Concert: St Paul’s

The Carlton Band Organisation has a long history – nearly 120 years now – and we are proud of our heritage. The first band emerged in 1902 from the Netherfield Railway, and while the train link is no longer with us we still play in the same Nottingham district.

The main band – Carlton Brass – moved into our new band room late last year on Meadow Road, Netherfield. The train line is nearby and our link to Netherfield is secured for many more years.

Our organisation also has an amazing second band called Burton Joyce Community Brass (BJCB) who share rehearsal space with the main band while also rehearsing once a week in Burton Joyce. They have been encouraging local budding musicians to their cause for many years and have a diverse mix of old and young. There is a growing set of learners too.

Yesterday afternoon saw our whole wonderful organisation get together for a free concert at St Paul’s Church in Carlton. The theme was “Music from the Stage & Screen” and we were all pleased to see the church fill up to see us play two hours of popular music.

We started off with both bands playing ‘Blaze Away’, a march many may remember from Saturday morning cinema visits, before Carlton Brass played ‘Mr Blue Sky’ (featured recently in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’), a selection from ‘My Fair Lady’ and a lovely solo called ‘Missing You’ by our young 2nd Trombone player Rosie Stafford.

Burton Joyce Community Brass

BJCB were next up with some more famous pieces, starting off with an excellent rendition of music from ‘Mary Poppins’, before Steve Rydel played ‘Feed the Birds’ from the same musical as a Baritone Solo. We were then treated to a brassed up Lee Marvin version of ‘Wanderin’ Star’ by Mark Tetley on Bass Trombone.

Carlton Brass finished off the half with ‘Singing in the Rain’ – in defiance of the unseasonal sunshine outside – followed by a rousing version of ‘Oklahoma!’

The second half began with an opportunity for our learners to shine. Some have only been playing a few months, but here they were giving everyone fantastic versions of ‘The Flintstones’, ‘My Favourite Things’, the main theme from ‘Jurassic Park’ (which included some unexpected lyrics – ‘I’m a dinosaur, I’m a dinosaur’ – who knew?) and finishing with the famous theme from ‘James Bond’.

Giving people new to their instruments an opportunity to play to an audience is important and a fantastic part of the concert. There were some proud parents in the church yesterday.

Ten year-old Lucinda from BJCB then gave us a solo on cornet for the hymn ‘Eventide’. She was supported by both bands for this beautiful tune. Proud mum Nora played from the horn stand within the BJCB ranks.

Carlton Brass then continued with ‘The Great Escape’ before principal cornet Andrew Allison went all Neil Diamond and delivered an exceptional version of ‘Love on the Rocks’ from ‘The Jazz Singer’. ‘Overture from Mack & Mabel’ finished off their set.

The concert was brought to a close with everyone in organisation playing together to great effect: ‘Eye of the Tiger’ from ‘Rocky 2’, ‘Beyond the Sea’ from ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘Land of Hope & Glory’ to finish.

This concert could not have happened without the amazing organisation of our two band secretaries Maria Stafford and Heather Foley, but also to Geoff Hawley for stepping up and conducting both bands and sorting out the music. We are so lucky to have you.

Geoff was ably supported by three other conductors: Kieren Dean, Chris Tetley and Sue Tetley. A big thanks must also go to them and to St Paul’s church for being so welcoming and allowing us to make such a loud noise in their lovely building.

Most of all, thank you to everyone that came along to listen. Brass bands are not the most fashionable music ensembles out there but it was refreshing to see a church full for a concert like this. We wouldn’t be able to keep playing without an audience, so from all of us in the Carlton Band Organisation: THANK YOU!