facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label support us

*
banner

Cory Band

2019 RNCM Brass Band Festival
Conductor: Philip Harper
Soloist: Chris Thomas
RNCM Manchester
Sunday 27th January


Cory’s outstanding performance of Wilfred Heaton’s epically proportioned 'Variations' brought the 2019 RNCM Festival to a close.

It was a fitting way to end a memorable event - the immense challenges imposed by the composer’s blueprint, and which were so skilfully brought to life by Howard Snell’s understanding of its intentions, made it a valediction of Heaton’s life and work.

Indelible memory

Twelve variant elements grouped into a triptych of moods and enigmatic reflections, it touched on the composer’s deeply personal questioning of issues of mortality - youthful as well as aged.

It left an indelible memory in the listener’s mind - Philip Harper deftly allowing the music to find a natural flow, at times robust, at others fragile and fitful.  

Cory opened with two rarely heard works from the pen of Ray Steadman-Allen.

'The Beacons' was written to celebrate the centenary of the British Bandsman magazine, and although subsequently used as a regional set-work it has only occasionally resurfaced.

Reflecting on the effective cliff-top form of pre-industrial communication, although with no narrative tale to tell, it moved through spirited acclaim to peaceful tranquillity, fear and ultimate jubilation - a portrait of resolute Britishness at a time when the reporting of the concept itself is being questioned.

Reflecting on the effective cliff-top form of pre-industrial communication, although with no narrative tale to tell, it moved through spirited acclaim to peaceful tranquillity, fear and ultimate jubilation - a portrait of resolute Britishness at a time when the reporting of the concept itself is being questioned. 

Rare gifts

The contemporary sounds of the trombone solo 'Immortal Themes' was not only a reminder of the composer’s ability to write in a different harmonic language and stylistic range, but also of the soloist’s finely honed talent for consummate musicality.  It was a wonderful display of rare gifts from both. 

James Macmillan's setting of Robert Burns' 'The Gallant Weaver' was adapted by Paul Hindmarsh for the brass band medium; the three soprano voices of the original replaced by a trio of cornets stood behind the band. 

In an age when a wedding has certainly become a commercial commodity, it was a touchingly askew reflection on a 18th century woman’s desire to marry for love not money.

Riches couldn’t buy the type of quality shown with the ethereal playing of the hymn tune 'Martyn' played an encore - the simplest and perhaps most telling of all Heaton’s works heard on a remarkable weekend. 

Malcolm Wood 

Support us for less than a cup of coffee...

4BR wants to ensure that the brass band movement remains vibrant and relevant. We also want to be able to question, challenge and critically examine those who run and play in it, producing high quality journalism that informs as well as entertains our readers.

So if like us you value a strong, independent perspective on the brass band world - then why not consider becoming a supporter and help make our future and that of a burgeoning brass band movement more secure.

So one less cappuccino then?

Support us    



Contest: Welsh Open

Saturday 16 February • The Grand Pavilion, The Esplanade, Porthcawl, CF36 3YW


Newstead Brass - Contest Countdown

Sunday 17 February • Festival Hall, Hodgkinson Road, Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire NG17 7DJ


Foden's Band - Annual Patrons Concert

Tuesday 19 February • Sandbach School, Crewe Road, Sandbach CW11 3NS


Black Dyke Band - Doncaster Minster

Saturday 23 February • 9 Church St, Doncaster DN1 1RD


The Cobham Band - Best of Brass Concert

Saturday 23 February • The Vera Fletcher Hall. 4 Embercourt Road. Thames Ditton Surrey KT7 0LQ


Freckleton Band

February 15 • We have a vacancy for a 2nd trombone player, although the solo trombone position would be available to the right person. The band has recently been promoted to the Championship section and have a balanced concert and contest programme.


Freckleton Band

February 15 • Freckleton Band have a vacancy for a 2nd baritone player. The band has recently been promoted to the Championship section and have a balanced concert and contest programme. Rehearsal nights are Mondays and Thursdays.


City of Bristol Brass Band

February 15 • City of Bristol Brass Band need an Eb Bass player to complete our team. With a busy year of contest and concert performances lined up, under the baton of Ian Holmes are you the one for us?


David Barringer

BMus(Homs)
Conductor and Adjudicator