At the end of October, the Central Band of the Royal Air Force travelled down to the West Country for a two-day tour to perform concerts at Exeter Cathedral and the Winter Gardens in Weston-Super-Mare in support of the RAF Music Charitable Trust.
Opening both concerts with the fast and exhilarating Festive Overture by Shostakovich, audiences were then treated to a varied and exciting programme including Greensleeves, World in Union, John Williams’ epic music to Indiana Jones and of course RAF favourites such as The Dambusters.
During the concerts, under the direction of Squadron Leader Richard Murray, the band took the opportunity to feature many of its fine soloists. Corporal Ben Godfrey and Senior Aircraftman Jack Wilson wowed the audiences with stunning performances of Trumpet Tune and Air, whilst Senior Aircraftwoman Emma Jones dazzled them with her rendition of Pequena Czardas on Alto Saxophone. The band’s cool and ever classy Corporal Lewis Musson performed the stunningly beautiful Carrickfergus on Euphonium showing just how versatile the band’s musicians truly are.
A particular highlight for much of the audience and band alike, was a piece called The Life and Death of Danny Boy. Arranged by our very own trumpeter Corporal Cris Richards, this piece incorporated all the varying New Orleans jazz styles featuring trumpet, trombone and saxophone soloists ably supported by our solid rhythm section.
Making use of the Cathedral’s acoustics, the Band completed the night in Exeter with the magnificent Pine Trees of the Appian Way; written to depict the return of Rome’s victorious war heroes, the piece grows and grows in dynamic and instruments to a finale that sounded absolutely phenomenal in the Cathedral.
Following the end of the concert in Weston-Super-Mare, Malcolm Goodman MBE, Founder and Administrator of the RAF Music Charitable Trust, said
“With a near sell out audience over an amazing weekend of concerts in Exeter Cathedral and Weston Super Mare, the Central Band of the Royal Air Force has completed our 15th anniversary fundraising tour with performances that once again demonstrate the awesome instrumental skills of the Royal Air Force today. It is a real privilege to work with such fine musicians in support of our fundraising initiatives.”
We couldn’t have put it better ourselves and can’t wait for the next concert alongside the RAF Music Charitable Trust.
Article by Senior Aircraftman Harry Brownlie
Please take a look at our Friends of RAF Music scheme.