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Cory to showcase new composer alchemy

Cory will feature three exciting and varied new works competing for the prestigious RWCMD Cory Composition Prize — as well as a bit of musical ascetic alchemy inspired by the mystical Hermes Trismegistus...

  Three new works will be mixed together to decide a winner on the night

Cory will once again hosts its annual concert celebrating inventive compositions for the brass band medium at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff this weekend (Saturday 26th May: 7.45pm).

Now regarded as one of the most important competitions supporting new writing talent, the three shortlisted pieces from a worldwide entry for the RWCMD Cory Composition Prize will be performed by the world's number 1 ranked band and judged by John Wallace, Liz Lane and Nigel Seaman.

The winner will receive a substantial prize donated by Kapitol Promotions.


The wide-ranging genres of works include 'Bop!' by Matthew Shaw, a RNCM graduate who now plays with the Eccles Band, as well as conducting the Goldborne Band.

He describes his piece as, "…a lively funk opener, infused with catchy dance rhythms, a soulful bluesy solo section, a passionate Argentine tango, finished off with a ferocious funk-off between soprano cornet and solo trombone, all powered along by driving percussion and some seriously infectious bass lines!"

Meanwhile, Stephen Wood, Head of Brass at Wakefield Music Service, is the composer of 'Autumn Hill', which he describes as, "…a pastoral type composition featuring themes on cornet and euphonium."

The third piece is called 'The Spirit of St Louis' by Andrew Wainwright, who is the Deputy Divisional Music Director for the Salvation Army in Texas.

The music has a specific programme relating to the first solo non-stop transatlantic flight, undertaken by Charles Lindbergh in 1927.

Concert within a concert

Cory MD Philip Harper told 4BR: "We certainly have a very varied shortlist — almost a concert within a concert.

As the standard was very high this year, I could easily have chosen double this number, but the rules are the rules!

Whichever of these three pieces wins will be an excellent addition to our concert programme and then for all bands to play for many years."

As Above, So Below

Cory will also take the opportunity to give a performance of a major new work by Scottish composer Jay Capperauld.

Entitled, 'As Above, So Below' it was commissioned by the Wallace Collection and its dedicatee John Wallace, and was forst performed by the Dalmellington Band conducted by Martyn Brabbins.

It's a 20-minute work based on the cryptic text of the Emerald Tablet, thought to have been written by Hermes Trismegistus, the alleged founder of alchemy and possible Christian prophet and mystic ascetic, and promises to be an equally intriguing and thoroughly absorbing work, as Philip explained.

"The brass quintet plays in elevated positions (as above — in the heavens) and the band plays on the stage (so below — on earth).

The text is frequently brought to life by the musicians, who alternately whisper, speak and shout it throughout the piece, and the sound-world is further augmented with the use of handbells and chains.

Rehearsals have been very engaging and, after its fine world premiere, I think our audience is in for a performance which will provide much to discuss during the interval!"

Rehearsals have been very engaging and, after its fine world premiere, I think our audience is in for a performance which will provide much to discuss during the interval!Philip Harper


The band will also perform Verdi's 'La Forza del Destino', William German's march 'The President' and 'The Pines of the Appian Way' by Respighi, as well as solos from RWCMD graduate Ailsa Russell (tenor horn) and Chris Thomas (trombone)."

Tickets are available from the RWCMD box office on 029 2039 1391 or online.

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