Christmas concert treat

Alford Silver Band
Alford Silver Band

The run up to Christmas in Alford will get off to a cracking start on Saturday with the traditional free concert by the Alford Silver Band.

The concert, which starts at 7.30 pm in St Wilfrid’s Church Hall in the centre of the town marks the start of the popular band’s busy Christmas programme.

It is less than a fortnight since the band performed its annual Remembrance Concert to a packed village hall in Chapel St Leonards. But in that time the band has pulled out all the stops to prepare a suitable programme for Christmas.

“Each year seems to be even busier than the year before,” said band chairman Martin Briggs. “As more people get to hear us, so the number of bookings increase. Indeed, we are already receiving bookings for Christmas 2016. It demands a lot from our players, but it is nice to be in dema

He added: “The free concert is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to everyone who follows us so loyally and of getting everyone into the right spirit for Christmas, including the musicians themselves.

“There are no advance ticket sales and no charge for admission. With no pre-reservation of seats, I recommend an early attendance to ensure the best seats. The hall is always pretty full when we play. But we guarantee to squeeze in everyone who wants to get the festive season off to a good start.”

Although the musicians are unpaid, the band plays to a very professional standard and is fortunate to have two very gifted conductors.

Musical director Steve Walker is one of the country’s leading professional trumpet players and is very much in demand with some of the biggest names in the music industry. And when he is otherwise engaged, he is well supported by assistant conductor Richard Walker, a former Army musician and virtuoso trombonist in his own right. Between them, they work extremely hard to get the very best performances from the band, which has given rise to its immense popularity.

Many of the musicians also play for other bands, some on a semi-professional basis and the players travel from as far away as Woodhall Spa to play with the band.

Although there is no entrance charge, refreshments will be provided, and the band will be holding a raffle and a retiring collection to offset its costs and supplement band funds.

The programme for the evening has not been announced, but it will be a mixture of traditional festive songs and other numbers that are often associated with Christmas, with a sprinkling of carols thrown in for good measure.

The concert will also feature the emerging talent of the training section under the baton of its own musical director, Andrew Taylor, who helped reform the section to encourage and train the future musicians of the main band.

Andrew is also the principal cornet player in the main band and is renown for the excellence of his playing.

The free concert will be hosted by the band’s new President, Richard Quantrell and promises to provide a terrific start to the festive period. The church hall is easy to find, being next door to St Wilfrid’s Church with ample, free parking space in the car park opposite.

Further information about the band’s Christmas programme and start of 2016 can be obtained from the band secretary, Jane Taylor on 01507 466330, email secretary@alfordsilverband.co.uk or visit www.alfordsilverband.co.uk