Music Makers of MK and Brackley Wind Ensemble gave a very enjoyable Christmas Festival Concert on 14 December, with Christmas cracker jokes between pieces (selected by audience members from a box and read out by conductor Brian Dipple).
Season of Dreams and Just another star were two lovely pieces which weren’t familiar to me, with Brian leading from the keyboard rather than conducting.
The arrangement and playing of In dulci jubilo for wind band was very good.
The words of White is the Winter Night was interwoven with mistletoe.
The clarinet solo piece by Finzi was very serene, a lovely interlude between pieces sung by MMMK.
The Christmas medley by BWE was half the group playing a very jazzy piece.
After the interval and some more Christmas cracker jokes everyone joined in again for an audience and performer carol. Then the choir went to sit down to listen to BWE playing Finzi’s Romance. Brian explained that Finzi was very English with Jewish roots. This piece was originally a string ensemble piece, rearranged for Wind band.
The Baroque Christmas Festival featured themes and tunes from that musical period (including music by Handel), many of them well known, with all the words in English.
The Dance of the Reed Flutes was from the other side of the band - this time all the flutes and the oboe player.
Tavener’s The Lamb is a challenging piece to sing especially for a small choir as it requires the careful listening by every singer for the close harmonies, MMMK managed it very sensitively and annunciated the words clearly.
The 2 piano solos were played with some jazzy sparkle by Brian. He had hoped to play football for England however his mother made sure he practiced the piano which meant less time for football practice!
The Lone Ar-Ranger was based on tunes from Rossini with several other tunes hidden inside it, a fun and cheerful piece - both Lesley and I decided that it would be fun for SMSG Church band to learn this piece.
Jingle Bells was full of bounce, a lovely arrangement.
The two groups finished a very joyful concert with singing for everyone again.
- O little town of Bethlehem
- Season of Dreams - Angerman & Martin
- Just another star - Barrett & Jenkins
- In dulci jubilo - trad arr Dipple
- In the Bleak Midwinter - arr Deford
- White is in the Winter Night - arr Snyder
- Third of the Finzi bagatelles - Carol - Finzi - a clarinet solo with piano
- Look at the world - Ritter
- Christmas medley - Widger & Goddard
- While Shepherds watched
- Away in a manager
- Romance - Finzi
- Baroque Christmas Festival - arr Snyder
- Dance of the Reed Flutes - Tchaikovsky
- The Lamb - Tavener
- See amid the Winter’s snow - arr Iles
- Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer - arr Iles
- The Lone Ar-Ranger - Buttall
- Jingle Bells - arr L’Estrange
- O come all ye faithful
Words and photos by Anna Page