The Spitfires – the 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band performed an all new concert at The Methodist Church in Chandler’s Ford on Saturday evening, 17th October 2015. “All new” in that all the pieces were being performed by the band for the first time.
A church may seem an unlikely venue for a band concert, but the Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church proved to be an excellent one. The building is wide enough for the band to spread across the stage in comfort, and large enough to accommodate the good-sized audience. The A-frame constructions means that there are no pillars to obstruct the audience’s view and the triangular (OK, someone’s going to tell me it’s a prism, not a triangle) provides some very good acoustics.
The programme provided an eclectic choice of music that had been well-chosen to highlight the skill and repertoire of the band.
As you would expect from a marching band, there were military marches (“The Captain General”, “Game of Thrones”, and “H.M. Jollies”). There were tunes from Disney films (it appeared that I was one of only a few who had seen both “Brave” and “Frozen” – or maybe one of only a few who would admit to it).
There was pop with a medley of Michael Jackson and Jackson Five tunes while classical music fans were catered for with Mars from Holst’s Planet Suite. “Bring Him Home” and “Angel Song” gave individual band members a chance to shine with euphonium and clarinet soloists respectively. “Crazy for Cartoons” kept the percussionist on their toes – in fact the piece kept them so busy that some of the bells and whistles were delegated to other members of the band.
The finale gave the audience a taste of Last Night of the Proms with “The English Sea Song Suite” – and the conductor gave the audience assistance with clapping along to the “Sailor’s Hornpipe” (but he didn’t warn us about the missing bar in the final section!).
What I particularly liked about the concert was that it included tunes that I had not heard before – and other tunes that I had heard before, but not being played by a concert band. The concert was a testimony to the professionalism and dedication of all band members. The music was played to a very high standard and with a great amount of enthusiasm and enjoyment.
The band’s Director of Music, Greg Walker, introduced each piece and provided background information about both the music and the band. He also provided a number of jokes that left the audience laughing and groaning in equal measure. I won’t repeat any of them here, as Greg might want to use them again at the next concert (and at least one topical reference may well be out of date by the time this is published).
All in all, a very worthwhile and enjoyable concert. I went on an almost spur-of-the-moment decision. I’m very glad I did.
More performances from the The Spitfires – the 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band
If you would like another chance to see the Spitfires play, here is a list of their forthcoming local performances:
- Saturday 31st October, 2:45 pm – Eastleigh FC Remembrance Game
- Sunday 8th November, 10:30am – Eastleigh Remembrance Parade
- Saturday 12th December, 3:00-5:00pm – Carolling at Winchester Buttercups
- Friday 18th December, 7:00pm – All Saints’ Carol Service
- Saturday 19th December, 11:00am-12:00 noon – Carolling at Winnall Tesco (for Diabetes UK and British Hearst Foundation)
- Wednesday 23rd December, 7:00-9:00pm – Carolling at Winnall Tesco
You can also find out more about the Spitfires at the website of The Spitfires – the 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band, or visit them on their Facebook page.
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