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Black Dyke

Conductor: Prof Nicholas Childs
Uppermill Civic Hall
Saturday 7th October

The reigning Yorkshire champion provided a packed audience in Saddleworth with a fine musical appetiser ahead of their National Championship title challenge at the Albert Hall.

With the concert close to home, Prof Nicholas Childs was in a relaxed mood in the presence of family and friends as he took to the stage to conduct PLC's fire-cracker opener, 'Through the Flames', whilst those hoping to get a sneak preview of the National test-piece 'Gallery' didn't go home disappointed either.


Inspired by Howard Snell's love of art, the audience seemed fascinated by it - especially it’s superbly realised antiphonal sounds (aided by the cornets standing in the amended structure, something which the band retained throughout the first half).

It proved to be an excellent run out, with an ensemble full of vigour and a beautiful portrayal of 'Love Story', which was proper old romanticism in anyone’s book. 

Richard Marshall produced a terrific account of 'Willow Echoes' before Philip Wilby's arrangement of 'The Day Thou Gavest' paved the way for Katrina Marzella to deliver a stunning rendition of 'The Lark in the Clear Air'.

Dyke's popular tribute to James Bond closed the first the half.  'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' got everyone in '007' mood before the all-female horn section delivered a bomping 'Nobody Does It Better', leading into the soprano-led ripper of 'Live and Let Die'.

With a number of the pieces featured on the band's latest CD release, it was no wonder the merchandise stand was a hive of activity at the break before the audience returned for more easy listening fayre.

Excellent soloists

'Queensbury' kept the traditionalists happy, whilst the trio of excellent soloists showcased their considerable talents.

Xylophonist, Paula O'Malley got feet tapping in the slick 'Taps in Tempo'; Zoe Hancock went all Gloria in the familiar 'Concerto de Aranjeuz', whilst Daniel Thomas delivered a stunning take on Rossini's 'Introduction Theme and Variations'


Prof Childs inserted the popular trio of movie hits, 'Mission Impossible', 'Soul Bossa Nova' and 'I Will Follow Him', before rounding off the formal proceedings with Peter Graham's 'To Boldly Go'.

No one was going anywhere though before they heard an encore, and it came in the form of 'How Great Thou Art' dedicated, with a wry smile of genuine warmth by the MD to his mother-in-law.

It rounded off a terrific night's entertainment where the host of BBC Radio Leeds' 'Yorkshire Brass', David Hoyle, linked things together with ease to give the MD and band an occasional breather.

Malcolm Wood

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