Black Dyke Director of Music, Prof Nicholas Childs has been preparing for his band's visit to Japan by once again working with the talented students at Senzoka Gakuen College in Tokyo.
Having first toured the country in 1990, the Queensbury band has built up a massive fan base, with players besieged for autographs and 'selfies' at every event, whilst boxes of their CD recordings have already been shipped out to meet the demand at concerts.
Prof Childs has also visited the students on previous personal trips to the country, and worked with the college's Director, Maestro Masanori Fukuda. On this occasion, Senzoka Gakuen College completed their latest concert in their own 'British Brass' series to a capacity audience at the magnificent Maeda Concert Hall in Tokyo, with the Black Dyke conductor thrilled to be invited to take part.
He told 4BR: "Once again the warm welcome I've received has been humbling. The respect shown and the eagerness to work and learn is staggering. It's always an amazing experience visiting Japan and especially to work with such renowned musicians and talented performers."
He added: "The fan base Black Dyke has here is incredible and the concert tour is already a sell out. It goes to show just how extensive the band's worldwide musical profile is.
I don't think there is another country in the world that can boast so many 'Pondashers', so I'm sure it is going to be another memorable tour."
I don't think there is another country in the world that can boast so many 'Pondashers', so I'm sure it is going to be another memorable tourProf Nicholas Childs
Pictured in what was the final rehearsal before the concert, are the 140 strong brass, percussion harp and grand organ players, whilst joining them for what was 46th occasion was Distinguished Professor Takeo Yamamoto, leading the Intermediate Band in works by Masanori Fukuda ('A Day on September') and Satoshi Yagisawa ('Primavera-Beautiful Mountain Winds').
Meanwhile, Prof Childs was invited to conduct the Elite Band in Johan de Meij's 'Extreme Make-over' as well as the Massed Band. Johan had sent a personal message of thanks to the event acknowledging the performance.
The concert closed with the massed band performing 'Four Scottish Dances', 'Fire in the Blood' and the final two movements of Howard Snell's magnificent arrangement of Respighi's 'Pines of Rome'.