Celebration of silver band success

editorial image

Despite a clash with another local event Alford Silver Band ‘packed out’ the Corn Exchange for their concert and awards evening recently.

The Alford Silver Band celebrated its players’ successes during the evening and entertained with another ‘enthralling’ concert.

Led by musical director Steve Walker, the band delighted the audience with numbers ranging from Offenbach’s Overture from Orpheus in the Underworld (featuring the famous ‘Can Can’ dance) to Madness’s Baggy Trousers.

‘Steve’s humorous commentary had the audience alternately groaning and crying with laughter, with the theme to the film Chicken Run, complete with kazoos and whistling cornet players, which proved to be a fitting finale to the performance’, said a band spokesperson.

‘The band’s reputation for excellent entertainment continues to spread far and wide, with members of the audience coming from as far away as Mareham-le-Fen to hear the band.

The band also took the opportunity to recognise its own members and celebrate their achievements’, they added.

Band chairman and cornet player Martin Briggs was voted by the membership as the ‘Player Personality’ of the year, for his outstanding work in steering the building of the much needed extension to the band’s rehearsal centre.

He was presented with the Sally Walker Shield, dedicated to the memory of a former band member, by her son, trombonist Richard Walker.

“Martin spent hours of his time in the role of ‘clerk of works’, to make sure that everything came together properly,” band vice chairman, Mike Green, told the audience. “Without him, the extension would not have happened.”

Martin’s grandson, cornet player Michael Briggs (who was unable to be at the concert due to a prior commitment with the Army Cadets) was awarded the Harry Farnsworth Cup for ‘bandsmanship’ for all the work he had done throughout the year ‘behind the scenes’.

“Michael is always there to do the hard, dirty jobs that need doing around the band‘s rehearsal centre, whether it’s mowing the grass, or cutting back the bushes”, said Mike. During the building extension work, Michael took up the old carpets and cleaned them down, painted and worked in the buildings loft.

“Michael does everything asked of him,” he continued, “and does it all without complaint. He’s the sort of young man that every organisation needs behind the scenes.”

Michael’s uncle, Stuart Briggs received the cup on Michael’s behalf from the band’s guest of honour, Coun Mrs Jean Bradley, who represents Alford on East Lindsey District Council.

The award of the Edward Robinson Cup for musical progress was made by the band’s vice president, Cecile Large, who donated the cup in memory of her late father, a former President of the band.

This year’s recipient was retired teacher Carol Goulden, who only took up playing a brass instrument after having been inspired by the band as a member of its audience only 15 months ago.

“Carol has made incredible progress,” said Mike, “moving very quickly through the training band, and is now a key member of the cornet section of the main band. She is an inspiration to anyone who wants to learn a musical instrument in their more mature years.”

11-year-old cornet player Phoebe Willey was awarded the Margaret Sutton Cup for her commitment and dedication to the training band, presented by the band’s President, Margaret Sutton.

“Phoebe not only regularly attends the training band rehearsals but she practices for many hours to ensure that she continues to improve, ” said Mike.

Phoebe is one of four young players in the training band who have recently passed their grade three music examinations as a result of the tuition given to them by Steve Walker.

The young members of the training section showed off their talent with a cameo performance during the concert.

Further information about the band can be obtained by visiting www.alfordsilverband.co.uk emailing secretary@alfordsilverband.co.uk or by calling band secretary, Jane Taylor on 01507 466330.