At 4 pm on this glorious spring Sunday afternoon (the daffodils are flowering) after a miserable rainy Saturday, St Mary & St Giles Band and Handbell Ringers gave a concert in the church for the piano fund.

For the first time in one of our public concerts we played the full 'King and I' selection (all of 15 minutes!) that Lesley had arranged for the band from some piano music I had owned since childhood. She did this last year for my birthday party, for which we only had 3 weeks rehearsal.  Somehow on that day we managed to get through it without mishap. Today we were much more comfortable with it because we've been practising it for several weeks, but we certainly needed our interval cups of tea afterwards!  Conversely we also played 'Pomp and Circumstance' by Edward Elgar, which was one of the first 2 pieces our band ever played and is therefore very familiar to us!

The handbells had played at a small local handbell festival 2 weeks ago, and for that they had to play '6 of their best' which they repeated for us at today's concert. During the second half, they raised a laugh when they played 'Jingle Bells' completely out of season!

The soloists deserve special mention:  Eleanor S played her clarinet solo very well in the first half. Young Jacob played three short pieces on the organ, and did really well. Dave K always enjoys finding forgotten sheet piano music (he calls it 'old stuff') and today played 'Daffodil Dance' (1916) by Ernest Austin - very appropriate for the season.

We had about 43 people in the audience and raised £94.44 in the retiring collection for the piano fund and £15 gift aided for the organ fund.  This means we've paid off 64% of the loan on the piano (£3,214.26).  Thank you to the audience for supporting us, everyone who helped with refreshments, provided microphone sound, setting out chairs and tidying away, the band and handbells for playing and most of all Lesley for doing the organising and conducting (and baking lovely biscuits!)