HCB News

HCB Raise £4000 for SSAFA!

On Saturday 7 May, the Huntingdonshire Concert Band (HCB) and the Band of the Grenadier Guards jointly held a Jubilation Concert in the Performing Arts Centre at Hinchingbrooke. To a full house, the Bands played a selection of music, all with a link to the Queen, in this, her Platinum Jubilee Year.

David McClintock, HCB’s musical director, and Captain Ben Mason of the Grenadier Guards

Conducting duties were shared by David McClintock, HCB’s musical director, and Captain Ben Mason of the Grenadier Guards. With more than 80 musicians on stage, the hall was filled with the wonderful sound of their music ranging from ’Out of Africa’ to the regal ‘Coronation March’. Soloists from the Grenadiers were: firstly, George Hirst whose virtuoso trumpet playing was amazing; secondly, Sophie Henderson-Sykes sang a poignant ‘Place of Peace’ song composed by Roy Palmer in memory of his late wife.

The scarlet coats of five Chelsea Pensioners, led by Roy, reflected the superb uniforms of the Grenadier Guards tunics. The gentlemen enjoyed the evening and were in constant demand for photographs, handshakes, or a chat.

‘A Huntingdon Celebration’ was dedicated to the memory of Roy Seymour who introduced the HCB to SSAFA, via his niece, Mrs Judith Borland then the local Chair, who is now the East of England Representative for SSAFA, a link which has resulted in six massed band concerts with SSAFA as the nominated charity. For their fundraising achievements, the Band were awarded the Prince Michael of Kent award in 2018 for raising over £23,000.

Thanks go to Mrs Cathy McClintock, Chair of the HCB, who organised the evening – no small task, and it is a credit to her that the evening was so successful. Cathy has also joined SSAFA as a volunteer caseworker, so the association of band and charity has come full circle.

Thanks also go to the RAF Air Cadets, John Wright, Dave Sargent and Jenny Cook who supported the event front of house and represented SSAFA admirably.

All members from both HCB and the Grenadier Guards bands ensured, by their professionalism, that the concert was so memorable and enjoyable. After all the recent difficulties of lockdown, it was apparent that the audience appreciated being able to enjoy a live performance, especially one of such quality.

The Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire Branch of SSAFA are most grateful for once again being nominated as beneficiaries of an entertaining event for the sixth time, which raised an outstanding £4,000! This will allow the Branch to continue to provide financial support for those of the Serving and Veteran Communities whom SSAFA exists to assist when necessary. (Photos below of the evening, including a couple of likely lads (John Wright (Branch Vice President) & Dave Sargent (Branch Chair)) along with a poem written especially by Chelsea Pensioner, Roy Palmer.

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