Lincoln Cathedral 13th October 2018

          On behalf of everyone connected with Boobs & Brass,  we want to thank Peter Vause, Ewan Robson,  all the members of  the Lincolnshire Hospitals Band and the rest of their team  most sincerely for everything that they have done over the past months to make our concert in Lincoln Cathedral the great success that it was on Saturday night. .

Our day started out with two coaches leaving Northamptonshire, carrying members of the band and supporters, other `Boobies` travelling independently from various parts of the UK and  some girls already in Lincoln, having arrived there the previous day due to the long distances they had driven.

We all assembled at the Cathedral at 1pm to find the stage already set – all the hard work being done by our hosts. Everyone was in awe – what a venue to play in – the Cathedral is huge.

The ninety musicians took to  their seats, met with their fellow section members from the Lincolnshire Hospitals Band and the rehearsal got under way. The sound was absolutely awesome and there was a buzz amongst the players. This was going to be a great night.

Following the rehearsal, we were provided with a wonderful buffet and drinks and presented with three special cakes – one had a picture of Boobs & Brass on it, another one with the Lincolnshire Hospitals Band on it and the third one – a picture of me and Jane. Well, yes, tears flowed. What a wonderful gesture.

Some of the girls then spent some time seeking out the sights around the wonderful  Cathedral and discovering what the `sausage festival` was all about. They were also tracking down the famous `Imp` - where was it? Well, these are the only imps I found!

Evensong was taking place within the Cathedral and we were not allowed to enter until this had finished, although I believe a few of the girls were fortunate enough to be given access to enjoy the amazing, beautiful sounds of the choir – a very special experience in itself.

By 6.45 the girls had donned their pink jackets – pinning on their white carnations (yet another lovely gesture from our hosts) and were preparing themselves for the concert ahead. The dignitaries, adorned with their gleaming chains of office, were greeted and seated and both bands took to their seats ready for the `off`.

Once the introductions had been made, Ewan brought the baton down and the Cathedral was filled with what can only be described as `an awesome` sound.

The first half of the concert comprised  of 6 joint pieces followed by the Lincolnshire Hospitals Band performing their solo set which included a wonderful, emotional renidition of Goff Richards` Pastorale which was dedicated to Ewan`s mother who sadly passed away earlier this year, the solo being played by Tracey, Ewan`s wife.  To conclude – Mancini`s  `It Had Better be Tonight` - the `Boobies` were clearly enjoying this piece but were totally unaware that their dancing skills were being shown off to the audience on the large screens which were positioned at  either side of the stage.

After a short break to refresh ourselves, perhaps some with a glass of red wine, it was time to return to our seats and await the appearance of Darth Vader and The Storm Troopers. As they appeared, an audible gasp was heard and the sight of them brought smiles and applause from the audience. Never has Lincoln Cathedral  experienced such a thing. One of our supporters had looked at the programme, and thought `The Old Rugged Cross` might be a bit `drab` but was totally amazed when he heard it  – he could not believe that this piece could be presented in such a way. The girls were pulling out all the stops, the audience reaction was firing  their enthusiasm even more. The hardest piece of the night was to come, not from a technical point of view but from an emotional one. No other piece that the band plays has ever meant so much. It evokes so many emotions for one reason or another, and yes, there were tears, not just from some of the girls, but our friends, our supporters and people who had never heard us play `I`ll Walk With God` (which has become the bands` anthem) before. Just sitting here writing this makes me cry! Let`s move on!  After Lord of The Dance, the Lincolnshire Hospitals Band returned to join us and a Boobs & Brass were delighted and stunned to receive  a cheque for £6,000. This was in addition to the monies raised by Ewan Robson, Peter Vause, Mandy  Davis and Genette Gilbert on their Just Giving pages which amounted to £2,160 which together, totalled £8160.00 as shown on the `large` cheque presented to us. Bouquets of beautiful flowers were given to Maggie, Jane and Carolyn, who had compered the evening with her usual eloquence and then the combined bands were preparing their tongues and fingers for the technical demands of Toccata in D Minor. The first few bars  made the hairs on my arms stand up. The echo around the Cathedral seemed to go on forever. The drum battle in the middle was just brilliant. What a way to end the concert. The standing ovation and the thunderous applause just topped it all off.  For our encore – Don`t Stop Believin – it was a privilege to have the arranger, Mike Kilmartin in the audience, together with his lovely wife and children. It was Debbie who had suggested to Mike that this would be an ideal piece for him to  arrange especially for Boobs & Brass. The audience participation clearly showed that they loved this piece. Thanks Mike! Yet more thunderous applause and yet another standing ovation – what more could we have asked for. A remark from one of the girls summed it up – “I have NEVER experienced a concert  like that EVER. What more is there to say?

 

The planning and organisation that went into this by our hosts was phenomenal and to receive the amount for the charity that we have is just quite extraordinary. They  were determined to get us to our target – and they did it. By the end of the evening, with the addition of the bucket collection and the merchandise sold by Glenis and Cheryl, not forgetting the bus raffle proceeds – it is official!!! Our total fundraising amount is  now £250,208

From what began as a `one off` concert, our twelve year journey has been one of fun, joy, wonderful music making, a chance to build friendships. It has given us the   opportunity to do things that our `normal` banding could never have given us. It has meant  so many different things to different individuals To have raised this phenomenal amount for charity has been the icing on the cake. Let us hope that it has helped someone who has been less fortunate than ourselves.

Thankyou to every player, conductor, compere, supporter, helper, who has travelled with us on this journey – we could not have done it without each and every one of you.

Maggie