Yesterday afternoon was the culmination of about 6 weeks musical rehearsal for the Parish Singers and friends when we held our annual Autumn Concert in St Mary & St Giles Church. The Parish Singers sang a variety of secular and sacred pieces which were interspersed with the church band (playing 3 new pieces), the hand bell ringers, the young children singers and the St Mary & St Giles Junior School Orchestra.

This year the concert was dedicated in memory of Bernard May, one of our bass singers, who died 3 weeks ago.  Bernard was also one of the team who produced the memorable Sunday Lunches in the early part of our organ fund-raising period, and the Parish Singers miss him very much.

The Autumn concert runs to a tried and tested format, with an interval for refreshments.  However this year it was the first time that the school orchestra took part in the concert which swelled the size of the audience and provided the children with a great opportunity to listen to other groups playing and finding out for themselves what it was like to perform in front of a public audience.  I could feel their beady eyes on the band when we played!  Well done to all the young orchestral players - we hope you join us for the Autumn Concert next year and maybe some of you will join the church band.

It was also the first time we'd had the use of the new parish hall serving as a green room for the Autumn Concert, in the past we've used Stony Stratford Library for this purpose.  The piano was used for many of the concert items, notably when Dave and Jacob played a duet accompanying the Parish Singers for the 'Rhythm of Life'!  The young children singers were (to quote a band member) 'a hoot' as the very smallest ones made the most of the opportunity to keep moving about while they sang.

A very big thank you to Lesley and Kath for organising and conducting the entire concert, Jacob, Dave and Charlotte for playing the piano, Ellie for her vocal solo accompanying the young children, all the Parish Singers and friends, the church band, the hand bell ringers, the young singers and the school orchestra.  Everyone did their best and made this concert a very memorable occasion.

The concert was free entry, though there was a retiring collection for the organ fund.  To quote Lesley "We were delighted to discover £355 in donations for the organ fund as an added bonus" to a very enjoyable afternoon.

The photos which follow are limited to the hand bell ringers and the school orchestra, as the photographer was performing with most of the other groups.