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Swashbuckling musicians take the stage in St Dunstan's ready for Easter

PUBLISHED: 18:09 09 April 2019

East London Community Band performing at St Dunstan's. Picture source: Jackie Applebee

East London Community Band performing at St Dunstan's. Picture source: Jackie Applebee

Jackie Applebee

Schoolchildren got into the Easter festive spirit early this year when they staged their end-of-term concert in Stepney with a swashbuckling musical 'pirate' performance.

Swashbuckling 'Pirates of the Carribean' take over at St Dunstan's. Picture source: Jackie ApplebeeSwashbuckling 'Pirates of the Carribean' take over at St Dunstan's. Picture source: Jackie Applebee

Members of the East London Community Band who rehearse in the Shadwell centre every Friday after school performed works they’ve learned during the term.

These included a Pirates of the Caribbean medley, Sousa’s Stars and Stripes for Ever and two contemporary pieces.

Friday’s concert at St Dunstan’s historic 1,000-year-old parish church followed their last festive public concert there at Christmas which ambitiously included Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nuremberg and Handle’s Royal Fireworks Music.

But this time the mood was slightly lighter, with the ‘pirate’ medley looking ahead to the summer term.

Local GP Jackie Applebee is one of the community volunteers who performs with the youngsters when she’s not too busy orchestrating the campaign to stop NHS privatisation.

“It’s a great way for youngsters to learn a musical instrument,” she said. “Even adults learn from scratch from quite an advanced age!”

She chairs Tower Hamlets local medical committee, but doesn’t let the band play second fiddle to the NHS—rather playing second clarinet herself when she’s not running surgeries at the Tredegar Practice in Bow.

The community band has 60 members, a third being schoolkids, which has been going for 40 years.

It runs seven groups including Jazz and early music, from beginners to advanced.

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