Trombones to the fore, it’s strictly a bonanza for brass at Royston Town Hall on Sunday

Becky Smith, who grew up in Royston, is a member of the Bones Apart Trombone Quartet

Becky Smith, who grew up in Royston, is a member of the Bones Apart Trombone Quartet - Credit: Archant

Strictly Christmas is the theme when Royston’s resident big band strikes up on Sunday.

The Royston Town Hall date, which gets under way at 6.30pm features the Opus 17 Swing Band as well as the Bones Apart trombone quartet and trombonist Pete Beachill, a member of the BBC Strictly Come Dancing Band.

Opus 17 formed nearly 20 years ago and specialises in authentic big band sounds.

Leader Graham Smith realised when fans wanting to enjoy the band’s annual Christmas gig at The Bull pub were spilling out the door that there was demand for another date, and booked the town hall venue.

His daughter Becky recently moved back to the area after securing a seat as principal trombone at English National Opera, following two years with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Glasgow.

Becky, a member of Royston Town Band from the age of seven until she moved to Manchester to continue her studies, said: “I have fond memories of the band, and made lifelong friends there. We had a fantastic youth band during the 1880s and a number of players have gone on to work as professional musicians.

“It was lovely attending the opening of the new band room a couple of months ago, seeing many familiar faces including John Doughton, who taught Alison Balsom, my sister Claire and myself when we first began at the brass band.”

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Becky is a founder member of the all-female quartet Bones Apart, which has built an international reputation for brass chamber music since it formed in 1999, and which has recently recorded a Christmas album with tracks including sprightly standards such as Santa Baby, Sleigh Ride, and Winter Wonderland.

Tickets for the gig are £8 (£5 concessions) – to book yours and to find out more, call 01223 263171 or email