Band celebrates 40th anniversary with Spa concert

FELIXSTOWE: The Suffolk Concert Band will celebrate its 40th anniversary this weekend with a special concert at the Spa Pavilion.

THE Suffolk Concert Band will celebrate its 40th anniversary this weekend with a special concert at Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion.

Special guest will be Bernard Reader, who first led the band all those years ago and remains one of the band’s vice presidents and a regular guest conductor.

During his seven year reigh, the talented musical director and accomplished arranger and composere provided the band with many arrangements of popular music and original compositions, which they are still performing today.

The band was formed in 1967, when several amateur musicians attended an adult education class at the Ipswich Civic College - now Suffolk New College - for those interested in playing military and brass band music.

It became the Suffolk Military Band with Rankin Bushby, the college tutor, as musical director. In 1970, Bernard took over Rankin’s job at the college and also took on the band which became better known as the Suffolk Concert Band in 1992.

“The band was something new and exciting to belong to” says Simon Pulham, a band trombonist back when Bernard conducted his first concert and still a regular player today.

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There will be three other band members playing at the Spa Pavilion who were also playing 40 years ago - Gordon Scopes on cornet, Colin Pettingale on French Horn and Mike Vorndran on clarinet.

Saturday’s show, which starts at 7.30pm, will be a traditional band concert featuring music through the centuries such as Handel’s Royal Fireworks Suite, Sullivan’s Pineapple Poll ballet and a rousing medley of tunes from hit musical Grease.

It will also include some of Bernard’s favourite arrangements including Beside the Seaside, World of Sport, Scotch on the Rocks, Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Hitler and The Guns of Navarone.

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