facebook twitter rss vimeo


Take 5: Special little moments of musicality to cherish

4BR picks five very special little moments of musicality to cherish from 2016...

  4BR picks five very special little musical moments to cherish from 2016

There were many brilliant performances from bands as well as individuals during 2016, but these were five moments to cherish for us for very different reasons.

1. Peter Moore

RNCM Brass Band Festival recital

The whole recital performance by the LSO Principal Trombone was stunning, with the first few notes of Mahler's 'Urlicht' from 'Das Knaben Wunderhorn' as close to perfection as you could ever hear.

However, the little bit of extra magic came with his rendition of Arthur Pryor's 'La Petite Suzanne'.

So many modern day trombonists play his solos with an ineptitude based on speed and trickery. Here Moore delivered it with such capricious elan that it took the breath away. It was a sheer delight.

2. Principal cornet player of Redruth Town Band

Fourth Section West of England Championship

Not even Errol Flynn could have bettered this for swashbuckling brilliance. On the Spanish leg of 'The Journal of Phileas Fogg' this chap delivered a cornet cadenza that took 'ad-libbing' to a new level of interpretative genius. This was Zorro meets Eddie Calvert with a dollop of Wynton Marsalis thrown in for good measure.

Adjudicator Alan Fernie's tongue in cheek pre-results remarks paid tribute to this unique piece of musicality in what was a playful homage to the great Eric Morecambe when asked by Andre Previn just what he was doing in his rendition of Grieg Piano Concerto.

The man in question (we don't know his name even now) simply stepped forward, took the applause and revelled in his moment of glory. Simply brilliant.

3. David Childs

Cantata Memoria

The 50th anniversary of the catastrophic collapse of a colliery spoil tip behind the village of Aberfan, near Merthyr Tydfil in 1966, which sent debris through the classroom of Pantglas Junior School, killing 116 children and 28 adults, was marked in Wales by the premiere of 'Cantata Memoria' by Sir Karl Jenkins.

The nation was reminded of the poignant loss as well as the shameful aftermath of official denial which led one grieving father to state at the Coroner's Inquest that his child had been, "buried alive by the National Coal Board."

The 'Cortege' section saw Bryn Terfel sing 'Myfanwy' and David accompanied as the 'musical voice of the valley', leading the choir as they recited the names of all those killed to a backdrop of the scenes of the heartbreaking funeral processions.

4. Helen Williams

'Journey of the Lone Wolf' — National Championship of Great Britain

There are very few players whose individual contribution even to a National title winning performance immediately becomes the collective memory of victory for those who did and didn't hear it on the day.

That was certainly the case with the chillingly beautiful flugel spotlight, performed with such control and purity by Helen Williams that time very nearly stood still in the Albert Hall.

As adjudicator Philip McCann later told 4BR: "The icing on the cake from the winners came as soon as the beginning of the second movement — and especially from the flugel. There was so much space, atmosphere, textures and colours. It was the magic moment of the day."

5. Valaisia

'Goldberg 2012' — Swiss National Championship

At the heart of Svein Henrik Giske's remarkable work is a central core of deep, ice cold melancholy that reflects on the death of his father. It is transparent writing drawn from the heart — a paean of yearning loss that is almost troubling in its beauty.

For that moment in time in Montreux, Valaisia under the elegant direction of Arsene Duc chilled the marrow in your bones; sending your own memories spiralling into a recalled personal freefall. It was deeply affecting.


Results: 2017 LBBA Open

November 23 • Wantage leads the prize winners at the Leicestershire BBA Open contest


Report & Results: 2017 North Wales BBA Rally

November 23 • Northop gains confidence a boost as it eyes 2018 Area qualification, whilst there are wins for Porthaethwy Menai Bridge, Northop Training, Beaumaris Youth and Llangollen in a great day of competition in Ruthin.


Brass bands feature on BBC Radio 4 flagship news programme

November 22 • There was a feature item on the perception of brass bands on the Radio 4 flagship evening news programme PM today...


Report & Results: 2017 GBBA March & Own Choice contest

November 22 • Forest of Dean Brass lead the way in an encouraging day of contesting in Cheltenham.

Foden's Band - Matt Ford - Lichfield Cathedral

Friday 24 November • 19A The Close, Lichfield WS13 7LD

Lofthouse Brass Band - Pudsey Churches Together Christmas Concert

Saturday 25 November • Pudsey Parish Church, Church Lane, Pudsey, LS28 7BD LS28 7BD

Lofthouse Brass Band - Lofthouse Christmas Fair

Saturday 25 November • Lofthouse Methodist Church, Leeds Road, Lofthouse, Wakefield WF3 3NE

Enfield Citadel Band -

Saturday 25 November • The Salvation Army. 42 Clarence Road. Southend. SS1 1AN SS1 1AN

Newstead Brass -

Saturday 25 November • John Godber Centre. Ogle Street. Hucknall. Nottingham NG15 7FQ

Olney Brass

November 23 • 2nd Trombones, look no further. We are looking for a 2nd trombone to join our band. We are an ambitious 3rd section band with a new MD, winning the ODBBA winter contest 2017. Any other instruments, we would be interested to talk, please get in touch.

The Corsham Band

November 23 • With promotion to the 2nd Section from January 2018 the band are now looking to fill a couple of vacancies. One back row cornet (2nd or 3rd) plus an EEb Bass.

Thoresby Colliery Band

November 22 • Sadly due to work commitments we are looking for an experienced Percussionist to join our friendly and progressive Band. The Band has experienced a recent run of good form and is currently enjoying a sensible mix of contests, concerts and recordings.

Martin Heartfield

Conductor, Adjudicator, Educationalist