"“ … they were come unto the land of Beulah, where … the trumpets continually sound so melodiously."

Monday, 26 December 2011

Well earned rest

Well that's it for another year. We had a very busy Christmas season this year, culminating in carols in the square in Conwy on Christmas eve.

It had been a really lovely day, sunny and dry and very mild. We were due to play at 5.30pm. At 4.30 it started to rain, just a bit, nothing to worry about. It stopped about 5.15, just to lull us into a sense of false security. Then it started again, and it kept on,and on, and on. There was no cover for us, but as the old song goes "the band played on". Allen conducted for the first half, which was a selection of Christmas numbers while the crowd gathered. and despite the appalling weather, gather they did, with a forest of brollies, which reminded me of the Pavarotti concert in Hyde Park back in the '90s. Never let it be said that Conwy folk are not hardy!!

We found it difficult to see the dots because of the rain, despite having the music in plastic sleeves, as the raindrops were literally running down the page. Once the crowd had assembled Mary took over conducting for the community carols, for which we were joined by Sioned Terry who sang a few solo verses. Fortunately the MC decided not to do all 11 carols that were on the sheet, as by now we were frozen and very soggy. We ended up with a rousing chorus of Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, which was very much enjoyed by all present. The crowd then departed to watch Santa's arrival at the Castle, and the band were able to get home to dry out themselves and their music, having poured out the water that had collected down the bells of the horns, euph and basses.

In spite of it all, it was very enjoyable, and was a lovely way to put us really in the Christmas spirit. Hopefully they will ask us to return next year, and maybe it won't rain!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

R.I.P. Les Hannan

I can't quite believe I have another RIP to publish within a month of the last one. We were totally shocked to hear that Les died suddenly today. He was conducting last night at the Optic Centre and seemed his usual witty self. Last Friday he was compering the concert in Rhyl Town Hall, and keeping everyone entertained with his church noticeboard jokes. He was a very talented musician, having conducted the Salvation Army Songsters when he lived in Bradford, as well as having played cornet for Black Dyke Band. He was a great asset to Beulah Brass, having played cornet, baritone and latterly solo horn, besides being associate conductor, standing in when "Big Jim" was not available. Sadly, we never did manage to play "Over the Rainbow" well enough to accompany him properly. A true gentleman, always quiet and polite, but with a very dry sense of humour. God Bless you Les, we will miss you.

And it goes without saying that Shirley and the family are in our thoughts and prayers at this sad time.

Christmas Jobs

Well Christmas started in earnest with the Tree of Lights, which had a very good turnout this year. Thankfully the weather was a bit better. Then we continued with Morrisons fundraising, and between then and Christmas eve between both bands we have 16 jobs. I think Christmas will come as a well earned rest!!