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La Ronde Concert Band of Jersey – Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance

Join us for a free concert in St Thomas Church as part of the Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance on Saturday 9th November from 8pm.

 

La Ronde Concert Band of Jersey

Just over forty years ago, in 1982, a small band of keen amateur musicians playing woodwind and brass instruments met in the canteen of Highlands College to make music. At that time it was to be a 10 week experiment, initiated by peripatetic brass teacher, Neil Sawyer. The band rehearsed sitting in a circle so that the players could all see Neil who led the rehearsals whilst also playing trombone. Hence the name La Ronde. (French word for circle and semibreve)  The experiment endured and over four decades later the band still meets on a Wednesday evening to rehearse. It has expanded since its early days with members numbering 35-40, including a percussionist and now meets at Chateau Vermont, the home of the Jersey Academy of Music.

Currently around 25 players make up the woodwind section of clarinets, flutes, piccolos  oboes, bassoon and saxophones whilst about 10/12 players make up the  brass section of French horns, trumpets, fluegel horn, trombones, euphonium and tuba. All supported by the percussionist.

Charlotte Cooper, Head of Music at Haute Vallée School, was appointed Director of Music and conductor to La Ronde in the spring of 2013. Charlotte has brought a wealth of musical knowledge and practical playing experience to the band which has proved invaluable to the Band’s development.

La Ronde is made up of adult musicians, both amateurs and current /former professional musicians. Some learned to play their instruments at school, or in the services whilst others started much later in their lives.

La Ronde Concert Band of Jersey has a Fanfare Team playing long silver military style fanfare trumpets.

The band’s repertoire is wide, ranging from classical to military marches, to music from shows, TV and film.

When performing the band members wear smart red blazers bearing the La Ronde logo. La Ronde has always played music sitting down, just like an orchestra.

The band has travelled overseas (Alderney and France) and welcomed visiting bands from France and the UK.

La Ronde has played all over the island during its 40 years. Fixed points over the years are concerts in Howard Davis Park, The Town Hall, Liberation Square, La Rocque and Greve de Lecq Harbours and Government House. The Band is honoured to have His Excellency Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd CBE, Jersey’s Lieutenant Governor as Patron.

Friendships have been formed over stirring marches and musicals and very many tricky bars. Laughter is more or less guaranteed during rehearsals at around 9pm of a Wednesday evening.

La Ronde celebrated its Ruby Anniversary (40 years) in 2022.

La Ronde Concert Band of Jersey is always happy to welcome brass, wind and percussion players to their rehearsals and if you would like to join them please contact William Whitehead on [email protected]