The Thornden Community Wind Band presented their summer concert, “Round the World in 90 minutes” on Friday 17 June. This was a light-hearted programme of music loosely themed on a trip around the world. Light-hearted doesn’t mean low quality. This was a performance of very high calibre – and great entertainment.
The auditorium was metaphorically became an aeroplane for the concert. The audience were the passengers, the conductor was the pilot, and the band was the engine. We appreciated the range of instruments during the “engine testing” at the start of the concert when a representative from each section played one or two bars of their own choice.
I was immediately impressed both by the size of the band and the age range of the musicians – some had barely left school; others were old enough to be drawing a pension. The members come from in and around Chandler’s Ford and Eastleigh – all connected by a desire to make collective music. This surely is an example of “community” at its best.
In the first half, we travelled from Britain to Arabia, via Africa and Europe under the control of Deputy Director of Music, Greg Walker. No, his jokes weren’t any better than at the Spitfires concerts. Each “stop” was characterised with music from the respective country – a wonderful selection of marches, classical pieces, and film tunes. Meanwhile, images projected onto the back screen complemented the music played.
For the second half, Director of Music David Cole took his place in the flight deck and we continued our tour through Russia and Australia to New Zealand. It’s not physically possible to get further away from the UK without leaving the planet, so we now returned home via North and South America and the Caribbean. The Sailors Hornpipe greeted our arrival back in Blighty, and the audience – sorry, passengers – helped with the patriotic finale by singing along to “Jerusalem” and “Land of Hope and Glory”.
All pieces were expertly played by the band, and both the size of the band and the acoustics of the hall gave the audience a wonderful sound. In some pieces, individual band members showcased their talent as soloists; in others, entire sections stood out – and, indeed stood up.
The Thornden Community Wind Band was formed in 2004 as one of the community ensembles that could benefit from the then newly built Thornden Hall. It originally had barely a handful of members. Friday’s concert featured probably over 60 musicians – evidence of both the enjoyment that playing with the band provides and the love of music there is in the local area.
Image credit: all images by photographer Richard Doyle
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