There were mixed emotions at St Simon and St Jude Thurcroft on the evening of 21 May 2016. As the band celebrated its first anniversary they also bid farewell to their inspirational Musical Director, Ken Vernon.
It was fitting that the audience were entertained with some new music as well as some of the band’s old favourites on such an important night for the players, young and not so young assembled to entertain.
So along with, amongst others Film Music Suite, Hungarian Dance and (perhaps Ken’s signature tune) Young and Swinging were some wonderful new pieces often from the pen of Francis Clifford.
There were also solo performances from Madi Rowe (Celtic Lullaby) and Pam Stevenson with, a Ken Vernon arrangement of, Bring Him Home. A rousing performance of Andrew Stevenson’s Procession was a highlight of the first half as were the cornet fanfares in the aptly named, Francis Clifford’s Millennium Fanfare.
As the band were preparing for the final piece, proceedings were interrupted by presentations to Ken and to Pam Stevenson in recognition of her hard work behind the scenes. Both will be missed, but won’t, the band are assured, be strangers and may pop up at an odd practice just to blow the cobwebs away.
The evening ended with the audience clapping along to Amarillo and a lot of hugs for Ken and Pam.
What now? Well a new Musical Director is in place and starts work taking the band forward for, what is anticipated to to be many years to come. An announcement will be made in the next few days.