Extra special Lismore Proms sees stalwart honoured

Extra special Lismore Proms sees stalwart honoured

Extra special Lismore Proms sees stalwart honoured

First published in News

This year marked a very special Lismore Proms for Helston Town Band.

Not only did the band perform another evening of top entertainment, in what is one of its most popular events of the year, but also paid tribute to one of its longest serving member, Russell Harvey.

Russell is marking his 70th year as a member, having joined the band in 1944. In recognition of this unparalleled achievement he was presented with certificates and medals by the Cornish Brass Band Association and Brass Bands England. Previously the longest the Cornish association had recognised was 63 years' continuous service.

The band itself also paid tribute to Russell, with former musical director Edward Ashton speaking about his professional and personal relationship with Russell.

The band presented Russell with a silver salver and former band member Debbie Retallack also made a welcome appearance, presenting Russell with a framed picture of him leading the band during the 7 o'clock dance of this year's Flora Day and a bottle of Spingo.

Falmouth Packet:

Simon Taylor, band spokesman, said: “The band would like to sincerely congratulate Russell on this incredible achievement. Next target, 70 Flora Days?”

Saturday marked the12th annual Lismore Proms in the grounds of band president Michael Jay's home in Cross Street.

Members began their performance with popular march Ravenswood, followed by the well-known Light Cavalry overture.

Performances then included rising star Sean Sjoholm playing the soprano solo L'inverno and a very special “celebrity” appearance by the “nephew” of operatic superstar Luciano Pavarotti - Garcalotti Pavarotti (Kevin Johns) who performed the famous Nessum Dorma to huge applause by the 600 plus audience.

Mother and daughter singers Karen and Bromley Hurn were the band's guest soloists this year and they delighted the crowds with a varied and entertaining programme. Compere for the evening was the ever-professional Bruce Taylor.

The evening also featured other “special guest” soloists in the form of Tim Jones (Jack Curnow), claimed to be the nephew of Tom Jones, playing and singing the hit song It's Not Unusual, complete with goatee, loud shirt and hip thrusts.

A blast from the past also made an appearance at the Proms, Laurel and Hardy (Paul Jenkins and Shawn Carter) took to the stage with a rousing rendition of Another Fine Mess.

Falmouth Packet:

A special highlight of the evening featured members of a local pipe and drum band performing the stirring Highland Cathedral along with the band.

The second half of the concert saw the band, joined by members of Helston Concert Brass, march through the gardens playing the Flora Dance.

The 2014 Proms was the first appearance of both new principal cornet Jasmine Ryder-Pollard and musical director Darren Hendy, who took over the baton in May and has made a huge impact on the band with his drive, enthusiasm and determination.

Band spokesman Mr Taylor said: “Darren has been working the band very hard over the last few months, but after performances like this evening, it is clear that the hard work has paid off. Many people commented on the quality of the band's sound.”

The evening concluded with traditional Proms anthems - Jerusalem, Fantasia on British Sea Songs, Pomp and Circumstance, and the Cornish anthem Trelawney, giving the audience the opportunity to wave their flags and sing their hearts out.

Rule Britannia could be heard across the night air on the other side of Helston.

The band has thanked everyone who contributed “in any shape or form,” saying to put on such a night required a huge amount of work from a large number of people.

Musical director Darren Hendy said: “I am so proud of what the band has achieved in the last few months; we have worked very hard as a group over a busy summer season and tonight really capped off my first summer with the band. I'm already thinking about what we can do at next year's Proms.

“I would also like to thank everyone who put so much time and effort into making [Saturday] such a success.”

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