'A Shot of Spaghetti' Concert, Forest Arts Centre, Friday 15th June 2018

The final Concert of The Staffordshire Band's 8th Season at Forest Arts Centre took place on Friday 15th June 2018 under Guest Conductor, Jonathan Pippen.

And what a Concert it turned out to be!

Bedecked in 'cowboy' garb (sadly without any Colt 45's!), the Band took to the stage with a rowdy and expectant audience, ready to shoot some lead!

Guest Conductor, Jonathan Pippen then took Centre Stage and launched straight into Liberty Fanfare by John Williams arr. Alan Catherall - a homage to the anniversary of the American Civil War and a fantastic piece to begin a Concert - and the audience certainly thought so!

The Band followed this barnstormer start with a homage to the people involved in the American Civil War, including popular American Music set in a style of some famous American Composers - this brilliant piece was further enhanced by a further explanation of what happened during the War given by Jonathan during the piece - this was the superb An American Tale by Dan Price - the musical bar was getting ever higher! A short film followed, A Shot of Spaghetti, - a famous scene from 'A Fistfull of Dollars' starring Clint Eastwood, as 'The Man with No Name' reducing the town's population by 3 or 4, to set the flavour of the them of the Concert. Dances with Wolves by
John Barry arr. Frank Bernaerts, depicting the flavour of this multi-Oscar winning film by Kevin Costner, telling the tale of an American Soldier joining an Indian Tribe, his adventures and their implications - this hauntingly beautiful music was ideally suited to a band of this quality and the sound that rang through the auditorium was quality by the bourbon shot. A jewel from the Band's Library folllowed - Wild Wild West by Ronald Hanmer is a collection of wild west tunes including 'Home on the Range', 'Skip my Lou', 'Big Rock Candy Mountain' and 'On Top of Old Smokey' - all terrific stuff indeed. The feel of the Concert relaxed a little with a very fine performance of Alan Fernie's brilliant arrangement of
Shenandoah - what a brilliant performance by the Band this really was - Maestro Pippen was inspiring. The final (and very short) piece of a terrific first half was The Magnificent Seven by
Elmer Berstein arr. Edrich Siebert.

Well that was a barn-storming first half, full of bullets, horses, dancing and big, big soundtracks - great stuff indeed!

The second half began with a scene (the final one before they both get shot) from the film before the Band struck off with the premiere of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
by Burt Bacharach arr. John Cacavas. 'Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head' started it off, and the rest was, as they say, history. Oklahoma by Rodgers & Hammerstein arr. Alan Catherall is a great arrangement - full of verve and excitement - though short, every bar counts and the audience loved it! An olf favourite of brass band and audiences for many, many years followed - Hootenanny by Harold L Walters, was a foot-tapping, note bashing, barnstorming performance of this well-written arrangement that literally brought the house down! Shaun Elliott, Chairman took over to run the Yee-Hah Raffle with, once again, some truly average prizes, including toileteries, a diffuser and a Colt 45 toy gun, no less! Way Out West, brought the delights of Laurel & Hardy to the Concert, with an no-holes barred version 'In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia' - vintage stuff! The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Ennio Morricone arr. Ray Farr was a total commitment to music, sound, and fun - it was superb and practically brought the place down!! Probably the best known and loved cowboy who appeared in over 250 episodes on TV and in numerous film as well, the final (and encore) was
The Lone Ranger by Rossini arr. Gregor Grant - other wise known as 'William Tell'.

And that was that. A fantastic night of terrific music and theatre. The audience were in 7th heaven and thrilled with everything that had happened during the show.

Thanks to Henry, our audio-visual guru, all the Ladies of Forest for their fantastic work behind the scenes, all our friends who helped us out and to Jonathan Pippen who, was imperial in his conducting and compering skills..........

Finally Shaun Elliott, Chairman said, 'A Shot of Spaghetti' was a great concept with terrific (and not-often-used music) that did what it should have done to the tin. Great playing, fine conducting and a terrific audience created a most fitting end to the Band's latest (and probably finest) Season at Forest Arts Centre. Can wait for next year's!!.

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For further information relating to the bands engagements or programmes please e-mail Information@thestaffordshireband.com