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A Year to Remember

Haverhill Silver Band
Conductor: Mark Ager
Soloists: Ian Jacobs, Kevin Jones, Tim Pannell, Caroline Hinitt
Reelsound Recordings: CDHSB001
Total Playing Time: 52 mins approx

CD cover - A Year to Remember

Memories of the year 2012: from the biggies of the Olympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to victory at the Crawley Entertainment Contest.  

Haverhill Silver Band may not have won a medal or gained a gong of recognition from Her Majesty for their excellent musical services to the banding public of the thriving market town nestling on the borders of Essex and Cambridgeshire, but you suspect even if they did, it wouldn’t have meant as much as the victory they gained at that Crawley event. 

Free rein

That said, there are a few items on this enjoyable release that combine the speed of Usain Bolt with the gravitas of Good Queen Bess in her ermine and diamond splendour, thanks to the intelligent direction of MD Mark Ager, which allows his band enough free rein to play with a relaxed sense of style and purpose.

Classy form

The quartet of soloists are on classy form, with Ian Jacobs a flowing lyrical lead on ‘Carrickfergus’, Kevin Jones a suave solo voice on ‘Portrait of My Love’ and Tim Pannell giving ‘Flourish’ by Paul Sharman the full eye popping swagger treatment.  

All are just about topped by Caroline Hinitt though; who displays the type of secretarial keyboard skills would make Sir Alan Sugar hire her as his apprentice without a second thought.


Elsewhere we get two firmly played concert overtures from Philip Sparke and Dimitri Shostakovich which top and tail things with bold endeavour and solid technique, whilst there are neat musical contrasts shown in a bucolic ‘Irish Blessing’ and a quirky ‘Soul Bossa Nova’ - which has just that right hint of 60’s raunchiness.

A slightly square ‘Blue Sleeve Step’ and a blousy ‘How Do You Like Your Eggs in the Morning’ are a little less successful in sounding intuitive, but ‘Fest Music der Stadt Wien’ captures the sense of arrogant Viennese pomp to a tee and provides a neat contrast with the Hollywood glitter that was heralded at the 1984 Olympics by John Williams’s rather more showbiz effort. 

Polished veneer

Elsewhere, Jerry Herman’s ‘Mack & Mabel’ is dusted off to reveal plenty of polished veneer, as is the old bomper march ‘Death or Glory’ - which would have gone down well at the Olympic archery contest if William Tell had been taking part for Great Britain shooting the odd apple off his son’s head in a bid for gold. 

2012 may have been a year to remember for this solid, well run band, but on the form shown on this intelligently thought out release the next few years could certainly be ones to look forward to as well.

Iwan Fox


1. Jubilee Overture, P Sparke
2. Blue Sleeve Step, P Harper
3. Carrickfergus, Traditional, arr. A Fernie, Soloist Ian Jacobs
4. Mack and Mabel, J Herman, arr.Wilkinson
5. Soul Bossa Nova, Q Jones, arr. A Duncan
6. Portrait of My Love, C Ornadel, arr. C Wormald, Soloist Kevin Jones
7. Olympic Fanfare and Theme, J Williams, arr. P Graham
8. Death or Glory, R B Hall
9. Irish Blessing, J E Bacat, arr. Bradnum
10. Flourish, P Sharman, Soloist Tim Pannell
11. Fest Musik der Stadt Wien, R Strauss, arr. E Banks
12. How Do You Like Your Eggs in the Morning?, S Chan/N Brodszky, arr. R Van der Velde
13. The Typewriter, L Anderson, arr. A Duncan, Featuring Caroline Hinitt
14. Festive Overture, D Shostakovich, arr. P Kitson

Contest: London & SC Regional Championships

Saturday 17 March • Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, Lytton Way, Stevenage SG1 1LZ

Contest: Welsh Regional Championships

Saturday 17 March • Brangwyn Hall, The Guildhall, Swansea SA1 4PE

Contest: North of England Regional Championships

Saturday 17 March • The Gala Theatre, 1 Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA

Black Dyke Band - Victoria Hall, Bolton

Saturday 17 March • 37 Knowsley St, Bolton BL1 2AS

Contest: London & SC REgional Championships

Sunday 18 March • Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, Lytton Way, Stevenage SG1 1LZ

Walsall Brass Band

March 17 • WALSALL BRASS BAND are looking for Cornets, 1st Baritone, 2nd Euphonium, Bb Bass and Percusion.

Cheshire Constabulary Band

March 17 • We are urgently looking for a Tenor Horn, Cornet and snare drummers (for our Corps of drums). Smart friendly well run band with varied engagements, just one rehearsal a week. Open to all walks of life ( you do not need to work for the Police!)

Arrow Valley Brass

March 16 • Arrow Valley Brass is developing well under Andy Culshaw and seeks to appoint an experienced front row cornet player. We are based in Inkberrow, Worcs.and our main rehearsal is on Sunday morning. Full programme of concerts, contests etc.

David A. Stowell

Conductor and composer