Fairey Band

Conductor: Richard Evans
Stroud Assembly Rooms
Sunday 24th June

Fairey Band returned to the Stroud Subscription Rooms for the second time in nine months to provide a thoroughly entertaining afternoon concert under guest conductor Richard Evans. 

Knowing just what works and what doesn’t for an occasion such as this, the maestro balanced something new with something old, the familiar with the slightly obscure.


The swagger of Safroni’s ‘Imperial Echoes’ therefore provided the tasty aperitif for some impressive ensemble playing in ‘Ruslan and Lyudmila’, before contrast came with Laura Conway delivering a touching rendition of Caccini’s ‘Ave Maria’.

The lightweight ensemble precision of ‘Holiday for Strings’ featured some equally classy solo touches from Stephanie Wilkins on the principal cornet chair, before Richard Evans introduced the band’s ‘Player of the Year’, trombonist Rebecca Lundberg to deliver a classy rendition of, ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye’.

Richard Rock’s up-beat arrangement of ‘Queen of Faerieland’ (from ‘Maleficent’) displayed warmth and balance from the middle of the band, whilst the film flavour continued with sop player Jonathan Probert on suave form on ‘Live and Let Die’ and the MD giving a fine impression of Harrison Ford in an exciting ‘Indiana Jones’ to close.

Richard Evans couldn’t resist ‘Let’s Face the Music and Dance’ as a cracking encore - much to the delight of an audience that had obviously enjoyed the concert just as much as he had.

Welcome revival

Elgar Howarth’s ‘Pel Mel’ was a welcome revival to open the second half with solo horn and current Scottish Open solo champion, Rachel Neil then giving a classy rendition of ‘One Day in Your Life’ - segueing neatly into the stirring ‘Climb Every Mountain’ and the Billy Joel classic, ‘Goodnight My Angel’, arranged for quintet.

A romp through ‘Gypsy Dance’ by Dargomyzhsky’s heralded a bit of fizzing solo work from Adam Bokaris on the crowd favourite euph classic, ‘Grandfather’s Clock’, before ‘I’ll Walk with God’ and ‘Pines of Rome’ brought things to a rousing close.

Richard Evans couldn’t resist ‘Let’s Face the Music and Dance’ as a cracking encore - much to the delight of an audience that had obviously enjoyed the concert just as much as he had.

Paul Simms 

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