Annual Carol Concert, St. Stephen's Methodist Church, Cannock, Friday 22nd December 2017

Conducted by David Maplestone

All too quickly, the final Concert of the Band's Christmas Season and the last of 2017, dawned on Friday 22nd December 2017 at St. Stephen's Church in Cannock, to a chilly, windy but no snow evening

As always the Church was as full as ever, eager with anticipation for the Concert and the St. Stephen's Singers were ready in their seats well before the start at 7.30pm................

The Band made their way into the Church to warm applause................ the Concert was soon to begin!

The new Vicar of St. Stephens welcomed everyone to the Concert..

After the collected singing of the first carol, the Singers performed some pieces, before the next carol.

David Maplestone strode up to the front of the Band who set off with 'Gaudete' arranged by Rodbey Newton, that had many in the audience jump out of their seats! This was followed by a fine solo by Sheila Draycott on Cornet, of 'Christmas Eve' by Wesley Kendrick. 'Veni Emmanuel' - a traditional piece arranged by Philip Sparke in a totally different way, was very warmly received, as was a very funky performance of 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' arranged by Mark Freeh. The Band's first set ended with 'Yule Dance' by Philip Harper - it's fair to say the audience were very impressed!

The Interval sped by and almost as soon as we had ended the first half, the second started with a hearty carol, before the Singers delivered 3 more songs, 'Hark the Herald' was next and the Singer's final contribution to the Concert were two more songs......

'Troika' by started the Band's final set in fine style and the classy playing continued with a great performance of 'In the Bleak Midwinter' arranged by Craig Stevens, by Baritone Soloist - Steve Allen. 'We Three Kings' arranged by Dean Jones changed the mood somewhat, as did 'Schneewaltzer' arranged by Craig Stevens. The Band's final piece was the ever-popular 'Christmas Festival' by Leroy Anderson - the audience were on their feet!

The Second Half ended with collected contributions of 'Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer' and 'Santa Claus is coming to Town' and White Christmas'.

Encore - 'Jingle Bells' arranged arranged by Derek Ashmore, performed by all, closed the evening in very fine style indeed.

So that was that - another great performance by the Band, alongside all the others over this busy Christmas Season - it doesn't seem like five minutes since the first one at the back end of November and the Band had also performed one, late-night event too!

Thanks to those who helped us out and to all those Members of The Staffordshire Band who have worked so hard, as always, over this Christmas period.

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