Xylophone solo

Xylophone solo

I was fortunate enough to be invited to photograph a concert with The Royal British Legion Youth Band Brentwood and The Band of the Grenadier Guards.

The audience of around 1,000 people at the Brentwood Centre was treated to a brilliant concert, with a mixture of contemporary, classical and traditional marches. First was the Legion Youth Band directed by John Seabrook, including an impressive display by their drum corps. After the intermission there was a 45 minutes concert by the Grenadier Guards band directed by Bandmaster and Warrant Officer Class One Chris King, and at the end, both bands got on the stage at the same time and performed together.

Contrabass player from the Grenadier Guards Band

There was a photopit (actually, more of a platform than a pit) at the back of the sports centre where the concert was held, giving a great view of stage. Being up high like that meant that the angle of view allowed me to capture the musicians at the back of the stage as well as the ones at the front. The downside was that the front of the platform was 20 meters from the stage, so even a 200 mm tele didn’t give close-ups from there.

Being one of the “official” photographers gave a number of benefits, the main one being that it was okay to move around during the concert. So as well as overview shots from the “pit”, I could also be down on the floor next to the stage or even shoot from the steps between the aisles of audience.

The wide shots of the entire stage with either band (or both, together) are the “must have” shots, and while they are nice, I prefer the more intimate close-ups showing individual band members concentrating on their instrument.

Many thanks to both bands, the very talented musicians, the directors, and especially to founder and band director, John Wyndham MBE.

There’s a slideshow with additional and larger shots, including the group pictures here.