On Sunday 14th May, in the wonderful Pamoja Concert Hall (The SPACE) in Sevenoaks, our near-sellout audience were treated to a spring concert based on the theme of Love, Hate and War (but mostly Love).
We started off the concert with a bang, performing Prokofiev’s “Montagues and Capulets” from Romeo and Juliet, a piece made famous by the television show “The Apprentice”, and which seemed to prove popular with our audience.
Followed by Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, we moved through our programme onto a Gershwin Medley, featuring “Fascinating Rhythm”, “Embraceable You” and of course, “I Got Rhythm”.
The second half of our concert started with Saint-Saëns’ “Danse Bacchanale” before performing our feature piece, “Chivalry” by Martin Ellerby, a symphonic tone poem that depicts scenes of romance, love and war. This was something we had been working on for a while, and it seems to have paid off as we received very positive feedback from the majority of our audience members!
Another highlight of our second half was “Land”, an unaccompanied percussion solo played beautifully by Stefan Beckett as well as “Czardas”, the solo again being performed by Stefan.
We would like to say a huge thank you to those of you who came along, we couldn’t put on our concerts without your support! We hope you enjoyed listening as much as we enjoyed performing and we hope to see you again soon ….and many thanks to Ethan Siegel for his fabulous pictures!
Eynsford Concert Band is excited to announce Mike Smith’s appointment as Director of Music of the Band of the Grenadier Guards.
After almost 4 years since leaving the Band of the Grenadier Guards to take up staff appointments at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall, Mike has the honour and unique distinction of returning to be their new Director of Music.
He assures us that he is looking forward to the challenge of working with two fine group of musicians and reestablishing relations between the Grenadiers Band and Eynsford Concert Band over the coming months.
A return joint concert in Pamoja Hall, Sevenoaks is already being planned for early November where Mike will lead both bands in what promises to be a fantastic evening of top class music.
We all wish Mike every success in his new role and look forward to spending time with our friends at the Band of the Grenadier Guards.
December 18th 2016 saw another Christmas Cracker performance by Eynsford Concert Band at the Mick Jagger Centre in Dartford.
Our sell out crowd were treated to a rare mix of Christmas favourites – from Rimsky Korsakov to Mariah Carey, from “The Huron Carol” to “Santa Baby”, all in the aid of the very special Valence School in Westerham.
This was a great end to a busy year for us – representing the UK at the European Championships, supporting a Spitfire fly past and huge fireworks to our 1812 overture.
Next year promises to be equally exciting with some great new ventures to be announced, so watch this space….
When the opening joke of the evening is “How many conductors does it take to change a lightbulb?” (A: who knows…no one ever looks at the conductor!), then you know that things can only get better..
This was definitely the case on Sunday 17th April 2016 at the Mick Jagger centre Dartford and the result was a fabulous fun concert.
From silent movies to the Simpsons all aspects of comedy were explored.
Complete with cartoons, a fab singer (Sue Rivers), special guest dancers (Laura Cutts, Georgia Cullingham and Elise McNally) and great music throughout, we were kept enthralled by an entertaining and excellently produced production. A complete entertainment package.
I couldn’t say what my favourite was as I enjoyed it all, though The Stripper brought back fond memories of Christmas Days with Morecombe and Wise (look on YouTube to see what I mean), not to mention Del Boy and Rodney’s Batman and Robin sketch.
The buzz around the hall at the end of the evening was “I really enjoyed that”. As always a great evening of entertainment.
On 22nd November, Eynsford Concert Band and the Band of the Grenadier Guards came together to perform at the spectacular Pamoja Hall in Sevenoaks, Kent. This was our third liaison and, yet again, the concert was a sell out.
Over the three years, these concerts have raised almost £18,000 in support of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity that supports the members, ex-members and families of the Armed Forces who find themselves in need.
Raising this amount is an incredible achievement that has only been possible through the popularity and enthusiasm that the concerts have generated and the generosity of the friends, families and special guests that have attended them.
Tonight’s concert was entitled ‘For Queen and Country’, showcasing the pomp and ceremony of our great nation.
Eynsford Concert Band (conducted by Mike Smith) opened the evening with ‘Procession of the Nobles’ by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, where, as in previous concerts, we were augmented by the Grenadiers’ brilliant fanfare trumpeters, who added another level of intensity to the performance.
We continued with ‘La Mezquita de Cordoba’; a descriptive piece, which follows the history of the Mosque in Cordoba through the ages. We first performed this stunning piece at the National Wind Band Symposium, in the Gala concert which marked the end of our year as National Wind Band Champions.
We concluded our set with ‘Bond…James Bond’; a selection of themes from the films and providing a tenuous link with the Olympic Games opening sketch featuring The Queen and 007.
The band of the Grenadier Guards (conducted by Major Kevin Smith) opening their performance with the fanfare ‘State Occasion’. This was followed by the fantastic ‘Symphonic Animations’ which featured a number of solo and group performances of well known animated film themes. A wonderful Oboe solo performance of ‘The Watermill’ by Lance Corporaal Peter Batai and Walton’s ‘Spitfire Prelude’ concluded the first half.
The second half was a spectacular joint performance, with both bands performing to the highest standard; captivating our audience. With nearly 100 musicians on stage, the massed bands of Eynsford Concert Band and the Band of the Grenadier Guards is impressive, both in sight and in the sound they produce.
Once again, the fanfare trumpets were in evidence in ‘Vivat Regina’, and the programme continued in patriotic style.
‘Here’s a Health’ by Wiffin and Philip Sparke’s ‘Albion Heritage’ followed. I was then pleased to duet with Lance Corporal Peter Batai, in Handel’s ‘Entrance of the Queen of Sheba’. It isn’t every day one gets a chance to play a baroque classic with a world class body-builder, and I think we gave a memorable performance.
A performance of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, followed by Holst’s ‘Jupiter’ ably demonstrated the range of repertoire possible with a massed band of 100 players. The concert finale included the Ladies of the audience singing along to ‘Jerusalem’ and rousing performances of ‘Pomp & Circumstance March No1’, the ‘SSAFA March’ and the ‘British Grenadiers March’ brought the evening to a spectacular close – a fitting tribute to SSAFA and the serving and fallen members of our Armed forces.
I think I can safely say that both bands are extremely proud of the contribution that we have been able to make to SSAFA and the armed forces personnel and families that they support. We are also proud of the friendship and strong bonds that have been built between the two bands over the past three years.
Our thanks go to Mike Smith and Major Kevin Davies for their enthusiasm, professionalism and humour in bringing us together and for making the concert such a success. Our sincere thanks go also to Neil Crabtree from SSAFA and to the staff at the Pamoja Hall for all of their continued hard work in helping organise the event.
Principal Oboe, Eynsford Concert Band
On Sunday 20th December, the Eynsford Concert Band brought their traditional Christmas celebration to The Mick Jagger Centre in Dartford.
This year’s concert did not disappoint. With the band dressed in colourful Christmas attire and a stage dressed in tinsel and lights, the scene was set for an evening of christmas music, poor jokes and questionable carol sing alongs.
And colourful it was. With a full programme of popular music from ‘The Polar Express’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘Jazz Waltz no. 2’ to the traditional Christmas sounds of ‘Troika’, ‘Sleigh Ride’ and ‘A Most Wonderful Christmas’.
The star of the evening was the band’s very own vocal soloist, Sue Rivers, who performed the beautiful’ Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ and ‘I’ve Got My Love to Keep you Warm’.
With a sell-out audience in an equally festive mood, it was a great evening that sets the bar even higher for next year!
With many thanks to Luke Bowman and Nanmwa Gadong for taking some great pictures of the evening.
Eynsford Concert Band is delighted to be invited to the first European Championship for Wind Orchestras, to be held in the Tivoli Vredenburg concert hall, Utrecht, The Netherlands on 21st and 22nd of May 2016.
The European Championship for Wind Orchestras is an international non-profit association, with the purpose of arranging the European Championship for Wind Orchestras, founded in Utrecht in October 2014.
The band is greatly honoured to be invited to this competition, allowing us to build upon being crowned ‘National Champions’ at the inaugural National Concert Band Symposium competition in 2014.
The competition will be tough as we already know we will be competing against some of the finest bands in Europe.
If you would like to know more …or arrange to attend and show your support… please mark the dates in your diary and check back regularly for more details.
Every concert by the Eynsford Concert Band is a pleasure, but I especially look forward to their Christmas Festival performance at the Mick Jagger Centre …and this year did not disappoint.
As we embarked on a festive journey from Westminster to the Ukraine, along to the sound of sleigh bells, the National Symposium winners entertained us with a selection ranging from traditional carols to an arrangement from Frozen.
The second half boosted our Christmas spirit as the band displayed an amazing selection of festive headgear and we had a visit from Santa and his Sousaphone. We watched shepherds on Ilkley Moor, sang Hallelujah and rounded the evening off with everyone’s favourite Christmas Festival.
A highly enjoyable and fun evening – many thanks to you all.
We are very pleased to announce that the Eynsford Concert Band were the winners of the National Concert Band Symposium 2014 – a competition featuring some of the finest wind ensembles in the country.
Founded in 2013 the National Concert Band Symposium (NCBS) is an organisation that aims to bring the very best of concert band and wind orchestra music to the widest possible audiences. Its inaugural annual event was held at in the Colyer Fergusson Building at the University of Kent in Canterbury on July 5th and featured discussions, workshops and masterclasses led by some of the leading figures in the concert band world, culminating in a concert with the Central Band of the RAF, the Kew Wind Orchestra and soloist Philip Cobb (principal trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra).
At the heart of the event was a contest, bringing together some of the best wind ensembles in the country (the only competition of its kind in the UK). Each band was given 30 minutes to present a programme of music that would showcase its technical skills and abilities, with performances adjudicated by a panel of 3 world class musicians led by the renowned composer, Johan de Meij, who flew over from the US for the event.
The standard of the competition was very high, so the band were delighted to hear themselves announced as winners at the evening gala concert. The written adjudication was highly positive:
“Flawless technique…rhythmic precision and perfect ensemble playing..”
“Plenty of humour and character. Very enjoyable”
“A great sound”
The title came with a trophy and £2,000 prize, sponsored by Buffet, to be spent on musical instruments. In addition the band’s percussion section were also pleased to pick up a special sectional award and a further £200.
Individual winners included:
Woodwind Category | Presented by Johan de Meij
Elizabeth Aaron (Flute | Burton Borough School)
Catherine Bromley (Clarinet | Kew Wind Orchestra)
Brass Category | Presented by Anthony Halstead
Kevin Ashman (Trumpet | Maidstone Wind Symphony)
Laurence Plant (Horn | Burton Borough School Band)
Percussion | Presented by Simone Rebello
Eynsford Concert Band Section
Mike Dolovich (XBY Concert Band)
The band are obviously very proud to have won this prestigious competition and look forward to defending the title in July 2015