On Friday 7th December, the band held its first Christmas concert at the Church of the Ascension in Wembley, where the band also rehearses. This particular evening was a real milestone however as it was the first time both Regent Brass and Regent Community Brass had performed alongside each other since the latter’s formation in June 2012. Joining the two bands in the concert were the Brent Singers, a first-class senior choir from the Brent Music Service and the wonderful soprano Tracy King, who is now a familiar sight at our concerts in the church.
The concert opened with Regent Community Brass, who really displayed how far they have grown and improved in a very short period of time. Opening with the salvation army march “Christmas Joy” by Erik Leidzen, Flugel Horn soloist Lisa Neale then followed this up with a beautiful rendition of “A Winter’s Tale” before the band changed the mood in Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride”. The band then played Philip Sparke’s lovely arrangement of “The Christmas Song” before rounding off their performance with Stephen Robert’s challenging “Gaudete!”.
The Brent Singers were only founded in 2011 made up with singers from several Brent secondary schools and a number of Graduates from the Brent Music Service Junior Choir, but showed an impressive professionalism in their performance. Directed by Sandra Campbell and accompanied by Eric Angus, the choir wowed the audience with their performance of “A Festive Christmas Celebration” and the Quincy Jones version of Handel’s famous “Hallelujah”.
Following the interval, it was then the turn of Regent Brass to take the stage, kicking the second half off with Peter Graham’s exciting “The Spirit of Christmas”. Principal Cornet Barbara King then showed off her beautiful sound in “Rocking Carol” while the Slade classic “Merry Christmas Everybody” went down very well with the appreciative audience! John Rutter’s “Candlelight Carol” was then performed very musically by the band before Leroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival” rounded things off.
Tracy King then took the stage with her accompanist Li-Lin Teo to perform Mozart’s “Alleluia”, the beautiful “O Holy Night” and Irving Berlin’s catchy “White Christmas” with her usual stunning voice and panache, before both Regent Brass and RCB joined forces to lead the carol “O Come all ye Faithful” before rounding the evening off with “We Wish you a Merry Xmas” and Derek Ashmore’s lively arrangement of “Jingle Bells”.
Both of the bands thoroughly enjoyed the evening and would like to extend their thanks to the guest players who joined us on the night.