On the first day of summer, we strolled down Stony Stratford High Street in the sunshine. Gently in the air, the enticing sounds of The Band invited us into the church.

We collected our cream teas (delicious) and sat down to enjoy a range of cheerful music from the time of the 1st World War – including well-known favourites like “Colonel Bogey” and “Three little maids from school”.

Highlight of the first half, with ultra-successful “special effects”, was “I’m forever blowing bubbles”, – the band was almost engulfed! Fortunately our melodious tenor was able to continue in fine style.

I’m forever blowing bubbles

I’m forever blowing bubbles

This was one of the “Music for All” concerts in aid of the Organ Fund – watch out for the logo! Anna, John and Ellie were including Willis Organ Research in their Scottish holiday, and had stayed on for a special service at St Andrew & St George’s West Church in Edinburgh celebrating 200 years since St George’s Church opened. However, despite their absence, and that of one or two others, the band produced a polished performance with a well-rounded sound.

The second half kicked off with “I vow to thee my country” and “Keep the home fires burning”. There was a free cup of tea for spotting the only item not in the 1st World War time-frame – “76 trombones”, among more favourites like “Aura Lee” (pre-dating Elvis’ “Love me Tender”, but Peter sung it anyway), and “Meet me in St Louis, Louis”. People enjoyed themselves so much that they stayed all afternoon and sang along.

If you’d like to sing along with The Band, there’s another opportunity on Thursday 12th June, 12.30 – 1.15pm at the Lunchtime Concert in St Mary & St Giles’ Church, in the Music for All series (also features SMSG School Orchestra and Queen Eleanor School Choir).

Meanwhile, many thanks to the band, those who produced the teas, everyone who arranged or cleared up the church, and all those who contributed to a lovely event. A total of £242.45 was raised for the Organ Fund, and a good time was had by all.

Jenny Rowlson with photos by Ray Rowlson – see https://www.flickr.com/photos/78058413@N06/sets/72157644570089158/