On Sunday 20th December I was privileged to join a capacity audience at the Princess Theatre to enjoy the annual Christmas concert, performed by the Burnham & Highbridge Band.

In the past I have taken part in this annual event as solo cornet, but this year I had the chance to take in the concert from a different perspective, and become a part of a very appreciative audience.

The band, under its new musical director Stephen Sykes started the proceedings with a lively festive march called "Christmas Joy", which was followed by some audience participation in the first of the evening’s carol singing. Next came Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride" before Santa Claus paid us a visit to distribute sweets to everyone, whether they had been naughty or nice. The first solo item was from solo trombone player Sarah Chadwick-Jones, in a rendition of the Ertha Kitt hit song "Santa Baby", with Sarah all kitted out as Mrs Claus.

The concert continued in a light hearted vein with the music interspersed with some witty but informative facts from compère and MD Stephen Sykes.

The annual band awards were presented towards the end of the evening with the David Fisher Memorial award being presented to the whole Tiso family. The band’s person of the year was awarded to solo horn player Jane Gregg, whilst a special award was presented to chairman Tony Fricker for his services to the band.

I am sure everyone in the audience would agree with me that Burnham and Highbridge have a band to be justifiably proud of; it certainly made me proud to be a member of the band whilst listening to the many words of praise as the audience left, thoroughly entertained.

Graham Davies, Burnham & Highbridge Band