An Evening of Song and Dance at Wimborne Minster

Right on the chime of 5pm from the Wimborne Minster clock, we hushed our excited chatting and sat up with our instruments in the beautiful church for a pre-concert rehearsal. With Simon’s last pointers, run-throughs of our practically perfect pieces (and for some, a quick trip to the pub for a pint of courage!), we were ready for a great musical performance.

With a programme as varied as the weather was that day and our preparations complete, the evening was looking to be a very enjoyable one. The crowd filtered in and filled up the pews, with one of the busiest audiences since Christmas.

View of band and audience at concert in Wimborne Minster

© @andrew_potter_photography

At just after 7:30pm on 27 April, we started by igniting a Spanish spark with Amparito Roca that represented a bull fighting pasadoble in our Evening of Song and Dance! It was clear that this piece was an awesome opener that shook the cobwebs out of the dusty corners of the chapel. Followed by my personal favourite, an awesome can-can with Orpheus in the Underworld featuring our band leader and solo clarinettist, Nick, with some colourful cadenzas in several moments in the piece.

Other first half music highlights was the fun cha-cha inspired Sway, Illyrian Dances and Waltz No.2 with soloist 1, Tracey (alto saxophone) and soloist 2, Mary (trombone) with the wonderfully played melody lines. Finishing off a cracking first half that took us several places in the world, was the classic Lord of the Dance arrangement, Cry of the Celts.

A lovely buzz filled the Minster during the interval, following the opening half of our evening. Our full, engaged audience giving off such positive vibes that I think us players soaked right up and used to perform this wonderfully varied concert. This encouraged an even better second half.

We opened back on Bohemian Rhapsody, of course one of the most popular songs of the mid 70’s that made the band Queen so big. This piece featured tenor saxophonist Jo who provided a sweet rendition of Freddie’s vocal line in the verse that starts with ‘mamma’ killing a man. Continuing with a sweet melody, we continued our programme with a small breather from a fast and exciting tempo and with a quick trip to Europe we played Swedish Folk Song, a beautiful piece of music that ended softly and floated in the air and caused the Minster to be still.

Conductor with audience in background at Wimborne Minster

© @andrew_potter_photography

We came back to more familiar lands with our quintessentially English finale pieces (with an added Eurovision classic). Simon had donned the stylish union jack bow tie and we proceeded with our fantastic farewell to our audience, featuring English Folk Song suite, Irish Tune from County Derry, ABBA Gold, a roaring version of Shipping Up To Boston, and of course a Proms classic, Fantasia on British Sea Songs that rolled into Rule Britannia. And our spectacular finish had the audience singing along with our solo songstress, Lizzie, in Land Of Hope and Glory.

We had so many people to thank for making this concert such a big success. Our conductor Simon, for constantly bringing the best out in our ensemble; our Committee members; volunteers (friends and family of the band); our guest players from Royal Marines Band Service and returning players; the beautiful venue of the Wimborne Minster itself; and of course our wonderfully responsive audience.

As volunteer musicians we work so hard to give an impressive performance as part of our spare time but we couldn’t do it without all the support we get from all those people. Thank you.

See our upcoming concerts page to find out where we’re playing next in the area.

By SJ on tenor saxophone