2006 Brass in Concert Championships - Workshops and additional events

22-Nov-2006

Malcolm Wood spent a bit of time looking and listening to the variety of ancillary events at this year's Brass in Concert and even managed to get the 4BR Editor to try and play a few notes too!


In conjunction with the Shaw Trust and Gateshead Council, the 30th Anniversary celebrations of Brass in Concert commenced with a Focus on Brass and Percussion day within and around the Music Performance Centre in The Sage. 

Throughout Saturday workshops were held for players of various abilities by tutors including Nigel Boddice, Simone Rebello and Geoffrey Whitham before performing on the concourse towards the end of the day. This was a cracking idea that worked wonderfully well and it was great to see and hear lots of children and adults enjoying the experience of having their first blow on a cornet (even 4BR Editor Iwan Fox was coaxed out of retirement for a moment to try and play a couple of notes on a soprano – he failed miserably!). 

Iwan Fox
Now try and criticise! The 4BR Editor fails to play a decent note

It is hoped that these ancillary events will now form an integral part of the BiC weekend as it does actively encourage families to come along and enjoy the best of brass.

The Shaw Trust do wonderful work in getting people back into the work place environment, especially those with mental health or physical problems and it was great to see their active involvement with the banding movement here led by John Woods. The workshops provided a taste of music and experience of the ‘banding world' from a variety of perspectives.
 
John told 4BR: "I've been playing since an early age, which is longer than I care to remember!  This is my first involvement with WBIC but it's an event with the best quality bands in the UK and where bands are judged on their quality of playing and entertainment value. I'm delighted to be representing Shaw Trust at this prestigious event." 

John also presented the trophy to the best Solo Cornet player at an awards ceremony on Sunday night.

Fred Rhodes Limited also gave anyone who wanted to the opportunity to sample what it was like to play a brass instrument a chance, whilst a number of people took the opportunity to sit and listen to the various concerts that went on during the day from Tubalaté and Kabatic Winds who both featured Simone Rebello as soloist.  

The Tubalaté concert was interesting if a little cerebral perhaps for a day like this, especially as at least one young family were determined to enjoy the event despite the protestations of their siblings!  John Powell, Les Neish, Ryan Brean and Paul Walton were all in fine form and whilst quartet playing demands finding the appropriate repertoire, it just needed a touch more variety on the day. 

The opening ‘Tubacatta', an overture style work written by Adam Gorb was bright and purposeful whilst there was a touch of Scottish tranquility in Loch Lomund and humour in ‘Bite the Bullet' – a three movement work based on New Orleans and Jazz and enhanced by the percussion playing of Simone Rebello.

All in all though, it was a pretty good recital and showcased a talented group of performers.

Later in the day, Dr Roy Newsome, the Music advisor to Brass in Concert gave a very interesting talk on how the contest had evolved over the last thirty years. He covered just about every aspect of the contest since 1977 and some of the little gems of information about the contest really did make you think of how lucky we have been to have had this contest run as long as it has, given that Rothman's only originally wanted it to be an one off!

It was an enjoyable trip down memory lane although outside those present in attendance to report on the event, the attendance was sparse and Dr Newsome's talk was worthy of a bigger audience.

Overall though event organiser David Bennett wanted to acknowledge his thanks to everybody involved who had made the day whole thing possible and it is hoped that the success of the peripheral events can be built on in the future. Let's hope so too.

Malcolm Wood

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