'The Four Oaks Cluster Group Carol Service', Lichfield Cathedral, Wednesday 6th December 2017

Lichfield Cathedral was respendent in Winter adornments as the Band made its it fifth appearance at the Four Oaks Cluster Community Carol Service on Wednesday 2nd December, 2015 under meastro, David Maplestone.

The glorious facade of Lichfield Cathedral was as welcoming as always, though it is always interesting to note how many 'very nice' cars seems to ignore the rather obvious 'one-way' signs, indicating a clockwise-only direction of traffic - and oblivious to the mayhem they cause!

As always the Band's Van had made into the 'Number One' parking space...................

The queues of Parents and Children started to arrive just after 6 o'clock - forgetting that Evensong doesn't end until 6.30pm..............

Despite an early start of 7.15pm (which was really quite a rush for the players), almost everyone made it (almost!!), including a combined choir of 325 children in banked seating behind the Band, plus the Four Oaks Cluster Orchestra.

This year, the Band had even more room - which given the inches we have had in previous years, was a delight!

Bang on 7.15pm - ish, the Band were taking their places as the last group onto 'the stage', along with all the different choirs (some on tiered seating) and the junior orchestra.

Once the Introduction was over, the event got into full swing with songs, carols, readings, etc - all jolly good stuff - and the change overs were seamless!

Then it was the turn of the Band with a very 'Wintery' version of 'Gaudete' arranged by Rodney Newton. This was followed by our stand-up solo by the Band's Flugel Horn, Tom Stoneman, who was superb in 'Eyes of a Child' arranged by Philip Harper. The final item in our contribution to the Service was like lighting the touch paper of the biggest rocket ever - 'Yule Dance' arranged by Philip Harper, had the very fibre of everyone present dancing along! The writer was also worried about the strength of the banked temporary seating................ a show-stopper, in every way!!!

Further readings, solos, songs carols, etc. followed before the proceedings came to a joyfull end.

The Band played the children and parents out with a jolly version of 'Christmas Festival' arranged by Leroy Anderson, and at 9.15pm, that was it.

Thanks to all players who helped out the Band and special congratulations to Sue Bailey from Arthur Terry School for organising such a terrific event.


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