Meeting :Federation of Guitar Societies Sunday 28th July

Well the Highlands Village Hall in Enfield, reverberated from the sounds of many a pluck and strum on Sunday!!

Eight intrepid souls from the Bromley Guitar Society found themselves in good company with players from Enfield, Richmond, Dorset, North Bucks, Greenwood and Southhampton Guitar Socities for one of the biggest ensemble performances that your correspondent here can remember for a hell of a long time.

All the hard work that Ray put in preparing us for this day paid off nicely. I can safely say that Bromley members managed to start when they should and finish when they should which, as the late Sir Thomas Beecham would say, is all you want in an ensemble performance! What happens in between is irrelevant! (His words not mine!!)

Cornelius Bruinsma had the rather unenviable task of leading this rather large contingent of players to play together (and in tune!! No small feat!!). He accomplished this with great humour and patience. We started the session with some warm up exercises and then launched straight into the Byrd's La Volta which, for some of us, was a bit of a surprise as we only received the music a minute before hand but, even more surprisingly for your correspondent, it worked really well!! By now, feeling more emboldened, so we launched into Gabrielli's Canzona, a piece that has a few interesting traps for the unwary and I think we were all amazed by how heroically it actually went. Especially when you consider our experiences with this piece in previous BGS meetings!

Then it was onto our nemesis, Schubert's Marche Militaire, another composition with a few hidden traps included. There were a couple of occasions where I had to indulge in a little bit of 'air guitar' but they weren't very often. Playing with such a large group does have the benefits of hiding your mistakes at times.

After a hearty lunch break it was time for all the societies to present their own contributions- no where to hide now! Led by our intrepid chairman Den, we made a brave and successful bash at Mr De Witts Sonata from the Entree, Main course (Minuet 1 and 2) and Afters (Bouree and even the dreaded Sarabande)

Tom, John, Vince, Shirley, Jenny and Trevor did the BGS really proud with their performance! Hopefully when Vince's sound pixies have digitised the recordings we'll have it on the web site so you can hear it for yourself.

The other societies provided a wonderful and eclectic selection of ensemble performances which was appreciated by everyone present.

Events like this don't happen by themselves. A lot of work is done behind the scenes and I can safely say that Enfield GS did a truly fantastic job both in organising the venue and the catering of drinks and meals for hungry and thirsty guitarists. A special thanks should go the Ray Butcher for all his work- not just with the organisation of the day, but for all his work and support for us in Bromley. Without Ray's cajoling and encouragement, we would probably have not been in contention let alone delivering a great performance.

In all the rush up to the day, I was hoping to have some photos and even another video of the event but certain domestic events intervened and unfortunately I had no time to get cameras ready. I understand that lots of photos were taken on the day so we will try to get these put on site. They should be available on the Federation of Guitar Societies Web Site.

No doubt there will be more Post Mortems!! Keep them for the Meeting on the 18th July! See you then!

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