Thirteen members turned up to the December meeting and we had a most enjoyable time. It was good to see both Steve Pearson and Ray Butcher again, and we already knew that Marion, Shirley and Andrew would be unable to attend. Your Chairman thanked those who had taken part in the Beckenham and Maidstone Festivals and admired the Gold Medal awarded in the latter one.
John Mann brought a lot of extra ensemble music, all of it related to Christmas, and he spent up until the coffee interval guiding us through the following pieces:-
Carol of the Bells; Stille Nacht (arr.Freddie Carvalho); Coventry Carol; Snowflakes and In Dulci Jubilo. It made a pleasant change to have John playing in the ensemble rather than conducting us.
Refreshments were served by the ever-faithful Trevor, but there were also some delicious surprise accompaniments to the coffee.
Trevor had baked a big chocolate cake, Tessa brought some mince pies and Alex had made a truly delicious and very large carrot cake. The refreshment interval was a calorific nightmare for those of us lacking the will-power to resist copious quantities of all of these!! Our thanks go to the members who made these generous donations.
After the interval we enjoyed a high standard of playing in the following individual performances:-
Freddie Carvalho What A Wonderful World Weiss / Thiele
Vince Chittenden Plegaria G. Gomez
Gymnopedie E. Satie
Trevor Pike Villancico de Navidad Barrios
Steve Pearson Romance d’Amor Anon
Student of Salamanca J. Ferrer
After these performances, John rehearsed Faure’s Sicilienne and a very unusual snippet from Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, provided by Tessa and involving the use of extremely rudimentary percussion in the form of saucepan lids, chime tubes and a duck call. This somewhat comical arrangement brought a thoroughly enjoyable evening to a close at 9:30 pm.