21 May 2017: bandstand concert with Woodley Concert Band

weather forecast

Venue: Mill Meadows, Henley-on-Thames

Date: 21 May 2017

Time: 2pm to approximately 4pm

Weather forecast: looks promising



This coming Sunday, I’ll be playing with the Woodley Concert Band. The programme will be (roughly) as follows:

  • Stars and Stripes
  • Chicago
  • Hallelujah (from ‘Shrek’)
  • Montego Bay
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Palladio
  • Don’t Cry for me Argentina
  • Eighties Flashback
  • Jersey Boys
  • Don’t Stop Me Now
  • Take on Me
  • It had better be tonight
  • Irving Berlin Show-stoppers

It’s a fun programme with lots of tunes and the weather is set to fair, so come along if you can!

Some more decorations for my music shed

These papier mâché notes and treble clef are available from Hobbycraft stores. I’ve covered them with purple découpage paper to match the colour scheme in my music shed, and mounted them with sawtooth hangers and short screws.

Tip: coat the object you are decorating with white or grey primer before applying the découpage paper for a more even and brighter finish.

musical notes for shed

17 June 2017: Beech Hill Concert Band in Newbury (updated)

St John's Church Newbury

The Beech Hill Concert Band

Date: 17 June 2017

Venue: St John’s Church, Newbury

St John’s Rd, Newbury RG14 7PY

Performance at 7pm


On 17 June, the Beech Hill Concert Band will be playing at St John the Evangelist in Newbury, with the following programme:

  • Fanfare and Soliloquy – Trevor Sharpe
  • Poet and Peasant – Franz von Suppé
  • Waltz No. 2 – Dmitri Shostakovich, Arr. Johan de Meij
  • Three Spanish Dances for Oboe and Concert Band – Philip Lane Arr. Paul Noble

  • Cartoon – Paul Hart


  • Broadway Show-stoppers Overture – Arr. Warren Barker
  • Metroplex: Three Postcards from Manhattan – Robert Sheldon
  • Bohemian Rhapsody – Freddie Mercury Arr. Philip Sparke
  • Berlin Rag – Timothy Blinko
  • Beyond the Summit – Brian Balmages

St John the EvangelistNow, I’ve put the Three Spanish Dances in a block quote because the soloist is me. Yes! These dances were originally written for oboe and small orchestra, but we’ll be performing an arrangement for concert band. The composer is Philip Lane and you can read about him here. It will be ten and a half minutes of terror for me, but if I’m going to attempt a performance diploma next year, I need to play in public as much as possible to harden my nerves into steel. And it’d be handy to have lips of steel too.

1 April 2017: Reading Symphony Orchestra

On 1 April I’ll be playing 2nd Oboe in Petrushka with the Reading Symphony Orchestra. Details half-inched from their website and pasted below. It’s a great poster, isn’t it? I love the dancing skeleton.


11 March 2017 – Woodley Concert Band: A Night in the West End

I have three concerts coming up soon, and the first is with Woodley Concert Band on 11 March. Here’s the blurb from the Facebook page:

Our first concert of the year celebrates a night in London’s West End. We’ll be featuring some classic musicals such as West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera and Oliver alongside recent hits such as Jersey Boys. The programme ventures beyond musicals, with a highlight being Philip Sparke’s Theatre Music. You’re guaranteed a fantastic evening’s entertainment and a great start to WCB’s musical year!
Tickets cost £12 (£10 concessions)


Venue: The Bulmershe School, Woodlands Avenue, Woodley RG5 3EU

Kick off at 7.30pm. Come along for some tuuuuuuuuunes! If I have to have Jersey Boys stuck in my head, then you do too.