Waltham St. Lawrence Silver Band

2015 news archive

2015 Christmas wrap

23 Dec 2015

Christmas carols

Street carolling activity in 2015 was again focussed on the areas surrounding the bandroom: Milley Road, the Street and Halls Lane. There was also an evening event at the Shurlock Inn, which attracted a chorus of over 20 despite filthy weather, and a small ensemble accompanied guests in good voice at a private party in Shurlock Row.

Collections at the above totalled over £1,000, which will be used to fund the yet to be decided event for local pensioners.

The band also joined singers from Maidenhead Round Table at Sainsbury's supermarket on three mornings in the run-up to Christmas.

The Carols Round the Pound event was held on 23rd December, and was very well attended. Santa kindly turned up and distributed goodies to children. It was held outdoors despite a certain amount of rain, followed by tea, hot dogs and raffle indoors in the Neville Hall.

Cores End URC

20 Dec 2015

Christmas concert in Bourne End

For the second year, WSL band contributed to the "Christmas Joy" concert at the Cores End URC church in Bourne End, compered by band president Wendy Craig. The band opened the concert with Charpentier's Prelude to Te Deum, and as well as accompanying the congregation for a number of carols, presented Handel's Hallelujah Chorus and Prokofiev's Troika (both conducted by euphonium soloist Tom Torley), and the David Essex hit A Winter's Tale as a flugel solo by Jane Lynn.

We were joined by singer Lea Lyle for When a Child is Born, and Lea also sang O Holy Night and Mistletoe and Wine to keyboard accompaniment.

Other pieces were played by Alaster Bentley (oboe) and Jane Rainey (cello), and there was entertaining seasonal humour, as well. The church was packed for the event, which was very enjoyable for all present.

Old Windsor

13 Dec 2015

Christmas Fair

Introduced by the Old Windsor town crier in all his regalia, the band provided festive background music for the local Christmas Fair in St Luke's Road on 13th December. Cornet ranks in particular were heavily affected by illness, it fell to Jane Lynn (flugel) and Dave Oakes (cornet) to carry the melody line in a selection of carols. Hard work for a two-hour engagement! But though numbers were down, the sound was good and passers-by were happy to lend an ear.


6 Dec 2015

Christmas tree lights ceremony

Together with the local parish choir, WSL band provided music for community carol-singing at the Hurst Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the local playing fields on the evening of Sunday 6th December. Though the evening was somewhat dark and damp, the playing and singing were bright, and the lights came on at the first attempt.

Holyport RBL

5 Dec 2015

Concert at War Memorial Hall

Waltham Band, together with guest singer Lea Lyle, presented a concert of two halves for the Holyport Royal British Legion at the War memorial Hall on Saturday 5th December. The first half, opening with the British Legion march, consisted of regular concert items, while the second half was introduced by Charpentier's prelude to Te Deum, followed by entirely Christmas numbers.Those present enjoyed a fish/chicken & chip supper in the interval.

As well as guest artiste Lea, who performed a set of three numbers in each half, we had special guests in the audience: band president Wendy Craig, and Rt Hon Teresa May, who is the local MP.

Soloists in the first half were Ian French (trombone), sliding about with The Acrobat, and Jan Pullen (tenor horn), with On My Own. The closing item before the interval was Peter Graham's A London Celebration, with some unprompted audience participation in Maybe it's Because I'm a Londoner.

Highlights of the second half were a lively rendering of Sandy Smith's Santaclaustrophobia and some serious audience participation during the encore, Rockin' Round the Christmas Tree, which literally had them dancing in the aisles.

Remembrance Sunday

8 Nov 2015

Parades in Waltham, Bray and Holyport

The band carried out its traditional role of providing music for parades and services in Waltham St. Lawrence, Bray and Holyport on Remembrance Sunday, 8th November.

The band played static at the war memorials in Waltham and Bray for the parades to march to, while there was no march at all in Holyport due to absence of police cover to ensure road safety. Ben Harvey performed the Last Post and Reveille bugle calls at each ceremony.

The weather was mild and damp, and it was a pleasure to join members of the British Legion and others in the George in Holyport for a pint, chips and sandwiches after the seremonies.

Golden Wedding

11 Oct 2015

Over the water to play in Bray

The band had to park by the river and take a ferry to play at a golden wedding anniversay party at Queen's Eyot Club, on a small island in the Thames near Bray marina, on Sunday 11th October.

The band played in the main marquee while the guests assembled for aperitifs in the clubhouse, and continued after the meal with a broad selection, mostly of music from musicals. The happy couple showed a fine grasp of the art of the dance as we struck up the Anniversary Waltz.

Harvest Festival

4 Oct 2015

We play the hymns and scatter

The band accompanied the traditional Harvest Festival service at WSL Parish Church on Sunday 4th October, providing background music as people arrived (Bells Across the Meadow and All in the April Evening) and a trumpet voluntary after the service, as well playing three of the hymns.

Hurst Horticultural Show

22 Aug 2015

Dances with llamas

The band played its regular engagement at the Hurst Horticultural Society's annual show and fair at the village halls on 22nd August. It was a very warm and slightly humid afternoon, with a good turnout and an appreciative audience that included two llamas in a pen in the area next door. 

Henley Mill Meadows

25 Jul 2015

Second bandstand appearance of 2015

WSL band made a return visit to Henley's Mill Meadows bandstand on Saturday 25th July. The choice of date was a lucky one, with heavy rain both on the day before and after. As it turned out, the afternoon was dry and bright, and there were plenty of people in the park to enjoy the music.

Cookham Riverside

5 Jul 2015

A sunny day down by the river

The band entertained the residents of Riverside nursing home in Cookham and their guests at their annual tea party on Sunday 5th July. A full programme of light pieces was performed under guest conductor John Lawes.

Band president Wendy Craig also joined us for the occasion, and led the applause.

Woodley Precinct

4 Jul 2015

Playing in the pagoda

The band made one of its regular appearances in Woodley town centre on Saturday 4th July, taking advantage of the shade and resonance of the "pagoda" shelter.

Undeterred by a stiff breeze, which at one point blew the conductor's score into the lap of one of the solo cornets, a full programme was presented to an appreciative public. The baton was wielded by deputy conductor Keith Penton.

Henley Mill Meadows

27 Jun 2015

On the bandstand on a Saturday afternoon

WSL band gave a Saturday afternoon concert on Henley's Mill Meadows bandstand on 27th June. The weather was warm and sunny, and there were plenty of people picnicking and enjoying the boat rides and other amenities.

The programme included solos Grandfather's Clock (Tom Torley on euphonium) and Zelda (Steve Bourne, cornet), and visiting former member Rob Pullen put in a strong performance on percussion, particularly in Macarthur Park, where he added some zest to a rather pedestrian arrangement.

WSL Parish Fete

20 Jun 2015

A pleasant afternoon despite threat of thunder

The new tent poles for the event shelter, replacing an item buckled during the 2014 season, worked fine, and the cover was useful against a short shower early in the afternoon's playing at the Waltham St. Lawrence parish fete at Shurlock Row cricket ground on Saturday afternoon.

The threat of thundery showers led to reduced attendance, but nevertheless it was a busy scene, and the small but (musically) well balanced band put on a good show, with a number of visitors stopping by to listen.

Playing the field

7 Jun 2015

Birthday party at the Berkshire College of Agriculture

The band played in the grounds of the Berkshire College of Agriculture on a sunny Sunday afternoon on 7th June for a private birthday party. It was quite hot in the sun, but the nearest shady tree was too far from the patio to be heard properly.

As well as playing a programme of light music, the band helped to demolish the hog roast that was provided for guests.

Exchange visit

23 May 2015

German concert band's visit

WSL band played host to exchange partners Musikverein Friesheim over the bank holiday 23rd to 26th May 2015. Our German friends took part in a joint concert in Shurlock Row, providing entertainment at the high tea for Waltham pensioners which has now replaced the annual dinner at the Neville Hall. Other events included an evening barbecue with music from MillsTones Dance Band and a mixed-team multilingual quiz night. Central hub of the weekend's events was a large marquee at the Shurlock Inn.

See the Features section (under News) for a full report on the exchange visit.

Project Rainbow

13 May 2015

Fundraising concert in White Waltham

For several years now, the band has appeared in a fundraising concert at White Waltham St Mary's church on a springtime Wednesday evening in place of the usual rehearsal. This is in aid of Project Rainbow, which is building facilities for young people in the church grounds. This year was no exception, and the concert was staged on 13th May.

The programme was a full one, including two complete suites (Vaughan Williams's English Folk Songs and Eric Ball's Indian Summer), Mehul's entertaining overture Two Blind Men of Toledo, Carl Friedemann's Slavonic Rhapsody no 2, two marches (Mephistopheles and The Great Little Army), several lighter pieces and three solos.

Soloists were Steve Bourne, playing Percy Code's classic cornet piece Zelda, Ian French on trombone with the Sinatra song In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, and a sizzling rendering of Rimsky's Flight of the Bumblebee on euphonium from Tom Torley, accompanied on piano by MD Derek Holland.

Steve Bourne occupied the principal cornet stand in the absence of Ted Cull, who is recovering from illness.

Tom Torley conducted the band for the English Folk Song Suite, and deputy conductor Keith Penton took the baton for Jack Peberdy's arrangement of Macarthur Park.

The evening saw some solid playing and was enjoyed by all present. It raised over £185 for the project, which is already in the contruction phase outside the church.

WSL AGM 2015

28 Jan 2015

Annual General Meeting 2015

The Annual General Meeting of Waltham St. Lawrence Silver Band was held at the Neville Hall on 28th January 2015. Reports noted that 2014, had been a busy year, with the band attending 21 public occasions and two private parties, and that there had been several departures and a couple of new recruits to the band.

The committee and officers were elected with no changes from the previous year. See the Features section for a full report on the AGM.

The result of the vote for Bandsman of the Year was also announced. The winner, who was presented with his trophy at the meeting, was solo euphonium player and librarian Tom Torley, who was warmly congratulated.