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Well Bertha, my e flat tuba, is oiled and polished ready for tonight's concert. I have done some last minute practice and now for the nervous wait until I get on stage to play.

The band that I play for, Knottingley Concert Brass, plays only a handful of prestigious concerts per year and tonight's is the first one of the season. In fact it is the first outing the band has had since before Christmas.

We play at a few fetes and garden parties, old peoples homes etc. but we also have a few serious concerts where the audience contains a few discerning listeners.

Tonight we are playing at the village church of Womersley near Pontefract. We have a varied programme of classical music, light and traditional brass band music and a bit of old pop. Handel's Royal fireworks, excerts from the Messiah, Troika, a bit of ABBA and Pinball Wizard to name but a few.

There are around thirty of us in total and the church has some wonderful accustics, although they are pretty unforgiving to 'bum' notes as the sound rings forever.

I will be leaving the band in late July after another major concert given for the benefit of our Patrons.

So this is the begining of another series of 'lasts' an occasion with mixed emotions.
 

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