Setting Sail 2009
After 2008’s 10th anniversary theme concert ‘Best of Brass’, Coleshill Town Band begun its next 10 years of theme concerts by hoisting the mainsail on ‘HMS Coleshill’ and sailing the seven seas with a concert of nautical music entitled ‘Setting Sail’.This theme concert was to be an epic production with pre-planning beginning many months ago. In the immediate build up to the event much work was undertaken by committee and other band members to ensure the whole event had the right ambience. The stage was turned in to a sailing ship with fantastic scenery and appropriate props all designed and created by the Fellows family.
Within the town hall other areas were created such as a galley, where interval refreshments were to be served, a pirates cove which would come in to it’s own during the concert and other features such as portholes on the doors, sea and waves lapping the front of the stage and various ensigns and semaphore flags adding to the décor.With the atmosphere created it was now down to the band to provide the capacity audience with their nautical entertainment. Simon Toon signalled the start of proceedings by calling band and audience to attention with his bosons call whistle.
HMS Coleshill set sail with ‘Symphony of the Seas’ a three-minute selection of everybody’s favourite nautical tunes and airs, a great way to introduce the concert. Calmer waters were reached with two beautiful performances of ‘Spartacus’ and ‘Donegal Bay’. A simple up-tempo arrangement of ‘Beyond The Sea’ lead the band on to an old favourite ‘Blow The Wind Southerly’ before the foot-tapping ‘Who Pays the Ferryman’ reminded the audience of a TV classic. The simple ‘Song Of The Seashore’ allowed the band to once again demonstrate it’s mastery of lyrical playing before the exciting ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ saw a motley group of pirates explode out of the pirates cove to terrorise the audience before the interval.A great team of helpers managed the audience during the interval helping serve refreshments, sell raffle tickets, promote and sell CD’s and draw people in to sponsor Sally and Simon’s half marathon bid. All this allowed the senior band prepare for the second half! CYB recommenced the concert with three excellently performed nautical pieces – ‘Portsmouth’, ‘Beyond The Sea’ and special arrangement ‘Setting Sail’.
The Youth Brass’s input in to the evening enabled the audience to learn about their fantastic exploits at the Butlin’s Youth Championships and their achievements were rightly acknowledged.Another call from Simon Toon and the beating of the drums heralded the return of CTB. Looking resplendent in their sailors costumes the band entered from the rear of the town hall to play within the audience before taking to the stage to play, standing, ‘Yellow Submarine’. A now excited audience needed some calming playing and ‘Shenandoah’ provided this before a trip back to the 1980’s with the dynamic theme tune to ‘Howard’s Way’. A very different arrangement of ‘Sailing’ proved to be a musical highlight for both band and audience before the driving sounds of ‘Conquest of Paradise’ lead both band and audience back to port for the conclusion of the concert. A traditional march ‘Portsmouth Chimes’ and a very modern arrangement of ‘In The Navy’ followed by orders to disembark HMS Coleshill signalled the end of, without doubt, the best theme concert to date. What a way to start another ten years! Thanks to everyone involved for making 'Setting Sail' a truly memorable event.