Standing Ovation as Town’s Band Pays Tribute to Tom

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Alford Silver Band received a standing ovation from a packed Corn Exchange last Saturday (21 April) after another brilliant performance.

It was poignant occasion for the Band as its president, Tom Porter had only recently passed away.

Introducing the concert, the Band’s acting president, Margaret Sutton gave a moving tribute to Tom, describing him as “a true gentleman, but also a very real and memorable character who was totally supportive of the Band, fully involved and a friend to all the Band members, irrespective of age.”

“Tom loved evenings such as this, when he could introduce ‘his’ Band and often compere the show, always with good humour and a few jokes,” continued Margaret.

The Band then paid its own special tribute by playing an emotive piece composed by its assistant conductor, Richard Walker, entitled simply Hymn for Tom.

Then musical director Steve Walker led the band through a performance of which Tom would undoubtedly have been proud. Faultless solos were featured by principal cornet Josh Wilkinson (High on a Hill), solo tenor horn Bev Burton (If) and virtuoso trombonist Richard Walker (The Joker), interspersed with a variety of lively numbers that had the audience tapping their feet and clapping along. And musical director Steve Walker’s quick wit and jokes at the expense of his players really capped off a wonderful evening of entertainment.

“This band is well worth travelling miles to see and hear,” was the comment of one satisfied member of the audience, “and to get the chance to do so in our own town is a real treat.”

“It was a great night,” agreed band chairman Martin Briggs, “and a fitting tribute to Tom. It was a near capacity crowd and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.”

The band’s next public performance will be at Chapel St Leonards Village Hall on Saturday 12 May

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