facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label support us

*
banner

The National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain

Conductor: Dudley Bright
Soloist: David Childs
Albert Hall
Nottingham
Saturday 4th August

The National Youth Band of Great Britain does so many things so well, but its marketing strategy is still awful. 

In this day and age worthiness alone won’t sell tickets for a brass band concert - even one featuring some of the most talented young players in the UK; and this concert had that attribute written all over the yellow A5 leaflets forlornly pinned to the doors of the venue in a vain bid to attract passing listeners.

Tastes

Dudley Bright was the guest conductor (and when was this announced?) with David Childs the featured soloist. But as with far too many past events, it still made little or no impression on the wider musical public of Nottingham, let alone brass band fans either end of the A52 Brian Clough Way road. 

Even if the music was perhaps a little too devoutly inspired for some tastes, these outstanding performers deserved better than to be faced with a half empty hall.  

The MD’s obvious familiarity with Ray Steadman-Allen’s ‘Lord of the Sea’ and ‘The Lord is King’, as well as ‘The Shepherd’s Farewell’  from ‘The Childhood of Christ’ by Berlioz, the quirky ‘Chalk Farm No 2’ march by Edward Gregson and ‘Wondrous Cross’ by Philip Wilby made for performances of warmth and endeavour - if at times lacking in adventure. 

The best playing came at the end; and a classy ‘Dances & Arias’ featuring excellent solo contributions and confident ensemble work building to an authoritative climax; the MD’s conservative leash at last loosened with splendid secular verve. 

Last pips

It was like turning on peak time Saturday evening television and being faced with ‘Songs of Praise’ instead of ‘Top of the Pops’. Bram Tovey would surely have squeezed out the last pips of emotion.

Eric Ball’s Salvationist ‘Songs of the Morning’ wasn’t featured, but Wilby’s ‘Breathless Alleluia’ and Evelyn Glennie’s ‘Little Prayer’ were; the former giving the concert a bold opening, the latter, a moment of sumptuous tenderness.

An untidy ‘Hungarian March’ and a curiously gutted ‘Relaxation’ from Vinter’s ‘Salute to Youth' lacked the requisite brio, whilst the unnecessarily heavy accompaniment to the ‘Stratos Concerto’ almost submerged the heroic playing of David Childs.  The exotic gypsy flamboyance of ‘Zigeunerweisen’ made up for it though in spades. 

The best playing came at the end; and a classy ‘Dances & Arias’ featuring excellent solo contributions and confident ensemble work building to an authoritative climax; the MD’s conservative leash at last loosened with splendid secular verve. 

The lollipop encores left an enjoyable aftertaste - but you still left for home chewing over the thought that 21st century talent like this desperately needs modern marketing nous if it's to turn introverted worthiness into an extrovert exhibition of excellence.

Iwan Fox



Newstead Brass - Christmas at the Proms

Friday 14 December • Woodborough Village Hall, Lingwood Lane, Nottingham NG14 6DX


Black Dyke Band - Huddersfield Town Hall

Friday 14 December • Huddersfield Town Hall, Corporation Street HD1 2TA


Regent Hall Concerts - Jingle Bell Brass

Friday 14 December • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street Opp. RESERVED. London . W1C 2DJ


Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Greenwich Brass Band

Friday 14 December • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE


Enderby Band - Hinckley Rock Choir

Friday 14 December • Salvation Army Hall. Lancaster Road. Hinckley. Leicestershire LE10 0AW


Freckleton Band

December 14 • Freckleton Band have a vacancy for a 2nd baritone player. The band has been promoted to the Championship section from 2019 and have a balanced concert and contest programme. Rehearsal nights are Mondays and Thursdays.


Trentham Brass Band

December 14 • Solo Trombone, Bb bass and front row cornet required to complete line up for coming months at Trentham Brass. Based in Stoke on Trent with easy access to M6, in our own band room, this friendly 3rd Section band would welcome enquiries


The Corsham Band

December 13 • Due to work commitments, a vacancy has arisen for a Tenor Trombone player. First or Second position available. We are a newly promoted Second Section band with a friendly and enthusiastic team.


Julian Bright


Conductor, Compere/MC, Cornet Soloist