Breaking tradition for the first time, the Swanage Town Band performed Christmas carols at the newly refurbished bandstand.
In the past, the band has traditionally performed at the Swanage Methodist Church at Christmas, but after it had to be cancelled in 2020 due to Covid, it was decided the best option was to book the Swanage Bandstand – an outdoor location – for this year.
Outdoor music venue
Fortunately, local resident Alan Houghton, who led the fundraising effort to restore the Swanage Bandstand, had the foresight in 2018 to know that the town would really need an undercover outdoor music venue in the future!
The refurbished 1920s bandstand was formally opened in October 2019, just before the start of the Covid pandemic.
“We have our knicker elastic with us”
Liz Roberts from the Swanage Town Band and who plays the alto saxophone said:
“It’s a lot of firsts for us – the first official carol singing at the bandstand since it’s been restored and the first time in my memory that the Swanage Town Band has performed at Christmas at the bandstand, instead of the Methodist church.
“It’s lovely to see that people have been tempted out for the carol singing – we’ve been fortunate with such mild weather for December. Although there’s still a breeze, so we have our knicker elastic with us.
“I should explain that one of the key things to remember when playing outside at night is a light, so we can read the music and knicker elastic to stop the sheet music blowing away!
Away in a Manger
Expertly conducted by David Cook, the carols included In The Bleak Midwinter, Away in a Manger, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and O Little Town of Bethlehem.
“Everyone in the band has been looking forward to tonight. We play for people and although we enjoy playing together as a band, it’s not the same without an audience.
“We need a good reason to play every now and again and there couldn’t be a better reason than carols at the bandstand this Christmas!”
All the money collected during the singing will be donated to the Forest Holme Hospice in Poole.