The Salamanca Band and Bugles of The Rifles were welcomed to Hemyock on Saturday (11th July) by a peal of bells rung by the ringers of St Mary's church where the band, conducted by Sgt Martin Wills, gave a concert to a large audience. Given in aid of the Friends of St Mary's and the Royal British Legion the evening made £650 which will be equally shared by the two charities and the organisers would like to express their thanks to the sponsors of the event In welcoming everyone, Patricia Fuller, Co-ordinator of the Friends, said the village felt privilidged to have the musicians and were looking forward to a very special evening and this certainly proved to be true. Following the National Anthem the band opened the concert with rousing numbers including the upbeat 'Viva Musica!'
'Breezin' Down Broadway' with its melody of well known songs from popular shows had everyones toes tapping and drew warm applause whilst 'Gabriel's Oboe' with soloist Sgt Chivers was in complete contast with its haunting melody. 'Maraba Blue' began quietly with drum tapping gradually leading to a crescendo with the band before the diminuendo led back to the drumbeat. 'Tailgate Concerto' was a lively piece of music and 'El Cumbanchero' was another well known piece that had the audience tapping their feet in time with the music.
The second half of the programme introduced the buglers their sound echoing around the church.
L Cpl Nigel Hanson was the soloist on trumpet for 'This Guys in Love With You' and the band were in excellent form for 'Opus One' which deserved the cheers and long applause
The finale based on Last Night of the Proms had all the traditional humming, singing, clapping, standing and flag waving one would expect as the band led the audience through 'Jerusalem', 'Fantasia of British Sea Songs', and 'Pomp and Circumstances March No. 1' - with 'Land of Hope and Glory' along with 'Rule Britannia' being sung with great gusto.
On behalf of the Royal British Legion, David Bawler, thanked the band and buglers for a memorable concert allowing funds to be raised for the two charities organising the event.
Muted silence surrounded the 'Evening Hymn' and 'Sunset' which was dedicated to the service personnel who had recently been killed in action
The short and dramatic regimental march 'Mechanized Infantry' brought the highly enjoyable programme to an end but the prolonged applause and calls of encore led the band into one final piece of music - the famous 'Radetzky March'. The audience were thrilled clapping as the band accelerated in traditional time.
Hopefully it will not be too long before Hemyock is able to enjoy another thrilling concert from these musicians from The Rifles.