MAJESTIC, mercurial, magnificent.
That was the verdict on a Christmas band concert featuring the immense talents of musicians representing The Royal Engineers volunteers conducted by the imperious Simon Kerwin.
Prestigious guests, including the Deputy Lord Lieutenant David Sneath, the Sheriff of Nottingham, Coun Merlita Bryan, and local councillors, were all given a warm welcome to Bulwell St Mary’s by curate the Rev Elizabeth Wild and church stalwart Robert Naylor who co-ordinated the event.
Looking resplendent in their red and black, The Royal Engineers 30 strong contingent opened proceedings on a high note with a rousing version of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and continued to delight an appreciative audience with a repertoire of festive favourites, timeless classics and immortal favourites.
In an impressive first half, the band served up a masterclass with a repertoire that included Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Borodins’ Stranger in Paradise and Galantes’ Resplendent Glory.
The contributions of solo musicians Colin Latimer, Paul Thomas (a brilliant trumpeter) and Malcolm Portman, enriching the performance.
On the resumption, the band scaled the heights warming up with Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, raising the bar with a stunning version of Gaudete and earning a standing ovation with Adiemus which featured solo singer Emma Lightwing.
This uplifting concert ended on a high with the musicians in full flow with Slavonic Rhapsody No 2 and bowing out to the finale of Troika to a standing ovation from the delighted audience.
Speaking after the concert, organiser Robert Naylor said: “Our church is proud to have hosted such a magnificent event. It has been inspirational.”
n OUR PHOTO shows curate, the Rev Elizabeth Wild (front left) and event organiser Robert Naylor (front right) welcoming the special guests and the band (PHOTO AND STORY BY: Peter Jordan).