@ Beaconsfield, October 2018
Ascot Brass joined with the Sear Green CE School choir and Sear Green male choir at Beaconsfield’s St. Michael’s Church on 13th October to present a concert raising funds for the local Bradbury House care home. A packed and enthusiastic audience heard a good mix of pieces, with impressive contributions by the school choir.
The band’s programme included lively numbers such as the opener, 633 Squadron, Breezin’ Down Broadway and the Armenian Sabre Dance, and received positive comments on its rendering of Bohemian Rhapsody. Quieter pieces also featured, including Lady Stewart’s Air, You Raise Me Up (cornet solo featuring Mark Dallas) and a new piece in the band’s repertoire, William Himes’s Soli Deo Gloria. The final piece in the programme was a joint performance of You’ll Never Walk Alone, followed by the march Barnard Castle in response to demands for an encore.
@ Marlow, September 2018
Ascot Brass joined with the singers of the Thames Valley Chorus in Marlow's All Saints Church on Saturday 30th September to present a concert in aid of causes supported by the local Rotary Club.
The band’s programme opened and closed with music marking the RAF's centenary – Eric Coates's Dambusters March and Ron Goodwin’s 633 Squadron. There were a good number of up-tempo numbers, with Armenian Sabre Dance, the cornet duo Spanish Fiesta (played by Mark Dallas and Steve Clapton), and three arrangements by Alan Catherall: his pacy take on themes from Oklahoma, and pop classics Bohemian Rhapsody and Macarthur Park. At the more reflective end of the spectrum were Lady Stewart's Air by Peter Graham, and John Ireland's Love Unknown.
The Thames Valley Chorus sang two sets in each half; stand-out piece was a moving rendering of Buddy Can You Spare a Dime in the second half. The event was well attended and clearly enjoyed by all.
@ Concert at Salvation Army hall, Lower Earley, February 2018
The band's first concert of 2018 was at SA church in Lower Earley on 24th February, performing to a full audience together with choir of Hawkedon Primary School.
The programme included a number of new additions to the band's repertoire, among them Alan Catherall's arrangement of Bohemian Rhapsody, the same arranger's sparkling variations on the main theme from Oklahoma, and Alan Duncan's version of Hedwig's Theme from the Harry Potter films. Soloists were Tracey Hall on tenor horn with Demelza, and Mark Dallas on cornet with Share My Yoke.
The choir made a very enjoyable contribution to the evening, with ensemble songs on the theme of peace, and several impressive solos.
The event raised funds for the Salvation Army "Big Collection", supporting social and community work in the UK.
@ St Crispin's, Wokingham, December 2017
Ascot Brass joined the combined local Singhealthy community choirs at Wokingham's St. Crispin's School on 16th December, playing seasonal pieces and backing the choir and audience for carols and a version of Twelve Days of Christmas that made for a rousing finale.
@ Windsor Christmas Concert, December 2017
The Taplow Youth Choir once again proved to be an excellent partner for the band's Sounds of Christmas concert at Windsor Parish Church on 9th December. As well as music from the band and choir, actor David Robb contributed entertaining readings in each half, and Richard Gash made his customary good job of compering.
Band pieces included Sleigh Ride, Stephen Bulla's Mid-Winter and Mark Freeh's version of White Christmas, as well as Alan Fernie's arrangements of Winter Wonderland and A Merry Little Christmas and Peter Graham's Away in a Manger (Allan Martin, flugel).
The choir's pieces included John Rutter's Nativity Carol and Eric Whiteacre's Lux Aurumque, and the band provided backing for soloist Eve Shanu-Wilson singing Walking in the Air, from Howard Blake's The Snowman. The audience were in good voice as ever for carols and Schneewalzer.
The event was in aid of Macmillan Cancer Care, and takings from entrance tickets and retiring collection amounted to over £2,950.
@ Beaconsfield, December 2017
The band joined with Taplow Children's Choir and Taplow Boys' Choir at St. Michael's Church in Beaconsfield for a Friday evening concert in aid of the local Rennie Grove hospice on 1st December. A very Christmassy programme included solos Rocking Carol (Mark Dallas, cornet) and Peter Graham's arrangement of Away in a Manger (Allan Martin, flugel horn), and horn feature The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
Audience participation took the form of two carols and a special arrangement by the band's own Mervyn Clarke combining Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Rockin' Round the Christmas Tree. A capacity auidence made for an excellent evening's fundraising for the hospice.