Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral Concert

Throughout 2011, the Concerts in Cathedrals series is celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Royal British Legion.  Over 40 cathedrals in England and Wales will host concerts, with the Central Band performing five of them.

Southwark Cathedral on the south bank of the River Thames was the venue for the Central Band’s second cathedral concert.  This was a “home gig” for the band who rehearse just eight miles away in Norbury, South London.  Former ‘All Angel’ Laura Wright joined the Central Band to take the audience on a musical journey through the past 90 years.

The programme contained music from ever decade of the Royal British Legion’s existance.  From the Dixieland sounds of the 1920s, past the swing, marches and popular songs of the 30s and 40s.  There was a revival of 1960s Beatlemania and even a nod to Abba’s famous 1974 Eurovision success, before a tribute to the late John Barry with his music for the film ‘Out of Africa’.

With the Central Band accompanying, Laura enchanted the audience with ‘O Waly Waly’ and ‘Lavender’s Blue’, songs from her new album ‘The Last Rose’.  Finally, the concert was brought into the 21st century by the Central Band’s rendition of ‘You Raise Me Up’, featuring a barnstorming flugel and trumpet solo by Tim Mulkern.

The evening was rounded off with the Central Band, Laura Wright and the audience combining to raise the roof of the cathedral with the hymn ‘I Vow To Thee My Country’.

The Central Band will be playing in three more cathedrals in 2011:

  • Lincoln Cathedral – 25th June
  • Truro Cathedral – 24th September
  • Rochester Cathedral – 1st October

As part of the Concerts in Cathedrals series, the Central Band have already played at:

Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral Concert

Throughout 2011, the Concerts in Cathedrals series is celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Royal British Legion.  Over 40 cathedrals in England and Wales will host concerts, with the Central Band performing five of them.

The majestic Canterbury Cathedral provided the setting for the first of the Central Band’s concerts.  ‘Liberty Fanfare’ welcomed the sell-out audience as the combined sound of brass, woodwind and percussion reverberated round the long, high nave.

The first half also included a medley of hits from Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, the ‘Knightsbridge March’ (better known as the theme tune to the BBC radio show In Town Tonight) and a selection of tunes from the songwriters of “Tin Pan Alley”.

‘Wootton Bassett’, a march written in tribute to the Wiltshire market town’s role in military repatriations, began the second half.  Soprano Margaret Threadgold, who had sung Kashif’s beautiful ‘Ave Maria’ before the interval, rejoined the Central Band on stage to begin the act of remembrance with ‘Benedictus’ from ‘The Armed Man’.

Following the act of remembrance, the standards were marched off to ‘Old Comrades’ and Cantebury Cathedral was transformed into the Royal Albert Hall for a “Last Night of the Proms” patriotic finale.

The Central Band will be playing in four more cathedrals in 2011:

  • Southwark Cathedral – 27th May
  • Lincoln Cathedral – 25th June
  • Truro Cathedral – 24th September
  • Rochester Cathedral – 1st October