On Saturday 5th September as the sun shone, Helston Town Band polished off their busy summer season with the first of their two final appearances of the summer season.
Saturday saw the world premiere performance from the Honolulu Town Band aka Helston Town Band and Helston Town Concert Brass as they have never been seen before. The band dressed in attire to match the music which this year was wonderfully jazzy, Zambezi. The dress code for players was “Hawaiian” and boy, did they go to town; or should that be beach? There were more Hawaiian shirts and shorts than on Waikiki Beach, O’ahu Island, Hawaii. All that was missing was a few long boards and the waves.
The band played for the whole carnival and many of the spectators and participants were seen dancing to the music and really enjoying themselves.
Sunday saw the final concert of the summer when the band, minus the Honolulu contingent, performed at the Old Cattle Market as part of the Helston Harvest Fayre. The band, once again under the guidance of Deputy Musical Director Kevin Johns, entertained the audience in the sun. Kevin kept the audience entertained between pieces with his wit and friendly manner (I was told to write that). There was also some sadness to the concert in that it was the last one that two of the younger members of the band will play in for a while as they leave for university soon. Second horn player, Matt Wingham, leaves in a couple of weeks to study Astronomy at Aberystwyth, while Bass trombone player, Nick Philips, is of to train on yachts. The band wishes them well in all they do and are sure they will be successful. Just don't forget May 8th!
This comes after a very busy period for the band with their annual Lismore Proms being the centre of attention for a group of hard workers over a busy few days
Held once more in the wonderful setting of Lismore, the hard work started days before the performance. Tuesday saw Lionel Endean doing his duck impression while the scaffolders built the stage in the pouring rain. When asked what the weather was like, Mr Endean thought that a pet snake had escaped as he said it had been “Hissing down!” At least I think that is what he said.
What a relief on Wednesday morning though to see the sky a lovely blue and the branches of the trees barely moving in the breeze. This would certainly make the day ahead a lot easier. Wednesday is the day when the proms begin to be put together and “Gaffer Garcie”, AKA Kevin Johns, sets his apprentices their tasks for the day which include fixing up the lights, laying out the cables, getting the pasties.
Thursday was all about dressing the stage and preparing for the evening rehearsal. Eventually it was all ready except for one major piece of equipment. The steps onto the stage. Garcie may be the Gaffer but when it comes to “Elf n' safety”, Shaun is the foreman. All that was missing was the pocket full of pens in his dust coat. You wouldn’t believe how long three men can take to sort out one step but what a result! Even the ladies would be impressed.
After the stage, there was only the performance to worry about. And the weather of course! But after 2 evening rehearsals and the weather being glorious all day, there was nothing to worry about. By the time the gates opened at 6:00pm, there was already a queue of spectators along Cross Street. The Concert band played a selection of their music as the audience settled in after being greeted by Lionel, who had dried out by now, and pointed to the best seats by Jamie King. This was, of course, after Ann had taken some of their money for the raffle and David had taken the rest for flags and glow sticks.
As the clock struck 7:00pm, Alan Trewhella, the band Chairman, stood in front of the stage and welcomed everyone to the 2015 Proms before handing over to the compere for the evening, Mr Bruce Taylor.
What an evening? The playing was excellent including a fantastic solo performance of Capriccio Brilliante by Solo horn player Lisa Sara and solos by mother and daughter singers, Karen and Bromley Hurn as well as a special guest performance by Patricia McFaddyan, an established opera singer and close friend of the band president and owner of Lismore, Mr Michael Jay. There was the usual comedy sketch, this year being Forty Fathoms performed by Ben Curnow and Nathan Tootil on Eb and Bb Bass’. This performance saw a special appearance by deep sea fishermen, Jack and Kevin in their boat the “Hoof Hearted”. The fisherman soon paddled off when a rather ill looking killer whale came along though.
The evening ended on a high with everyone standing and singing whilst waving their flags in the usual proms ending of Radetsky, Fantasia on British Sea Songs, Jerusalem and Pomp and Circumstance. The concert ended with a mighty rendition of “Trelawney”.
After such a great night and with all the preparation that had been put in, it took most of the band a good few hours to unwind and relax with a little help from the Helston RBL. Thanks guys.
The sun did not keep its hat on for Sunday though which meant that the Songs of Praise would have to be held indoors at the Methodist Chapel. But what a great turn out? The chapel was full and the singing magnificent. Karen and Bromley sang once again and the gospel group led the singing of the some of the hymns. The whole evening, organised by the bands’ 1st Baritone player, Paul Jenkin, ran smoothly thanks to the superintendent minister and friend of the band, Rev Danny Reed.
Monday is grafting day as the band all meet up to take everything away, including the stage. But the sun was back, so we didn’t get wet like last year but it was very hot and dry work. Special thanks to all the players who turned up to help. It would not have been done without you.
Tuesday saw the band playing at Helston Football Club on their inaugural game under floodlights. They played a few marches before the game but when the players were ready to run onto the field for the start of the game, the band formed a tunnel for the players to run through while playing the traditional Flora Dance. What and honour for all involved.
The band would like to wish the football club all the best for the coming season.