Well, admittedly, we’d have liked a bigger audience – but it was a splendid evening, Sussex Brass did us proud, and we still raised at least £500 towards our schools projects.
The Mayor, Councillor Judy Rogers, welcomed us, spoke about the twinning of the two Hastings and led a minute’s silence in respect for the victims of the Manchester bomb attack, before we settled down to an evening of rousing brass band music. Steve Hallamby, the musical director, has an engaging way with an audience, and was especially helpful to non-musicians like me as he introduced each piece, gave a bit of interesting background, and shared his enthusiasm for each piece. Throughout the evening he highlighted different bits of the band and explained the contribution that each instrument makes. The audience had a fair stab at the Sierra Leone National Anthem, and was on much safer ground with Sussex by the Sea. Otherwise, the programme covered a huge range, from Mozart (an arrangement of what we know as the Elvira Madigan theme), through Frank Sinatra numbers and a WWI medley to the Beatles, Lloyd Webber and Fats Waller. In the interval, Richard looked back to the beginnings of Hastings’ connection with Sierra Leone (the LOAF Project), the founding of the Link, the formal twinning in 2007 and the things that have been achieved.
The Link would like to thank the Mayor and Deputy Mayor for supporting us at what must be a busy time for them. We’re hugely grateful, too, to Sussex Brass, who generously made the evening one of their free concerts for a local charity, and to the Rev Mike Coe who gave us complete access to St Matthew’s excellent facilities. St Matthew’s must be the church with the best coffee-making kit in town.
Here are some excellent photos taken by Colin Foy. Robin.