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Review: Band Of The Royal Air Force College at Newark Palace Theatre



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The Band Of The Royal Air Force College returned to the stage at the Palace Theatre, Newark, once more, undefeated by covid.

The auditorium was packed for the Cranwell band’s triumphant return to the Palace in support of the Newark-based Royal Air Force Music Charitable Trust.

Ably-led and compered by director of music Flight Lieutenant Chris l’Anson, the performance was as impeccable as the uniforms worn by the band.

The Band of the Royal Air Force College performs to a packed Palace Theatre auditorium. (52126815)
The Band of the Royal Air Force College performs to a packed Palace Theatre auditorium. (52126815)

It was a wonderful example of the traditions that the RAF holds dear in taking music around the world.

There was no Last Night of the Proms-eque music on Saturday night but the performance was no less virtuoso, beginning with a rousing rendition of the National Anthem, which everyone stood for.

The ensemble was excellent, with some fantastic solo vocals of Corporal Philippa Hartley that conjured up a spirit and a romance of yesteryear. The often overlooked percussion were fantastic, not least in the overture Slava.

Vocal soloist Corporal Philippa Hartley. (52126792)
Vocal soloist Corporal Philippa Hartley. (52126792)

The Olympic Fanfare and Theme, Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar were wonderful, and 1941, Battle of Britain Suite and the Royal Air Force March were rousing.

The euphonium solo of Rule Britannia by Corporal Michael Howley was nothing short of breathtaking, just as it must have been to him. The lungs on the man!

The march Red Dragon by Tom Ringrose and Hope by Matthew Leach were just two numbers composed by members of the band, demonstrating their amazing talent.

It’s just a shame that the band’s concerts do not, as yet, attract much of a younger audience. ­

A different, but a wonderful Saturday evening spent. Well worth sampling. ­— DAC.



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