facebook twitter rss vimeo


Royal Greenwich Brass Band

Conductor: Stephen Maw
Soloist: Ryan Hume
Regent Hall
Friday 13th October

The Royal Greenwich Band's preparations for the Brass Arts Festival were hampered somewhat by the late withdrawal of some players detained by college commitments. 

They also had to play with only three basses, and on this occasion the mix of cornets and trumpets seemed a little problematic, contributing to a few intonation issues.

Sparkling opening

They opened with Eril Leidzen's fine march, 'The Invincible Army', although the high-lying horn melody did not sit so comfortably with French rather than tenor horns. Nevertheless it was a sparkling account, well balanced and full of detail.

Verdi's 'Force of Destiny' overture requires considerable control to keep it flowing, and the band coped well with its demands, although the horn tremolos supporting the flugel solo were not entirely successful. Solos on horn, muted cornet and Eb trumpet were handled neatly, and the band produced a powerful sound at the climax.

Former student Ryan Hume has been appearing lately with several of the London orchestras, and was the soloist in 'Bluebells of Scotland', displaying a formidable technique as he dispatched the increasingly intricate variations, and un-fazed by the occasional uncharacteristic slip.

A minor masterpiece

Introducing Wilfred Heaton's 'Mercy's Light', Stephen Maw drew comparisons with the somewhat ethereal 'Gymnopedies' of Erik Satie. This was reflected not only in the sparse musical language but also in the exposed scoring. The band's rendition of what can be a difficult piece for both players and listeners was well received by the audience.

Best playing

The best playing of the afternoon was heard in the original version of Gregson’s 'Variations on Laudate Dominum'.

From the solid trombone entry at the start through the nuances of the cornet and euphonium duet, the crisp percussion and the flowing euphonium solo the playing was full of character. The euphoniums and tubas got the fugue off to a fine start before the majestic entry of the melody, heard in its entirety only at the end.

As Stephen left the stage, the band struck up with Goff Richard's setting of 'Crimond' to close the programme.

Peter Bale

Black Dyke Band - The Hawth, Crawley

Sunday 18 March • The Hawth, Hawth Ave, Crawley RH10 6YZ

Contest: Welsh Regional Championships

Sunday 18 March • Brangwyn Hall, The Guildhall, Swansea SA1 4PE

Contest: London & SC REgional Championships

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

Contest: North of England Regional Championships

Sunday 18 March • The Gala Theatre, 1 Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA

Black Dyke Band - Mirfield Parish Church

Thursday 22 March • Mirfield Parish Church, 38 Church Lane, Mirfield WF14 9HX

Chinnor Silver

March 19 • We are sadly loosing one of our award winning bass team soon(best basses award at areas) so we are looking for a Bb BASS . Good book of contests and concerts planned including butlins . We rehearse on Wednesday in our own bandroom

St Albans City Band

March 19 • Time for a change after the Areas? Or do you just fancy another blow each week? We are a friendly community band looking for new players to join our group. All welcome but especially cornet, horn, Eb / Bb Bass and Percussion.

Friary Guildford Brass Band

March 19 • The L&SC Champions are looking for a committed Bb bass player to join our team.. . We have a busy, but sensible schedule of concerts and contests including the Grand Shield and National Finals.

Alan Widdop

Conductor, Brass teacher, Adjudicator (ABBA)