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The pandemic grinds on and event organisers must always consider that a sudden lock down could throw all their carefully laid plans into disarray. The folks at Mitcham are cautious optimists, however, and, fingers crossed, decided to go ahead this year with a mini-festival over two evenings. Campbelltown band was delighted to be invited to participate on Saturday.

It is tempting to think that Smile from Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times reflects the difficult 1930s, but in fact the lyrics (read by MD Peter Smith) were written in the 1950s, a time when countries were recovering from the war and needed resilience and a strong sense of community. The words of the final chorus of Les Miserables, sung by MD and audience, echoed this theme. Let the People Sing and let us hope we can all Rise Like a Phoenix from the ashes of Covid 19!

Interspersed with these messages of optimism and hope were the pounding rhythms of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Fairy Tale. Myfanwy and Baby It’s Cold Outside (it was) enabled both performers and audience to relax before a rollicking finale, Everybody Needs Somebody, showed what we have long suspected – conductors can be superfluous as long as you have a solid drumbeat!

Many thanks to BJ O’Donovan, Brendan Littlechild and Peter Doherty for helping out in our depleted trombone section. Above all, though, thanks to Mitcham Band. Let’s hope that next year will be bigger and better than ever.