Sunday, 12 June 2016

The Queen's official 90th birthday party

at Hitchin Priory, was organised by Hitchin Band,

Despite the rain, over 100 people turned up to hear the Hitchin Band, with the relatively new, musical Director Graham Chambers,

and twin-town Bingen-am-Rhine's Band, Sponsheim.

Before the performance started, the Master of Ceremonies for the Event, Tim Wheeler, read out a message from the German Band - in German. Apparently the translation was that the Germans hoped that Hitchin Band would play better than their English football counterparts would play against Germany in the Euros 2016.

I ordered the Party Full Afternoon Tea, and we settled down at a table that we shared with a couple who had moved to Hitchin, from Stevenage, five years' ago.

Hitchin Band kicked off with a virtuoso posthorn performance of the posthorn gallop.

Quality playing was evident from then on, from the whole band, including the award-winning cornet section.

Dianh Birch Won the Outstanding Cornet Award for the 1st Section 2016 at the London and Southern Counties Region of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, 2016.

The Hitchin Band was placed third in the 'Premier League' of the Championships.

Hitchin Band, Putting on the Ritz

The Sonsheim Band followed Hitchin Band's first set, opening with the Radetzky March. I assumed we were going to be treated to lots more music from Vienna, or at the very least, their home country, but the band from Bingen followed the march with a Beatles Medley, followed by some Coldplay and Adelle.

MWNN and I finished our tea just as Hitchin Band returned for their second set. This included some great Jazz and Big Band pieces. I have yet to find anything that was uploaded to Social Media but it showcased just how far the band has progressed since we first heard them, 30 years ago.

We left after Hitchin Band's second set,even though we were keen to hear both bands together for the finale, and drink a toast to the Queen. MWNN had put on a loaf to bake just before we left, and it was nearing finishing time,

What we missed, was this

and this

Guest 2nd Baritone player in the white coat is former Hitchin Band player (now Dereham Band, Norfolk) Colin Warburton (note the name)

This was a smashing event. We saw lots of familiar faces, including a former Hitchin Band player-turned-science-fantasy-writer-in-retirement, CJ Burton

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