Summer 2010 is quickly drawing to a close. September 1 marked the final date for the Stratford Concert Band's series of outdoor concerts held in Upper Queens Park every Wednesday during the summer.
The venue could not have been more perfect. After the current heat wave, it was extremely pleasant to sit basking in a lovely evening breeze. Mare's tails strewn across the sky made a perfect backdrop for the gulls who soared overhead as if in time to the music. A large audience had come out to enjoy the concert sitting on the benches provided by the park system or spread out across the area in friendly conversation groups on lawn chairs brought from home. The Stratford Police Pipe Band was featured during the halftime break. There is nothing quite like the strains of the pipes wafting across the evening air, especially when they choose to play some of one's favorites.
This was not only this season's final outdoor concert, but for maestro Nigel Evans it was his final stint on the podium after guiding the band for the past nine years. He took advantage of this concert to bring us many favorites from his time as director. Stratford and the Concert Band will certainly miss Mr. Evans but, as he pointed out, we have a treasure in the band and they will continue to bring us joy over the coming years.
It looks like there is a wonderful series in the works for the coming year. Why not consider buying a season's ticket and cast your support behind this enjoyable part of Stratford's cultural life?
writer's note: Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me last night. These photos capture the essence of the concerts in the park, but were not taken at the farewell concert.