Haverhill Silver Band Review

The latest Haverhill Silver Band concert on Sunday evening in the Arts Centre has conveniently been within a few weeks of the publication of their latest CD, recently recorded in the Old Independent Church.

Thus the programme started with six of the items that are featured on this disc due to be available before Christmas.

The opening item Jubilee Overture provided a wonderful start to the evening. This was followed by a swing piece called Blue Sleeve Step with a chance for two of the band’s principal players, Tim Pannell on cornet and Paul Farr on tuba to show what high quality players the band has now. It also gave the audience a taste of things to come in the second half of the evening.

In contrast the third item Irish Blessing gave the band a chance to show how capable they are when tackling a quieter piece.

The band’s guest star for this concert was vocalist Steve Rinaldi, who is no stranger to Haverhill audiences. His spot in the first half featured two songs Angels and When I Fall In Love. Steve has a lovely voice and wonderfully clear diction. The audience obviously enjoyed them and showed their appreciation.

The first half ended with three more tracks form the new CD.

After the interval the band reappeared, but took up the places in a different formation. We were to be treated to the emergence of the Haverhill Big Band.

The players were obviously enjoyed the chance to let their hair down, but the wonderful quality of the ensemble playing which we come to expect from the Silver Band was never allowed to slip.

Steve Rinaldi’s contribution in this half were three classic bag band vocals Bad Boy Leroy Brown, I’ve Got You Under My Skin and later Mack The Knife.

Another notable moment came when the band played a number called Trumpet Blue and Cantabile, notable because MD Mark Ager suddenly produced his cornet, handing his baton to the band’s assistant conductor, a young lady introduced as Lisa. Not only did Mark prove to us he hasn’t lost his skill as a player, Lisa showed that she also has considerable skill with the baton.

The evening came to a conclusion with three big band numbers, the last of which Big Band Explosion provided a solo spot for the four principal section leaders.

A very fine evening’s entertainment, but this does not mean that the bands members can now have a restful build up to Christmas. During December there will be four more opportunities to hear them. These are :

Sunday December 9, 4pm, The Arts Centre with the Youth and Community Band;

Wednesday December 12, 7pm, St Mary’s Church, Haverhill for the Civic Carol Concert;

Sunday December 16, 6pm, St Mary’s Church, Bury St Edmunds for the Civic Carols;

Sunday December 23, 7.30pm, Carols for Al, Old Independent Church, Haverhill.

By Allan Charlwood