2016 marks 40 years of the band making music in Essex, and to celebrate this important milestone in our history we recently presented a Gala Concert at Basildon’s Towngate Theatre.
The band was formed in 1976 as Basildon Concert Band and the passing years have seen us move to various rehearsal locations and a couple of changes to the name, but the core purpose has remained the same: bringing people together to enjoy music-making.
We have undertaken several major projects this anniversary year, including commissioning a brand new piece of music, our concert tour to Belgium in the summer, and culminating in the Gala Concert, as well as numerous other concerts and engagements in between.
The event took a lot of planning. Starting about a year ago, this included everything from choosing and hiring the venue, to selecting the repertoire, commissioning the new work and liaising with the composer (including a special weekend rehearsal workshop), publicising the concert, writing and designing the programme, inviting VIP guests, selling tickets, and lots of other details.
So we were delighted when on a Saturday evening in October we presented the concert to an enthusiastic and appreciative audience of about 250, and the whole event was a great success.
The concert featured a variety of our favourite music representing four decades of making music and drawing on programmes and themes from many of the memorable events from throughout the band’s history. We included music from the 2010 Bernstein Festival when we played at the Royal Festival Hall, 2012 Olympic year, right up to date with some of the music we played on our 2016 tour of Belgium, and much more in between.
We were particularly pleased to present the world premiere of a new composition entitled ‘Scenes of Essex’, composed specially for the occasion by internationally renowned composer of wind band music Colin Touchin.
We are also honoured to be performing alongside the talented dancers from the Julie Noble School of Performing Arts who added a tremendous additional dimension to the spectacle with their high quality and imaginative dance interpretations to accompany some of our musical items.
It certainly was an evening to remember, and grateful thanks go to everyone who helped to make it a success, especially the hardworking members of the Committee, and of course to the audience for turning up and supporting us!