Bocking Concert Brass in Foxearth

  Bocking Concert Brass, with soprano Lorraine Ely, made its promised return visit to Foxearth Church on 10th September – the first having been just a year ago. Once again we had a varied and carefully constructed programme featuring many well-known tunes – and others that we knew but couldn’t have named. There was a thigh-slapping waltz from Austria, a song from Italy and references to over the pond with the Battle Hymn of the Republic medley and a piece called Old Mississippi. Lorraine contributed a smoochy Summertime from Porgy and Bess, the Pie Jesu from Faure’s requiem, the Latin love song, Besame Mucho, Memory from Cats and As Time Goes By from the film Casablanca.; with her fine sense of interpretation and her soaring voice, nostalgia reigned.

Alas with a single voice – however strong  – pitted against twenty or so so pairs of lungs on brass instruments  – plus percussion -there is always the potential for balance problems and in some of Lorraine’s  items it wasn’t a very even contest. That said it was a very entertaining evening of music with several instrumentalists showing their expertise in solo items. Musical Director Ian Coote wielded an energetic baton – maintaining skilful tempi -and thoughtfully introduced each number with a few words. As it was the Last night of the Proms, the programme ended suitably with the Henry Wood Fantasia on British Sea Songs in which the appreciative audience showed that it knew what was expected of it in the ( excitedly accelerated ) hornpipe!

Buffet food and wine was served in the interval and we thank those who generously provided. Thanks are also expressed to Churchwardens Phil and Mally who organised and generally got the event off the ground. Mostly we thank those who forsook their armchairs and came along in support. As last year it is a pity that the concert generated such a relatively small amount of local interest.

The result, after expenses, was a small profit for the Parish Church restoration fund.

Ken Nice

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