Uptown Funk to Fireworks Music staged by East London Community Band at St Dunstan’s Christmas concert

Matthew Hardy conducting the East London Commumnity Band concert at St Dunstan's. Picture: Jackie Tu

Matthew Hardy conducting the East London Commumnity Band concert at St Dunstan's. Picture: Jackie Turner - Credit: Turner/Applebee

Schoolchildren got into the Christmas spirit performing in their band for a public concert at St Dunstan’s historic parish church in Stepney works they’ve learned during the term.

Matthew Hardy conducting the East London Commumnity Band concert at St Dunstan's. Picture: Jackie Tu

Matthew Hardy conducting the East London Commumnity Band concert at St Dunstan's. Picture: Jackie Turner - Credit: Turner/Applebee

Members of the East London Community Band who rehearse in the Shadwell Centre every Friday after school performed a varied programme from Uptown Funk and Trad Jazz to classic pieces from Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nuremberg and Handle’s Royal Fireworks Music.

“It really is a great community group,” local GP Jackie Applebee said. “It’s a great way for young people to learn a musical instrument. Even adults learn an instrument from scratch from quite an advanced age!”

Community volunteers like Dr Applebee perform with the youngsters, when she’s not too busy orchestrating the campaign to stop the privatisation of the NHS.

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.


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“I have a number of NHS roles,” she admits. “I’m always campaigning for something!”

Jackie has recently been blowing the trumpet in a campaign against a new App which entices people to have consultations over Skype or on the phone instead of at the surgery.

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The community band she supports which has 60 members, a third being schoollkids, has been going for 40 years. It runs seven groups including Jazz and early music, from beginners to advanced.

Last Friday’s concert at the East End’s 1,000-year-old ‘mother’ church was a showcase of what its younger members have been rehearsing during school term, ending with Elfman’s Nightmare Before Christmas—just to keep in the seasonal spirit of things.

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