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Black Dyke & Cory Bands

British Open Gala Concert
Conductors: Dr Nicholas Childs & Philip Harper
Soloist: Isobel Daws
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Sunday 10th September

Any fears that their surprise results at the previous day’s British Open could overshadow their performances for this popular Sunday concert were instantly dispelled by the opening notes of 'Through the Flames', as Black Dyke, followed soon after by Cory, presented one of the best Brass Gala Concerts of recent memory.

Thrilling

Dyke’s euphonium prodigy Daniel Thomas gave a thrilling account of 'Bravura', coping seemingly effortlessly with its considerable demands, whilst the thrilling 'James Bond 007 Suite' which followed was equally successful.

'On Her Majesty's Secret Service'
featured some notably fruity bass trombone sounds, with Robin Dewhurst's suave arrangement of 'Nobody Does it Better' leading into a sparkling ‘Live and Let Die’.

Prof Childs witty introduction to Bruce Broughton's 'Alone Yet Not Alone' brought a knowing laugh from the audience who fully understood the ‘adjudication’ tongue in cheek context in which it was made, before the Queensbury band finished off with a pulsating rendition of 'Fire in the Blood' – with the opening 'Sing for Joy' contrasting with the silkily smooth 'Lord, You Know That We Love You', before powering to its climax.

Prof Childs witty introduction to Bruce Broughton's 'Alone Yet Not Alone' brought a knowing laugh from the audience who fully understood the ‘adjudication’ tongue in cheek context in which it was made

Equally impressive

Cory was in equally impressive form - taking to the stage with 'Nordic Polska', featuring Tom Hutchinson, Helen Williams, Ailsa Russell and Steven Kane.  The card playing serendipity of 'Pique Dame' that followed was full of character, with Philip Harper combining drama and capriciousness in equal measure. 

The card playing serendipity of 'Pique Dame' that followed was full of character, with Philip Harper combining drama and capriciousness in equal measure. 

The guest soloist for the concert was trombonist Isobel Daws, the BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Musician award winner, who left a lasting impression with her assured presentation of Langford’s 'Rhapsody for Trombone', with an easy stylistic rapport that captured the delicate nuances of the writing.

Glyn Williams, Tom Hutchison, Gareth Robinson and Chris Thomas were lyrically inspired on Goff Richards' 'Sweet Shepherdess' that followed, before Tom took centre stage for a fizzing rendition of 'The Paragon'.

Feel good factor

Cory’s homage to Roald Dahl closed their contribution with a real feel-good factor - making for a tasty gobstopper before the massed band finale, which opened with a brilliantly bombastic 'Imperial Echoes', taken at a steady tread. 

The eight solo cornet players then joined for a brisk 'Buglers Holiday' before an abridged '1812 Overture', with an introductory narration from Matthew Routley, ensured a rousing climax

After calls for an encore, the concert concluded with a dash through the famous finale from ‘William Tell', with Richard Marshall and Tom Hutchinson as the rapid fire duo of the Lone Ranger and Tonto in the cornet solo.

Peter Bale



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