Our first Christmas Concert under the baton of Shaun Humphries opened with Cossack Sleigh Ride and was followed by a gorgeous arrangement by Barrie Gott of Silent Night, performed by our solo baritone player Nick Wilson. The Community Carols on the piazza yesterday acted as a great warm up for the people of Brackley who were in fine voice for the first of a number of audience carols. Stop the Cavalry and The Christmas Song were next before Christmas Bolero which showcased one of our guest players Katie Gardner on side drum. This is a clever arrangement which interweaves ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ and ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ with the well-known classical piece of music which will now forever be associated with Torville and Dean’s famous gold medal performance at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics.

After another audience carol the first half was brought to a close with a medley of Christmas tunes entitled A Christmas Festival but not before Walking in the Air from ‘The Snowman’. This is probably one of the most popular Christmas tunes, certainly amongst bandsmen in the area and particularly following the recent live performance of the film by our local Nationally Graded Championship Section Band, the GUS Band at Egerton Hall only a couple of weeks ago.

Our development group ‘Majors and Minors’ opened the second half with a handful of tunes with bells as the central theme. Members of the audience were invited to join in and accompany them with several sets of hand bells which they did with great aplomb.

The programme continued with an audience carol followed by An Austrian Carol (Still, Still, Still) which is not quite so well know but has a beautiful slow melody running through it. Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade livened up the atmosphere somewhat and some swaying from both Band and audience really showed that a good time was being had by all. Sleigh Ride closed the programme before the ‘Majors and Minors’ returned to the stage to join the main band with ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’.

Special mention must be made of Emily on euphonium and Matilda on cornet who both made their debut concert appearances with us this evening. We look forward to hearing more from them next year.

We would like to thank St Peter’s Church for hosting us, all those who helped to make the concert happen and to everyone who came along. If you enjoyed the evening please tell friends and family and we hope to see more of you at our events in the future. Details will be posted here our website (www.brackleyband.org.uk) and on our Facebook page.