A joyful night last night, in the ballroom of Beverley Park in Paignton. This biennial gig has been going on since the 1990s at least, when the parent of a DYJO player, who owned Beverley Park at the time, offered the free use of the ballroom to fund-raise for DYJO: it’s been going on ever since, and we are extremely grateful for the continuing tradition, despite the present owners having no direct connection with DYJO! It certainly is a stunning venue for a big band concert, both in appearance, and acoustic.
The DYJO team had made a great effort in making the ballroom look festive, and the bands really rose to the occasion. DYJO2 kicked off the evening with a varied set, tightly played with great enthusiasm, and great solos from around the band. It was lovely for me to get back in front of the band at last after my extended lay-off for illness – it was so much fun, and I hope to return to full form soon, so I don’t miss any more!
The Ambassadors came on stage straight after, and played from memory their own composition – a fascinating piece, with an unsingable but really catchy head for the horns!
Ben Lee, who directs the Ambassadors, returned to the stage after the interval to direct DYJO1 in Graham’s absence, and the whole team did a great job. In fact, Daniel, one of the players, directed the first piece, with great aplomb, with Ben taking over for the rest of the barnstorming set.
And as for the fundraising – despite the bargain ticket price, a very large turnout of family and friends, and enthusiastic purchasing of raffle and treasure hunt tickets, means that a very tidy sum has been raised for our ongoing activities: we’re always looking for opportunities to our players’ learning, and what we can present to public audiences, and keeping our finances in good health will help us do that well into the future!
Thanks to Pik Rawlings for the photos!