Ascot Brass

Latest performances

@ Windsor Parish Church, December 2018

Ascot Brass joined with Taplow Youth Choirs at Windsor Parish Church on 8th December for the traditional Christmas concert, raising funds in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. The evening included several very entertaining readings by Patricia Hodge.

Highlight of the band's programme was without doubt Kevin Norbury's Gaudete, while the choir's pieces included excellent performances of O Holy Night and A Child is Born in Bethlehem.

The audience was in good voice for Hark the Herald Angels Sing and O Come All Ye Faithful, and a good number responded to compere Matt Stone's prompting for vertical as well as lateral movement while singing along to Scheewaltzer. A thoroughly good time was had by all, and the event raised thousands of pounds for Macmillan.

@ Sonning, November 2018

Together with Bulmershe School choirs, Ascot Brass presented a concert at St Andrew's church, Sonning, on 2nd November, raising funds towards new lighting in the building.

The programme opened with The Dambusters March, marking the RAF centenary, and included Hymn To The Fallen by way of remembrance of the 1918 armistice. Highlights included Mark Dallas playing cornet solo You Raise Me Up, a very well received rendering of Alan Catherall's arrangement of Bohemian Rhapsody, and some fine playing in William Himes’s Soli Deo Gloria. The choirs' contributions included several gospel songs, and an excellent solo set by Celeste Hexter. The concert was performed before a full audience, and succeeded in raising £900 for the lighting project.

@ 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.

@ Reading Minster, June 2018

The band performed together with Wokingham Singhealthy choir at Reading Minster on 9th June in a programme focusing on British folk music. Opening with Britannia, Ascot Brass pieces included All Through the Night, Annie Laurie and The Water of Tyne, and the band and choir joined to present Percy Grainger's arrangement of Seventeen Come Sunday.

@ 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.