A very appreciative audience enjoyed the first of a series of autumn lunchtime concerts by the SMSG Band, with similar concerts taking place on the third Thursday of October and November too.

With Lesley Salter conducting, the Band launched into ‘What a Wonderful World’ as an opener, setting the scene for a selection of celebratory songs and hymns. The talented group of musicians gave a foot stomping rendition of the drinking song ‘Oom Pah Pah’, with a gentle tinkling of teacups the background. In contrast, this was followed by the melodious hymn, ‘In Christ Alone’, which will again be played by the Band on Saturday 20th September at Hanslope Church.

The brass, strings and woodwind players also delighted the audience with tunes ranging from Elvis’ toe tapping ‘Wooden Heart’ to heart touching harmonies such as ‘Abide With Me’ and The Rev Clement Cotterill Scholefield's ‘The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, is Ended’.

An entertaining addition to the concert was the SMSG School Handbell Ringers. Despite having had only two practices as a whole group, their performance was as near ‘bell perfect’ as anyone could want. The twenty one pupils showed immense concentration and commitment as they dealt with a variety of tunes – and tempos! ‘All That I Am, All That I Do’ was their final piece and this will be performed at Christchurch Cathedral in Oxford at the Head teachers’ Annual service, a very special event.

With four Beatles’ songs completing the programme, the audience involved themselves wholeheartedly in singing along and their final round of applause paid testament to how enjoyable the concert had been. With teas, coffees and home baked cookies too, this was a lunchtime of delights.

A total of £40.15 was raised towards pipes in the Willis organ.

Andrea Hearne (with photos by Richard Hearne)

Lesley introduces the band

Lesley introduces the band

Appreciative audience

Appreciative audience

Flutes

Flutes

The band plays

The band plays

SMSG school handbell ringers

SMSG school handbell ringers