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Christmas season 2002

The band playing in the exotic surroundings of the
atrium of the headquarters of The Sun Life of Canada

Band Secretary Peter Barlow receives a cheque from
the company as a donation to support the Army′s work.

In the weeks immediately before Christmas so many organisations ask for Army bands to play carols, often during the day when corps bands are unavailable. Then there are the carol-playing opportunities for which no corps bands are available. These are the opportunities that a fellowship band can often grasp.

In December 2002 the Central Southern Area Fellowship band played at events in three counties. It took part in a carol service at the Great Hall of the University of Reading along with the Mayor of Reading and students and staff of the Gyosei Japanese College. It also conducted carol services at a residential home for the elderly in Theale, Berkshire and at a community event in Bray village hall, also in Berkshire. Carol playing in the Reading town centre shopping area and in the Eden shopping centre in Kingston-on-Thames raised nearly three thousand pounds for the Army′s work in the area.

Perhaps the most unusual event was in response to a request from management of the Sun Life of Canada life assurance company to play carols during the employees lunch break. A group from the band played Christmas music surrounded by tropical foliage in the climate-controlled atrium of the company′s building in Basingstoke. It was a welcome contrast with the cold conditions of the traditional carolling venues. In addition to the band′s music, retired bandmaster Ken Kew entertained the employees with a medley of Christmas music on his keyboard.