With the 2012 Festival of Remembrance paying tribute to Bomber Command, there was no more fitting way to open the Central Band’s annual Epsom Concert of Remembrance than with the famous march ‘Dambusters’.
Highlights of the first half included Marvin Hamlish’s beautiful ‘Through the Eyes of Love’ featuring the trumpet of Tim Mulkern and a haunting alto sax solo by Phil Willans playing ‘What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?’. A selection of songs from ‘My Fair Lady’ provided an opportunity for the Epsom audience to test their vocal chords as the concert was taken to the interval.
The second half started with the exciting March by Dmitri Shostakovich and then there was time to relax with the sound of the 1940s and the ‘Miller Memories’ and ‘Swing’s the Thing’ medleys. Another musical selection from the ‘Wizard of Oz’ proceeded a short ceremony of remembrance. The famous words of Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For the Fallen’ – featured at the Festival of Remembrance the night before – were sung by Catherine Jack. In the minutes silence followed the audience stood to remember those who have lost their lives in the service of the country and the Last Post and Reveille sounded from the bugles of Brian and Stuart Rutt.
The concert concluded with stirring march ‘Fame & Glory’ before a rousing rendition of ‘Abba Gold’ sent the audience out singing into the chilly November evening.
As another weekend of remembrance passes by, we remain, as ever, extremely honoured to have been a part of the Royal British Legion’s services and celebrations. We look forward to hearing the total raised by the Poppy Appeal 2012 and sincerely hope that the ambitious target of£42 million has been achieved.