As 2012 Draws to a Close…

“What happens if it’s raining on Thursday when we are going carolling?”, asked one of the players. “We’ve never been rained on yet in fifteen years” came the reply. Well Thursday came and yes, it was raining. Heavily. To the players’ credit, everyone turned-up, played jolly carols and got soaked. So a big thanks to Alison for organizing the butties and pies in the pub afterwards. A hard-core elite would also go out carolling on Christmas Eve…

Anthony Roocroft’s brilliant Christmas Cornucopia poster for the annual concert at the Lowther Pavilion anticipated a great night for the band. The capacity audience were given Christmas tunes woven into selections, carols to sing along to, soloists to marvel at, new arrangements, talented young players in the youth band and of course, the raffle.

During the concert, the Youth Band awards were presented by Matt Balson and Paul Dalton awarded the Freckleton Bandsperson of the Year to Alan Brewer for his work with the band and Youth Band. The Bandsperson of the Year award was instigated in 2004 by Harry Latham who sadly passed away this year. The success of the Christmas concert has been largely down to the hard work behind the scenes done by Harry and his family for many years.

Paul paid tribute to two players for whom the concert was to be their last with the band. Chris Ratchford (flugel horn) and Caroline Cross (solo horn) have decided that, due to the pressures of work, they are leaving the band. We wish them well and hope to see them both in the future.

Boxing Day seems to be defined by tradition, and although the band has been carolling around the rural part of Freckleton since time began, the tradition subtly changes over the years. For the past four years, the band has been predominately low brass, (see here for YouTube footage in 2009) and as time goes by, the people we see along the route change. The afternoon session in the Coach and Horses is the last day of term for us where the pain of playing Hark the Herald Angels Sing for the hundredth time this year is eased with the odd beer, and we welcome back old friends who have come home for Christmas from southern lands afar.

So, as the year 2012 draws to a close, Freckleton Band thanks you for your support over the year, and we look forward to starting a fresh next year with new challenges. If you’re a player, come down and see us, or if you have a young aspiring brass player in your family, then bring them along to the Youth Band. Both the youth band and senior band start back on 7th January 2013.

Happy New Year!

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