Hotham Park SunFest Concert
After weeks of rain and weather that you could never trust, the gods shone down on Bognor for the appropriately named Sunfest on Sunday 22nd July.
The WSGC gave an hour recital at the bandstand in Hotham Park on that day, sponsored by Bognor Regis Town Council. A very large audience enjoyed the sun and the dulcet tones of the guitar in a wonderful alfresco setting. However, playing outdoors does have its drawbacks. For example, those in the sun found that their instruments quickly went out of tune. Gusts of wind played havoc with the music. If it was securely pinned down with clothes pegs then page turning was difficult. Noisy traffic, aeroplanes and Hotham House bell chimes can compete with the guitars for attention. However on such a pleasant sunny afternoon it would have been a shame to be confined within a concert hall. The guitars sounded wonderful thanks to the amplification system provided and operated by Bognor Regis Council's Town Force.
Sasha was our compere and he traced the history of the guitar from its origins in Spain - a cue for the Regis Guitar Ensemble to play the introductory piece Spain. Sasha then accompanied young Victor Smith who confidently played Valse by Daniel Fortea and Divertimento by Bartolomeo Calatayud - both Spanish composers of the 20th Century, who wrote in an early romantic style. We then enjoyed Tarrega's Caprice Arabe beautifully executed by Vickie Walker. This was followed by the same composer's Recuerdos de Alhambra and Albeniz's Mallorca, both played with superb control by Paul Thomas. The guitar then continued its journey and followed Christopher Columbus to Cuba where the Regis Guitars played a Habenera. The guitar then made its way to South America where Vickie Walker and Richard Prior played two movements from a Maximo Diego Pujol's suite - Tango de Abril and Milonga de Junio. While in South America the Regis Guitars entertained us with an Argentine piece Bailecito. The influence of the guitar also spread to North America and Terry Woodgate regaled us with two light pieces from there - Errol Garner's Misty and Isham Jones's It Had to be You. Then Terry returned us to the Southern Continent once more for Jobim's One Note Samba. While still in Brazil, Paul Thomas played Villa Lobos's Gavota-Choro from the Suite Populaire Bresilienne. The afternoon finished still in Brazil with Regis Guitars playing Marchinha de Carnaval in celebration of the Rio carnival.
This must be the club's most successful concert to the general public. The large audience were very attentive and for once were not all guitar aficionados. It is to be hoped that we have wooed many of them over with our wonderful instrument. There was certainly a lot of interest judging by the large number of brochures taken after the concert. Will we inundated with new members next season?