Friary Guildford Band received the customary warm welcome from an appreciative audience on its return to the Winston Churchill Theatre, Ruislip for another joint concert organised by the local Lions Club.
This year's theme was Broadway Meets the West End, and Friary shared the bill with the Harrow Apollo Male Choir which celebrated its 75th anniversary earlier this year.
Opening the concert, Friary's set included Walking with Heroes, the overture to Mack & Mabel, a flugel solo Send in the Clowns played with great expression by Lauren Straker, and the hugely popular and animated trombone feature I Will Follow Him from Ian Stewart, Roland Knight and Adam Gregory. MD Chris King's arrangement of America featured some opening antics from bass player Ross Graham, and the set concluded with Riverdance.
After the choir’s sets before and after the interval, Friary continued with Let’s Face the Music and Dance, Comedy Tonight and Nightingale Dances, before the encore of Don’t Stop Me Now concluded the evening. ‘Stunning, absolutely stunning,’ was the comment from the audience member next to me, himself a former professional guitarist. ‘We love having Friary Guildford band here,’ added one of the Lions Club officials, ‘You’re easy to deal with, you all smile and look as though you’re having great fun playing, and we enjoy the conductor’s chat between pieces!’
We hope to return to Ruislip again before too long.