Lesley conducts the band

Lesley conducts the band

The final day of our 3 day Flower Festival for the Queen's 90th birthday was also the day the band gave a birthday concert for her, accompanied by cream teas! We decorated our music stands with flags to complement the bunting around the gallery and the fabulous floral arrangements.

Although the weather was damp we had a steady stream of people coming into the church for the Flower Festival and to hear the music, quite a lot of people sat as audience for the duration of the concert.  The band was placed in front of the pulpit (we moved chairs) so the central aisle and other aisles were clear for people to get around the church to see the floral displays.

The band plays for the Queen's birthday

The band plays for the Queen's birthday

We started with the organ and band playing together, only for the second time ever as it was never possible for band to play with the organ before it was tuned to concert pitch.  It was very moving to play "God Save the Queen" with the organ as it gave a really strong bass to the band sound.

Lesley chose not to announce every piece as this was a 'drop in' style concert, with people moving around looking at the flowers all the time, however she announced the solos and 'Highland Cathedral' which I had suggested several months ago would work really well as an organ and band piece, and would be appropriate for this concert as the Queen loves the Scottish highlands (it was written by two German bagpipe players Uli Roever and Michael Korb for Highland Games in Germany and has been suggested as an unofficial Scottish anthem).  Jacob and Lesley arranged it together, with Jacob playing the organ on the day.

Strings, brass and drums

Strings, brass and drums

The programme:

  • National Anthem (with the Willis organ)
  • Happy Birthday (with the Willis organ)
  • Colonel Bogey March
  • Radetsky March
  • Congratulations
  • Jupiter
  • Fairest Isle
  • Scotland the Brave
  • Solo - Dave King (piano) - Medley of Community Songs - arranged in 1931 from traditional tunes being sung in schools at that time.  The tunes were Pretty Polly Oliver, The Vicar of Bray, The Bay of Biscay, John Peel, Barbara Allan, Early One Morning, The Miller of Dee, and The British Grenadiers
  • When I'm Sixty-Four
  • Magic Moments
  • 100 Pipers
  • Coronation Street
  • Solo - Jacob Collins (organ)
  • Just before Highland Cathedral

    Just before Highland Cathedral

    Highland Cathedral (with the Willis organ)

  • Isn't she lovely
  • Lead me Lord
  • Mhairi's Wedding
  • Solo - Sheridan (piano) - Jackson Street Blues by Martha Mier
  • Sing (Barlow)
  • Nimrod (Elgar)
  • The Three Elizabeth's Suite (Eric Coates)
  • Pomp and Circumstance (Elgar)
  • National Anthem (with the Willis organ)

The band was given a cream tea break in the middle of the concert, so we could enjoy scones, jam and cream too, served by the wonderful group of volunteers Nina, May, Fiona, Janet, Sandra, Sue and Jill.

Enjoying cream teas

Enjoying cream teas

Comments from visitors and audience included:

"I had no idea there would be a concert, I am so glad I came to look at the flowers."

"We enjoyed it tremendously."

"Very, very well done."

"It was absolutely excellent!"

"So many talented musicians."

"The players are really, really good, aren’t they?!"

Sheridan plays Jazz piano

Sheridan plays Jazz piano

"It was magnificent – thank you."

"I really enjoyed myself."

"Thank you for the music."

The cream teas raised £300.62 for the Greater Access Project (Restoration fund) - the only wheelchair access is via the parish hall and one day we want to make it possible to bring people using pushchairs and wheelchairs in through the West door without difficulty.  It is rather wonderful that after 10 years of fundraising for the organ we are now able to use the restored organ to raise funds for other projects, both within the church and for charitable causes.

Audience and band

Audience and band

More photos of the concert can be seen at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78058413@N06/albums/72157667092484694

Photos by John and Anna Page

Words by Anna Page