*
banner

Royal Northern College of Music Brass Band

Conductors: Dr David Thornton and Capt Peter Woffenden
Regent Hall
London
Friday 19th October

The RNCM Brass Band opened their welcome visit to Regent Hall with Judith Bingham's 'Four Minute Mile' - a timely reminder (in more ways than one) of her distinctive writing style for the genre; a pulsating work of shifting patterns and driving rhythms coloured by prominent vibraphone and xylophone voices. 

It was followed by Liz Lane's evocative 'Silver Rose'; inspired by poems sent from the First World War front by Isaac Rosenberg, two of whose relatives accompanied Liz as she introduced the work. 

Clarity and pathos

Captain Peter Woffenden of the Royal Marines is undertaking conducting studies at the RNCM, and his studious approach brought clarity as well pathos seeping respectfully from the score - right from the opening with two cornets placed in opposite corners of the gallery to the rear of the hall. 

Narrator Sam Snowden also maintained a fine balance between the stentorian and dramatic as the work evolved through a snowy landscape to the killing fields of Flanders and beyond.

The second section, led by percussion and low brass, was followed by a reflective passage featuring flugel and soprano as the writer spoke of '...a little breath making a prayer'.

These sentiments were match by the fine playing in evoking the 'sinister' feel of expectation and anxiety as the horrors of trench warfare came to the fore; descending lines running through the band, leaving the timpani to link into the final section played with a tangible sense respect – heads bowed in a musical eulogy to those lost.

descending lines running through the band, leaving the timpani to link into the final section played with a tangible sense respect – heads bowed in a musical eulogy to those lost.

Lush harmonies

Morley Calvert's quirky 'Canadian Folk Song Suite' was also a reminder of a unique, and at times, troubled compositional voice. 'She's like the Swallow', with its lush harmonies and a fine cornet solo from Luke Pallister was a highlight in a performance of textured character, aided by telling playing from the percussion team and bold excitement as the tempo was cranked up towards the end.

Herbert Howell's classic 'Pageantry' provided the substantive closing item; 'King's Herald' featuring crisp cornets and excellent work from the trombones, the 'Cortege' retaining its elegiac feel, moving with stately purpose to its final repose. 

'Jousts' was an ensemble challenge at times (although the opening call to arms was splendidly delivered), but ended with a sense of regal splendour to round off a fine concert that shone a welcome spotlight on compositional voices that we need to hear much more of on a regular basis.

Peter Bale 

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: National Youth Championships of GB

Saturday 28 March • Magna, Sheffield Road, Templeborough , Rotgerham 560 1DX


Cory Band - Cory Band in Concert - In Aid of Myton Hospice

Saturday 28 March • The Civic Hall Bedworth, High Street, Bedworth CV12 8NF


Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Greenwich Brass Band

Sunday 29 March • St Alfege Church. 3 Greenwich Church Street. Greenwich . London. SE10 9BJ SE10 9BJ


Black Dyke Band - Bury Parish Church

Thursday 2 April • The Rock, Bury, Lancashire. BL9 0AH


Regent Hall Concerts - RAF Music Services Jazz Octet

Friday 3 April • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. (Opposite RESERVED). London. W1C 2DJ W1C 2DJ


Amesbury Town Band

March 28 • Players and beginners of any standard are always warmly welcomed, especially some more solo cornets and Eb horns. Feel free to drop in, even if you just fancy a blow or just want to try another instrument.


Foss Dyke Band

March 23 • Recently promoted to the first section. Foss Dyke invites applications for Musical Director to commence on the return of rehearsals post COVID-19. A friendly well attended band. We are looking for a MD who can continue our heritage of quality music making


Golborne Brass

March 23 • Looking for a change after the areas? After placing 1st at Brass at the Wyre and a credible 6th place at the recent North West Areas, Golborne Brass require the services of a confident and committed Principal Euphonium & Eb Bass to join our friendly band!


Paul Andrews


Conductor, Band trainer, Adjudicator, Instrument Repairer - Brasstoff


               

 © 2020 4barsrest.com Ltd