Playing to a full audience, the programme consisted of a rousing start from the current players with an old favourite, Our Boys Will Shine Tonight. This was followed by a piece the band have been playing this year, And All That Jazz. In keeping with the theme of 'music and memories', the next piece was chosen by Mel Stammers and featured past player Daniel Wright on flugal. Concierto de Aranjuez was performed by the Band on their trip to Germany in September 2001 and received raptuous applause, having been made famous in the film Brassed Off.
The next piece saw both the main band and training band join together to recreate the piece they played in July at the Stowmarket Carnival for the national 'Inspired by London 2012' baton relay event 'Brass The Baton'. Going The Distance was also a particulary apt name for the celebration of the future of the band within its training band, which should see the Band 'going the distance' for some years to come!
Ian Harvey then led the training band in their own set. Starting with a piece that was probably familiar to a few returning players, they performed The Highfields March, then followed with a lighthearted programme of Can You Feel The Love Tonight, Amarillo and The Muppet Show to finish the first half. In an extended interval, the audience and players mingled and reminisced, as well as taking in a display of press cuttings, photos, records and even old uniform. A particular feature of the display was the 'memory' postcards that players and supporters had sent to the Band.
For the second half, past players were invited to join with the main band and, as they squeezed into their seats, launched into a thrilling rendition of Trailblaze. This was followed by Light As Air; and then the James Bond Collection, with these films also celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. The Band were also presented with a card from the local Target Club to who they play to during the year.
The Band were very honoured to be joined by two more recent leavers who joined the band from Germany in 2010 whilst on work placements at Bosch. Matthias travelled from his current university in Scotland and Thomas (complete in lederhosen!) travelled from Germany. As a gift to the Band, and in recognition of the time they enjoyed with them, they presented the march Old Comrades, that the Band then proceeded to sight-read. It went suprisingly well! More practise should see it appear on future concert programmes!
The next musical memory was chosen by Richard Chapman, inspired by his memories of tours to Germany. Stelldichen in Oberkrain saw the Band swaying, standing and attempting other 'instrument gymnastics' as they got into the spirit of the piece! Following this was an old audience favourite Born Free and then founder member and current solo cornet player Melvyn Baker headed to the balcony with 17 year old Tom Search to recreate the memories of tours to Rye with High on a Hill as well as to highlight the way music can bring together the different generations. As emotions ran high, the finale of Bohemian Rhapsody took the audience to their feet.
A fantastic time was had by all, and the celebrations continued into the evening with a chance to chat over dinner with friends and make new acquaintances over an evening of ceilidh dancing! See some photos of the day here.