Review: Chichester City Band Christmas concert

REVIEW BY Marilyn Hurdwell

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 7:12 am
Chichester City Band

St Paul’s Church welcomed us with the sight and scent of many twinkling Christmas trees! Also clad in green and gold, the band entertained the large audience with a sparkling concert of festive music, along with several traditional carols in which everybody took part

First up was The Cossack, a dramatic march which the band had successfully played in recent contests. (Their trophies were on display to prove it!) This was followed by Camptown Races, reminiscent of Boxing Day, and the ever-popular Disney Fantasy, arr.Goff Richards.

Musical Director Rom Stanko is also an accomplished music arranger, as heard in The Redeemer, based on part of Handel’s Messiah. The mood then changed with the jaunty medieval Wassail Song, and Rom’s own arrangement of the beautiful Coventry Carol. The talented percussion section featured in both Denzil Stephens’ Copa Cobana and Dizzy Stratford’s lively Christmas Swing ending the first half of the concert

After seasonal refreshments, it was the turn of Alan Rodger’s superb Intermediate Band to entertain, to great acclaim. Lots of proud relatives & friends delighted in their prowess. The senior band then returned with Rom’s arrangement of Hey, Look me Over (medley) Again, the mood changed with Howard Blake’s hauntingly beautiful Snowman, to be followed by another more lively medieval carol Gaudete (Rejoice!)

The Twelve Days of Christmas, arr. David Beal, proved to be a testing marathon for both the band and its conductor, with frequent hilarious changes of time-signatures and other pitfalls – successfully engineered by all! In conclusion the great Duke Ellington reminded us all that It Don’t Mean a Thing if it ain’t got that Swing….how true is that!

Happy Christmas to all!

Marilyn Hurdwell