The innovative Mid Wales arts venue of Theatre Hafen has hosted brass band concerts for 15 years, and once again it welcomed one of the finest entertainers in the business with the appearance of Grimethorpe Colliery Band.
The varied programme chosen was appreciated by a diverse audience (attracted in part by the high profile media coverage following their recent ‘Brassed Off!’ celebrations at the Albert Hall) , as well as many avid brass band enthusiasts.
The mood was set with a fine rendition of Alford’s classic march ‘On the Quarter Deck’, followed by a classy Rossini overture ‘The Barber of Seville’. ‘The Lady is a Tramp’, ‘Let’s Face the Music and Dance’, ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’ and themes from Bernstein’s ‘West Side Story’, followed in a vein that certainly displayed the Yorkshire band’s renowned musical versatility.
Soloists were to the fore with Roger Webster’s thrilling rendition of Del Staigers’ challenging ‘Carnival of Venice’, whilst Kevin Crockford’s tender interpretation of Schonberg’s ‘Bring Him Home’ really pulled at the heart stringsDavid Evans
Soloists were to the fore with Roger Webster’s thrilling rendition of Del Staigers’ challenging ‘Carnival of Venice’, whilst Kevin Crockford’s tender interpretation of Schonberg’s ‘Bring Him Home’ really pulled at the heart strings. During the second half, the talented baritone soloist Michael Cavanagh certainly gained new admirers with his elegant rendition of Golland’s ‘Peace’.
Following that recent Albert Hall concert with the stars of the iconic ‘Brassed Off!’ film, it was inevitable that they played some of its soundtrack hits. Young flugel player Jamie Smith gave a beautiful performance of Rodrigo’s ‘Concierto de Aranuez’ that left listeners stunned, whilst the obligatory ‘William Tell’ raced at a blistering pace through the beautiful Welsh countryside all the way up to Yorkshire in time for last orders!
The management Theatre Hafren are to be congratulated on their determination to continue to bring the ‘Best of Brass’ to Mid Wales, especially as prior to the concert, members of Newtown Silver Band, Training Band and the North Powys Youth Band were fortunate enough to be treated to a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon in the company of virtuoso cornet player, Dr. Roger Webster.