All Saints Orchestra was formed in 1975 as a pit band for an Old Time Music Hall production under the direction of Peter Browning. Its purpose was to raise funds for the youth groups of the Parish of All Saints, Upper Norwood.
The members enjoyed the experience so much that it was decided to re-form in 1976 as a permanent community band. From 12 players in 1975, the band has grown in strength to around 40 musicians, under a change of name adopted in 1983 to the All Saints Concert Band, reflecting the current line-up of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments.
ASCB’s Musical Director, Rob Mason, has been a member of the band since joining as a ‘junior’ euphonium player in 1979. He took over the conductor’s baton from Eddie Summers in 1990 and is the leading figure in ensuring the band provides entertaining programmes at all of our concerts. Rob’s approach is, “to make music fun – it’s all about enjoyment, for the players and the audience.”
ASCB is run by a committee of band members, elected annually, but all members are encouraged to take an active role in the organisation and operation of the band – from choosing music to suggesting new performance venues. We have at least two social events a year, with several other informal meet-ups. Many members of ASCB also belong to other concert bands and orchestras so there is a constant flow of new musical ideas, to keep rehearsals and performances fresh!
Highlights from Recent Years
ASCB’s 40th Anniversary Concert – ex-members from around the country joined ASCB to celebrate 40 years of music-making with a super-sized band of over 50 musicians.
And our twice-yearly themed ‘formal’ concerts at Selsdon Hall, which have included:
‘A Night at the Oscars’ – a walk down the red carpet, paparazzi photos, a banquet buffet supper and music from Oscar nominated films that made for a memorable evening for all.
‘Time Travel’ – a trip through history and into the future featuring music from the dinosaurs all the way through to space travel, two-course dinner, and special guests Max the dalek and Darth Vader!
‘RAF Centenary’ – a concert to celebrate 100 years of the RAF, and raising money for RAF Biggin Hill Memorial Museum and Chapel, featuring all things flying, WWII re-enactors, and a fish and chip supper.
‘Welcome to the Jungle!’ – an animal-themed concert complete with unofficial band mascot DCI Dave Horse, a walk with a dog, a puppet show, a real gunshot, and a 5-foot long inflatable shark..!
‘All Aboard!’ – hop on the 19:00 All Saints Express service from Selsdon Hall for an evening of transport-themed music, featuring a live Scalextrics race, a real-life Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and the entire audience surfing and canoeing.
Bandstands and Castles
Eastbourne Bandstand – our annual summer day trip to the seaside to play an outdoor concert at this historic venue.
Hever Castle – entertaining visitors with some traditional and ‘Olde English’ music.
Carolathon – our annual visit to Victoria Station to play Christmas carols all day in aid of the MS Society.
Mayor of Croydon’s Victorian Spring Ball – an evening of Victorian dancing raising money for Cancer Research UK (as the All Saints Clarinet Quartet).
At a private garden party for Harris Hospice.
Croydon High Street – for the MS Society Flag day.
Battersea Park – for a Kidney Research fundraising event.
Festivals and Fetes
Beulah Spa Plaque Unveiling – as the All Saints Clarinet Quartet.
Biggin Hill Festival of Flight 2018 – flying-themed music for visitors to the airshow.
Croydon PrideFest 2018 – playing during the parade.
Crystal Palace Beer Festival – playing in the stands whilst the offerings were sampled!
Westerham Day of Music – concert in the church.
Oak Lodge School Summer Fete – fun for parents and pupils.
Trafalgar Square – movie themes for a film festival.
Croydon’s Christmas Lights Switch-On – helping out Santa!
Churchill Theatre – live music for a corporate awards ceremony.
Musical entertainment for a corporate party.
Friends and Exchanges
Valencienne, France – exchange visits with a French band.
‘Bonded by Sound’ – playing music that shakes and stirs with Belgian Band Panta Rei Leuven.
Croydon Minster – ‘The Silver Screen: Big and Small’ with the Band of the Surrey Yeomanry.