WHAT a wonderful musical feast was enjoyed on Saturday at Temple Methodist Church, when The Rotary Club of Taunton presented A Musical Tribute to those who Served.

It acknowledged not only the traditional November remembrance of those who served in two World Wars, but also those on the NHS frontline of whom so much is being demanded during this Covid crisis.

The occasion was marked by the attendance of the Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset, the High Sheriff of Somerset, the Mayor of Taunton Cllr Sue Lees and other dignitaries.

After a resounding Reveille bugle call, the evening commenced with the congenial compere, Rotarian Ian Ramus, introducing the Taunton Deane Male Voice Choir in their first set of four songs, in which African Prayer, the South African national anthem stood out.

The men were followed by the woman of Eight to a Bar, who sang a capella a selection of seven love-themed songs, performed with great expression and earning much enthusiastic applause from a large audience.

After the interval the men of the Male Voice Choir made a welcome return for four more songs, completing the set with You’ll Never Walk Alone and a rumbustious rendering of When the Saints go Marching In.

Then it was the turn of the West Somerset Brass Band who treated the audience to a warm rendering of Over the Rainbow and other pieces before joining The Rotary Choir and the audience in traditional and much loved WW1 songs.

Next, The Rotary Choir was joined by the superb trumpeter Luis Martelo and his group, including 14-year-old Castle School pupil Charlie Hedger, in a range of rock and jazz, of which the highlight was Gershwin’s Summer Time lusciously decorated by superb trumpet and double bass playing.

The evening concluded with the traditional Act of Remembrance, led by Rotarian the Rev Adrian Prior-Sankey and joined by British Legion standard bearers and representatives of the Scout movement, Taunton Sea Cadets and others.

As Luis Martelo’s trumpet sounded The Last Post, hundreds of blood red poppies fluttered down from the church balcony on to the audience below.

The evening concluded with a moving I vow to thee my Country for all performers, choirs and audience.

This unforgettable evening was in aid of three Rotary charities, The League of Friends of Musgrove Park Hospital, The Royal British Legion, and The Conquest Centre.

Alan Reeve.