BY Marilyn Hurdwell
Cathedral Green, June 15 2019, at 3pm
Sheltering beneath a large tree, members of the Band were warmly welcomed by the Mayor, Mayoress and Festival Chairman, Phil Hewitt. Under their charismatic MD, Rom Stanko, the Band played a selection of music as a taster for their evening concert: “Summer Delights”, at St Paul’s Church, Churchside, and other talented entertainers included two contrasting choirs, a cabaret singer - Dawn Gracie, and a special welcome from local celebrity author Kate Mosse
In the evening, the whole award-winning Band re-assembled and gave a scintillating concert of music to suit all tastes.
They began with the spectacular Amparito Roca, followed by Rom’s skilful arrangement of the Finale of Schubert’s 5th Symphony. The next piece, Sailor’s Dance, from Chichester Dances, was part of a suite written especially for the Band by Kenneth Downie, a well-known composer of brass. After that we enjoyed a delightful piece, By Trevone Bay, sensitively played by Flugel Horn soloist Anne Wilson, followed by Rom’s own Summer Fantasy. Tenor Horn soloist Lauren Sebastian then stylishly played a special arrangement of Over the Rainbow. Arthur’s Theme was next, and the 1st half of the concert ended with the incomparable New York, New York.
Suitably refreshed, Chichester City’s talented Youth Band strutted their stuff with a selection of music from their repertoire, introduced and conducted by their leader, Alan Rodger. The senior band returned to play Cy Coleman’s bouncy Hey Look Me Over! Rom then decided it was time for the audience to take part, so he taught them to whistle the main tune from Bert Kaempfert’s Swinging Safari, later joined by the band! A complete contrast in mood was John Barry’s Out of Africa, with its gentle atmospheric tones, beautifully played. Again the band took off with a riveting Frolic for Trombones, featuring Dan Godsmark, Ann Porter and Helen Parkinson, then it was the turn of Euphonium soloist Ronnie Wilson to calm us down with the bewitching Welsh love-song Myfanwy.
Four cornet players: Derek Price, Martin Webb, Philippa Trish and Tracy Pearcey, along with the band, entertained us expertly with Bowman’s feisty 12th Street Rag, followed by George Gershwin’s immortal Summer-time. The appreciative audience demanded an encore, so the band obliged with Duke Ellington’s “It don’t mean a Thing if it Ain’t got that Swing!” – a sentiment probably shared with performers and audience alike!