Yesterday we held our annual Autumn Concert in St Mary & St Giles Church.  This is a musical tradition that goes back about 18 years.  Originally it was mainly singing from the Parish Singers and Friends, but in time the parish children sang and performed in their own band (which laid the foundation stones of our current church band), the handbell ringers joined the concerts and eventually the band joined (first performance 2001).  It follows a similar formula every year, the singers start rehearsals in late August on Friday nights, thinking confidently that we can get through 10 or 11 different songs in about 8 weeks, and by 2 weeks before we're all wondering if we can chop one out so as to perfect the others.  However despite these dire thoughts somehow it all mostly comes right in the last couple of rehearsals (it is a weekend of music making with Friday night, Saturday afternoon singing in preparation for Sunday afternoon's performance).  This was our first Autumn concert in which we used our baby Grand piano.

Our programme this year was as follows:

  • Gospel medley (sung without music as a round) (choir)
  • Holy, Holy, holy is the Lord (choir)
  • Handbells played 3 pieces
  • Over the Rainbow (choir)
  • Tallis's Canon (simple melody with 8 starting points) (choir)
  • Band played 3 pieces
  • The Spirit of God (choir)
  • Night and Day (choir)
  • Children sang 'The Lords Prayer' and 'Jubilate, everybody'
  • Interval (tea, coffee and delicious cakes)
  • Children's orchestra played 'Blowing in the Wind' and 'Skat Cat Swing'
  • Jacob's Ladder (choir)
  • Jubilate Deo - Howard Goodall (choir)
  • Children sang 'I reach up high'
  • Joseph Medley (choir)
  • On Ilkley Moor Ba't'at (choir and handbells)
  • You raise me up (choir and band)

The band played 3 new pieces:  Wooden Heart (for Elvis Presley), 'The Medallion Calls' from Pirates of the Caribbean (conducted by 13 year old Jacob who was wearing a bandana, eye patch and cardboard dagger tucked into a scarf around his waist!, with my Ellie playing solo violin during the first part) and Nimrod from the Enigma Variations, in honour of Elgar's birthday earlier this year.

There were 4 children participating this year, 3 of whom are in the band.  My Rosie played her violin for the first time in public for one of the pieces with her elder sister and Jacob on violin whilst Niamh played her clarinet (this concert was Niamh's début in the main band).  Fr Daniel accompanied the children's music.

We had a retiring collection at the end of the concert (it is always free entry) and were delighted that the audience of 65 people (and 45 performers) donated £200 to the organ fund, with gift aid donations boosting this by another £29.  What a wonderful result.

Special thanks must go to Lesley and Kath for sorting out all the music and conducting us, Dave and Fr Daniel for accompanying and Fiona for turning pages (when she wasn't playing in the band) and to everyone who helped front of house.