Sunday, 24 February 2013 22:56

Subscription Concert 2011

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The members of Castletown Metropolitan Silver Band had an intensive series of rehearsals over the weekend of 18th-20th March, being put through their paces by David Horsfield, ahead of the annual subscription concert. Rehearsals kicked off on Thursday evening with a 2 hour session at the Methodist Church Hall in Castletown, followed on Friday and Saturday with similar sessions. The band was fortunate to have 5 players from Crosby Silver Band to help out over the weekend, and were pleased to welcome back Sophie and Natalie Evans, and Ian Astill.

During the rehearsals the band worked on the Haydn Wood Manx Rhapsody, arranged by Major J E Thirtle and a variety of other music including Alpine Lullaby and Capriol Suite by Peter Warlock. Arthur Christian, the band’s flugel horn player was appointed the player of the workshops! He was highly commended, and took so many bows during the concert that his back gave way!

Well done Arthur! Well deserved.

Following some serious rehearsing the band was ready for the big concert at Castle Rushen High School on Sunday afternoon. During the concert, Rhianne Charley (11) was wearing her band uniform for the first time, its a bit like a pilot receiving his wings, the issue of a uniform indicates that a new player is of a standard for the senior band. Well done Rhianne.


One of the highlights of the concert was Ian Astill, the band’s own student at the Royal Northern College of Music, playing the euphonium solo “La Belle Americaine”, a demanding piece for both soloist and band. Ian put on a good show, and the band handled the accompanying parts well. Manx Rhapsody was also very well received by the audience. The conducting of the band was shared between resident Musical Director, Rodney Evans and David Horsfield.

The band were also fortunate that Ozzy Osborn actually made it to the concert this year, thankfully there was no snow!

During the weekend, Ian Astill and grandad Bob Astill had a mega junior band session, leading to a very creditable junior band performance at the concert at Castle Rushen High School.

The concert was compered by Ian Cottier of Manx Radio Time for Brass, the raffle was run by Gina Fappiano and Margaret Bailey.

The weekend was hard work for all the members, but I’m pleased to say everyone gave their all. Whilst hard work, there were opportunities for some social activity, particularly on the Saturday night after rehearsal, when a hot buffet was enjoyed by the band members. The buffet was supplied by El Simano Caterers.

Rodney Evans, thanked the players for their commitment and particularly thanked Richard Payne (percussionist), Pat Collins (euphonium) and Simon Court (odd job) for their assistance with logistics and planning.

Report by Simon Court 09/04/2011

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