KEMS Concert Band
Welcome to our 13th season!
The Concert Band was formed in May 2005 and has now established itself as an important part of the KEMS society.
It gave its first concert on 16th October 2005 and now gives several performances each year to appreciative audiences at a variety of venues in and around Macclesfield. Carols in the Stable Yard at Tatton Park has become an annual event and helps the Band raise hundreds of pounds for charity. During the summer, bandstand concerts have been held in South Park and Victoria Park, Macclesfield, Leek, Chester and Buxton.
Band Director Julia Harding looks back on the 2016-17 season:
The band’s year started with the exciting news that we had been successful in our application to Making Music’s Adopt-a-Composer scheme, making this the second time that KEMS has been fortunate to have a young composer writing a piece for our society. Thanks to Richard and Lorna who went to London to meet Chris Schlecte-Bond on the scheme’s launch day and to Lorna for providing hospitality for Chris when he has been to see us. Julia also attended a seminar for the Musical Directors in January. Chris has been to visit us on four occasions, leading a workshop and presenting sections of his new piece for us which will be premiered at Brown Edge in October. Radio 3 will be recording our performance for broadcast later in the year. I’m told that his piece is nearly ready so we will be able to start work on learning it as soon as we commence our rehearsals next season.
Our first concert of the season was at Woodford Community Centre and, even though the band played well, it was disappointing for all of us that we played to a small audience.
Our second concert was at a new venue – Cheadle Royal Shopping Centre – where the acoustics proved a bit of a challenge but we raised some money for the local hospice.
The Christmas Concert included a solo from Stuart Blackburn and a trio item played by Helen Wilson, Laura Simpson and Tim Ward. As usual, the band’s year concluded with Carols at Tatton which raised over £600 for Christie’s.
The rehearsals after Christmas were geared towards our joint concert at the RNCM for the Society’s 60th Anniversary. The repertoire we had chosen for this concert was quite difficult for the band with the last movement of the Suite of American Dances by Robert Russell Bennett proving a particular challenge. For the first time, we split the rehearsal into sectionals while we took the pieces apart and tried to put them together again – a process which was a little bit stressful at times!
And then ‘the day’ was upon us, with all its little problems to be overcome. We were joined by a few guest players and for the first time we had the opportunity to play the pieces with a full orchestral percussion section. In performance, the band played brilliantly and it is really the best I have ever heard us play. I think that we got the concert off to a fantastic start and it was a privilege to take part in such a memorable event. I received several emails from members of the band and audience saying how pleased they were with the concert and how much they had enjoyed the whole event. Thanks to Ian and the choir for preparing Moonlight Serenade to sing with us. Thanks to Steve Kleiser and the team who took on the organisation of this very special concert.
Our last concert was in June at Victoria Park in Macclesfield on a warm, sunny summer’s afternoon to an appreciative crowd – a great end to a very busy and challenging year for the band.
Interested in joining the Band?
Email Richard Moss.