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Hungerford Town Band Festival Concert – Sunday 13th July – by TB

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The Corn Exchange is the venue for tonight’s closing concert – good news with its ‘superior’ views from the balcony and generous amounts of daylight to help with the lighting. Tim Crouter is in charge as usual and the band play varied items from their wide repertoire, filling the spacious surroundings with the characteristic brass band sound. The hall is pleasantly populated with a substantial audience, in spite of attractions elsewhere (in Brazil).

 

 

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A nice touch to give the Training Band a session just before the interval – the smartly dressed juniors can show the seniors a thing or two about smart presentation!

 

 

 

 

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Apollo Big Band in Swing Time – Saturday 12th July – by TB

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The band are back again at Hadcaf following their very popular and successful concert last year in St. Lawrence’s. The venue this year is the John O’Gaunt School – probably more flexible for their needs but not providing the overhead view for photography which is so valuable at the church, and lacking its high ceiling and favourable acoustics.

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The school hall is filled with enthusiastic followers of the the big band sound.
Band leader Les Bruce calls the pieces from the saxophone desk.
Band leader Les Bruce calls the pieces from the saxophone desk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pauline Richings adds to the variety of the big band sound with her polished jazz vocals.
Pauline Richings adds to the variety of the big band sound with her polished jazz vocals.

 

 

 

 

The band naturally has a strong brass section, partly obscured by the stage setting.
The band naturally has a strong brass section, partly obscured by the stage setting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soloists stand when it's their turn to take the limelight.
Soloists stand when it’s their turn to take the limelight.

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Some of the band members play different instruments, here swapping a sax for a flute.
Some of the band members play different instruments, here swapping a sax for a flute.
The sax section plays a group 'solo'.
The sax section plays a group ‘solo’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A very enjoyable concert which would have kept the Apollo Big Band’s many fans well satisfied.

The Fresh Dixie Project – Friday 11th July – by TB

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Chris White – Saxophone Player – Wed 9th July – by TB

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Chris White plays some of the famous saxophone solos from his time with Dire Straits and recounts stories from his life as a musician.

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Phoenix Brass Open Air Concert – Sunday 6th July – by TB

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A traditional scene at Froxfield with Phoenix Brass outside on a fine summer afternoon on the village green (well in the car park of the Memorial Hall) in rural Wiltshire (just). Musical Director David Watson is in charge for the occasion.

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KennetOpera / KeyboardMadness – Saturday 5th July – by TB

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First up tonight it’s back to St. Lawrence’s Church for Kennet Opera and their Delight in Singing concert. They perform a range of opera choruses and solo items supported with great energy from the piano. I’ve not had the chance to get into the church to tone down the altar floodlight so I have to avoid the glare as best I can.

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Bethany Coopey singing Deh vieni non tadar.

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The spacious acoustic of St. Lawrence’s is appreciated by performers and audience alike.

 

 

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Daisy Smeddle singing Una donna a quindici anni from Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutti.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ant Goffart singing Escamillo from the Toreador’s Chorus in Bizet’s Carmen.
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Lucy Fitt singing George Gershwin’s Someone To Watch Over Me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Musical Director Paul Jenkins in charge of Kennet Opera.

At the interval I transfer to the nearby Croft Hall to make sure there is some photographic support in place – all is well with stills and video recording already taking place so I take a few shots of Max Hunt at the keyboards, initially performing piano works but later bringing in complex synthesiser sounds to standards such as Bohemian Rhapsody. Max is also joined by Hungerford’s own Danica Trim who immediately impresses with her powerful voice. She performs compelling covers of Stevie Nicks and Kate Bush songs but mainly features tracks from her first CD which she has written herself, with Max helping out on the production. My brief visit lasts to the end of the show!

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