Audiences dub British themed concert tour as 'best ever'
Published: 16 Dec 2016 updated: 06 Jan 2017
Royal Air Force band members took their final bow to a flurry of applause following this year's RAF in Concert Tour, staged in support of the RAF Charitable Trust.
Following an unforgettable 2016 which put Britain well and truly in the spotlight, audiences came together across the country to celebrate the 'Best of British' through music and entertainment.
The prestigious annual concert tour, which has been praised for its 'nostalgic and inspiring' programme, visited 15 venues across the UK and showcased talent from two of the RAF's principal bands - the Central Band of the RAF and the Band of the RAF College, accompanied by members of the Band of the RAF Regiment, as well as vocals from Squadron Leader Matt Little and acclaimed West End performer Sarah Francis.
Tour organiser Tina Outlaw said: "This year, the RAF Bands took on the enormous challenge of replicating some of the most iconic tunes Britain has to offer as we hailed the 'Best of British'. The response we received from audiences has been phenomenal - everything from the sound, visuals and lighting, to the programme has been positively received throughout the tour and described as the best to date. We could not have asked for better feedback, which has put us in great stead for next year. We're really grateful to everyone who came along to support the tour and look forward to seeing you again in 2017.
"I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank Principal Director of Music Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs who has been conducting for us since 2009. Sadly this year was his final RAF in Concert Tour and we wish him all the best for the future."
During the show's seven-week run, musicians were joined by guest comperes; BBC Countryfile presenter, John Craven; the voice of Strictly Come Dancing, Alan Dedicoat; BBC Radio 2 broadcasters Ken Bruce and Lynn Bowles, and TV personality Gaby Roslin - who took audiences on a journey through some of Britain's greatest home-grown pop music, powerful stage and screen scores and British military marches.
Here are just some of the comments received from audience members throughout the tour:
"Fantastic show which we enjoyed immensely. Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved." Mr JB, Eastbourne
"Absolutely brilliant concert all round. Outstanding musicianship. Great programme - well balanced with entertainment." Ms JW, Derby
"It was a fabulous night. Organisation was perfect. First time for us, but will look out for the next one." Mr GA, Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees