Strike Up The Band For New Year In Tenerife

Soothing, rousing, and enchanting, the Arona Municipal Band gave a tuneful welcome to 2015 with a free concert outside the Los Cristianos cultural centre. It was a very different sound to the pumping dance music that had occupied the same spot well into the early hours of 1st January and quite a different age range of audience.

This is the 30th anniversary of the band which consists of pupils from the Arona school of music and dance and most of the musicians were in their young teens. They’re a talented bunch, after conductor and musical director Jose Luis Dominguez Rodriguez welcomed the audience in Spanish, one young performer addressed everyone in English and German. Seats were set out for around 200 people but others stood behind them to enjoy the treat.

We were promised a diverse programme and it lived up to its billing, ranging from classical to show tunes and even a carol Oh Come All Ye Faithful, well the big day of presents, Reyes, isn’t until 6th January, with the three kings arriving on their camels the night before. The band has 40 members and the stage looked pretty full with a grand array of trumpets, clarinets, kettle drums, tubas, flutes, and saxophones. A few Santa hats added to the festive feel but the nearby Mojito and beer stalls were rather quiet as drinkers went cold turkey.

White Christmas was another timely choice that fitted well with the twinkling evening lights on the cultural centre. In the breaks between tunes as score sheets were shuffled and instruments adjusted, the dull thud of the fairground music up the hill was a reminder of more commercial distractions. A tap of the baton and along came I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady, this was performed in a medley of dance styles, some cha cha cha and some swing.

Conductor Jose ensured that each soloist took an individual bow from the appreciative audience, some musicians were multi tasking, I noticed one young lady move from organ to clarinet. When The Saints Come Marching In led into a more upbeat finish, new hats were added for a lively Dixieland jazz finish but there was no way the audience was going to let them go just yet. The encore was a stirring rendition of the Johann Strauss classic The Redetzky March which had everyone clapping along. That big number was a nice nod to the long established New Years Day Strauss concert in Vienna. Los Cristianos may not have a Blue Danube but hopefully this will become just as popular a tradition in Los Cristianos as the offering in Austria.