, and as the words were displayed on the video screens around the church there was no excuse for not doing so. Some of us even spotted the missing bar in the final phrase of the Hornpipe. (What? was that a trade secret? Sorry).
All in all, this was a wonderful evening of entertainment and thoroughly enjoyed by the audience. As ever, I am looking forward to the next one.
The Spitfires are recognised as one of the top scout and guide bands, and youth bands, in the country. As well as the marching bands and concert bands, the group has a training band, a dance/soul band, a saxophone quartet and a corps of drums.
If you missed them at the Methodist Church (or want to see them again), future engagements include the Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Anniversary Service at Winchester Cathedral on 13 May, Totton Carnival on 18 June and the London Military Tattoo at Allianz Park on 3 September.
Image credit: The 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band (via Facebook page: “The Spitfires”)
If you missed the show, here is the first highlights video – featuring the Corps of Drums. 6 minutes.
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