The Junior Guildhall Brass Band is a regular fixture in the concert schedule at Regent Hall, appearing twice a year, and on this occasion opened with Peter Graham's crowd pleasing 'Shine as the Light'.
Taken at a brisk pace, the flowing melodic lines were supported by a solid tuba and percussion foundation. Will Thomas then brought a great deal of feeling to 'Candle of the Lord' - although the fast tempo lessened the impact of the 'light me' interjections. Things settled down with the entry of 'The Light Has Come', with the French horn sound coming through strongly.
Reuben Cohen presented an excellent reading of Gregson's 'Tuba Concerto'. Playing from memory, he brought mature nuance to his account, supported by sympathetic playing from the band.
The fun elements of the opening were to the fore, with a slightly sinister touch in the 'Lento e mesto' and the finale sparkling with wit. Reuben moves up the Guildhall School of Music in September to continue his studies with Patrick Harrild. He is a player to watch out for.
A lighter interlude was provided with 'Malaguena', arranged for ten-piece brass ensemble plus percussion in an idiomatic reading featuring some sultry flugel playing by Tom Nielsen.
The programme closed with an impressive performance of John McCabe's 'Cloudcatcher Fells', with the young players picking up the subtleties of the scoring effectively.
When one considers that the concert was put together after about eight hours of rehearsal it was quite an achievement, and says much about the quality of the players and of the teaching. Charlotte Ward on flugel and Lawrence Schofield on euphonium both made effective contributions to a first-class reading of this iconic work.