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Brighouse & Rastrick and Boobs & Brass

Conductors: Dr David Thornton & Martin Dawson
Huddersfield Town Hall
Saturday 24th March

Brighouse & Rastrick's annual Spring event was a musical celebration of the remarkable contribution and unbelievable commitment to raise tens of thousands of pounds for various Breast Cancer charities by the women of the Boobs & Brass organisation.

And with this being their final appearance in the North of England, it also ensured that Huddersfield Town Hall was packed to the rafters as they shared the stage with the 2018 National Champion. 

Following the formal welcome to Brighouse's new Honorary Vice-President, Brian Turner CBE, out of the way, David Thornton took the massed ranks of over 80 musicians through a trio of contrasting works: A measured reading of the 'Marriage of Figaro' contrasted with the thoughtful 'In Perfect Piece', before the cornets took centre stage with 'Trumpet Blues & Cantabile'.

Enjoyable

The remainder of the first half saw the pink jacketed women deliver a very enjoyable solo spot; MD, Martin Dawson, thoroughly enjoying himself leading on Alan Fernie's 'Prismatic Light', whilst the only thing missing from 'Hot Stuff' from the film 'The Full Monty', would have been the MD revealing more than just the smile on his face!

'I'll Walk With God' has become the anthem for the band and its inspirational significance certainly resonated with the audience.

A lively rendition of 'Malaguena' provided a fine aperitif for John Lee to deliver a piece written for his fund raising recording 'Right There Waiting'. The girls could have gone on and on, but 'The Imperial March' from 'The Empire Strikes Back’ brought the first half to a rousing close.

It was a fitting finale for a band that has done so much to increase awareness of a disease that knows no boundaries, but which can be beaten by people such as Boobs & Brass with passion, talent and a determination to overcome the odds. 

Fine second half

Brighouse gave a fine second half solo spot. 'La Gazza Ladra' was followed by their Swiss euphonium star Phillipe Schwartz jokingly telling the audience that this was also probably his farewell speech (as a result of Brexit) before performing the old classic 'Rule Britannia'.

Michael Eccles on flugel delivered a stylish 'Nessun Dorma', before the audience were left wondering if Paganini could have played 'Moto Perpetuo' any quicker on the violin.

Finally, both bands joined together to round things off with Duke Ellington's 'Caravan' and 'Abide with Me', which paved the way for the old pot-boiler '1812 Overture' to really test the acoustic and 'Toccata in D Minor' just for sheer fun.

It was a fitting finale for a band that has done so much to increase awareness of a disease that knows no boundaries, but which can be beaten by people such as Boobs & Brass with passion, talent and a determination to overcome the odds. 

Malcolm Wood



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Howard J Evans

MA (Dist), Mus.B (hons), ARCM (hons), LRAM, LTCL, PGCE
Conductor, composer, arranger, tutor and pianist