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Dyke's Low Brass Spotlight

There are just a few places left up for grabs for the Black Dyke Low Brass Spotlight — and everything is on offer from Deep Harmony to Acid tracks!

Black Dyke


4BR has been informed that there are only a few places left up for grabs at the forthcoming 'Low Brass Spotlight' being held as part of the Black Dyke Symposium on June 12th.


Dyke stars David Thornton and Joe Cook are hosting the event and told 4BR: "We’re both pleased that this part of the weekend has proved to be popular yet again. It’s going to be a great day and anyone else wishing to attend should contact us as soon as possible!"

The event is being held on Saturday 12th June from 11.30am until 4pm at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Musical treat

David added that there will be a special musical treat in store too: "We’ve commissioned Maurice Bale to do a special arrangement of ‘Deep Harmony’ —a hymn tune much associated with Black Dyke—for massed low brass choir. It will sound magnificent in the Ghandi Hall!"

Anyone interested in attending should contact David Thornton on or 07702 344 468.

You should give contact details, playing details (including name of band, section of band, position played, any grades taken) and also which clef you are most comfortable reading.

The event is intended to inspire and stimulate players through practical classes on key skills used at contests and during concertsDavid Thornton and Joseph Cook


This year’s event offers a series of sessions including chamber music skills, performance techniques and general tips to improve low brass playing.

Acid tacks

The Groves Brass Ensemble will also be featured during the day, performing a work by Simon Dobson for euphonium, Brass Quintet and Acid Dance Track!

The event includes sessions which are aimed at players of any age or standard to participate or simply observe led by Black Dyke soloists David Thornton and Joe Cook, and assisted by the Black Dyke Low Brass section—a team which boasts over 80 years of Black Dyke experience between them!

Inspire and stimulate

The event is intended to inspire and stimulate players through practical classes on key skills used at contests and during concerts (including playing in the section and how to cope with nerves)

As well as as a massed session, the event will be splitting the participants into smaller ensembles, rehearsing separately and led by members of Black Dyke.


The day will culminate with a performance from each group. These smaller groups will also provide an opportunity for delegates to ‘pick the brains’ of our experienced team!

The day will be followed by a Gala evening performance by Black Dyke wgich will include the world premiere of Ian McMillan’s newly commissioned concert poem ‘Brass’—performed by the poet and accompanied by the band.

World premiere

There is also a world premiere of a new euphonium work by Philip Wilby called ‘A Day In The Life’.

Tickets are £10 and available from Leeds Town Hall Box Office Tel 0113 224 3801 (but free entry to Spotlight particapnts!)

Held at Leeds Metropolitan University — Headingly Campus (LS6 3QS), James Graham Building, Ghandi Hall. Admission £5 Donation


11.30: Registration

12.00: Warm-up and Massed Ensemble Rehearsal.
Last Year’s Spotlight culminated with the massed ensemble giving an exciting performance of ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’.

This year we plan to equally challenge participants with music including a fantastic arrangement of Mussorgsky’s ‘Night On A Bare Mountain’, Deep Harmony and William Tell!

12.45: Chamber music sessions— highlighting playing techniques and ensemble skills.

Participants work within smaller groups in sessions led by members of Black Dyke Band.

13.30: Celebrity Recital—David Thornton and Joe Cook present a short recital of new and fascinating repertoire for low brass.

14.15: Coffee Break (refreshments provided)

14.30: In Conversation with Black Dyke Legends—a chance to meet and ask questions of some of Black Dyke’s former players.

This popular session was a highlight of last year’s Spotlight—giving an insight to some of the true characters from Black Dyke history.

15.15: Performance Platform and Massed Finale

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David Hirst

MA, B.Ed (Hons), LTCL
Conductor, adjudicator and arranger