Fairey Band

Conductor: Garry Cutt
RNCM Brass Band Festival
RNCM Manchester
Saturday 25th January

The level of respect held for the late Stan Kitchen following his long and dedicated commitment, unselfishly given to the brass band movement, was marked by the appropriate gauge of touching reflection that underpinned this concert.

Supported by the Worshipful Company of Musicians with personal tributes paid by Martin Ellerby as well as Paul Hindmarsh, it was full of lightness, wit and insight - attributes that made him such a popular personality and businessman.

What was also revealed was his lasting connection to two exceptional compositional talents also lost far too early to the medium in Gilbert Vinter and Goff Richards (whose widow Sue was present, as was Stan’s daughter). 

Skillfully applied

‘Cross Patonce’  is marked by Richards’ intuitive feel for rhythmic flow and texture - a light, watercolour palette so skilfully applied to the canvas of his score in a way somewhat at odds with the heavy handed oily daubings found in far too many modern test-pieces.

So too Vinter’s ‘Entertainments’ - a work whose filigree ornamentation in the ‘Caprice’  and ‘March’  movements (it would have been great to hear the missing ‘Taproom Ballade’) surround a central core of emotional elegiac beauty. 

Both however hide their deceptions well, although Garry Cutt used years of experience and appreciation of musical refinement to draw out considered, considerate performances; the elegance of the solo playing (especially from Stephanie Wilkins on principal cornet) complimenting the carefully constructed ensemble facades.

Despite a core of eloquent choral emotion at its heart, ‘Requiescat Aberfan’ retains the chilling feeling of incomprehensible loss (116 children and 28 adults died) that still permeates the air whenever you visit the cemetery.

Chilling feeling

That was also shown in the appreciation of Martin Ellerby’s deeply personal understanding of the lasting tragedy of the 1966 Aberfan Disaster – one that robbed a Welsh mining community of a generation of its flowering youth.

Despite a core of eloquent choral emotion at its heart, ‘Requiescat Aberfan’  retains the chilling feeling of incomprehensible loss (116 children and 28 adults died) that still permeates the air whenever you visit the cemetery.

‘Tallis Variations’  also ends in reflection - although one of peaceful serenity.  

Once again Garry Cutt drew on the expansive writing to create a deliberate sense of composure, even amid the turbulence of the opening introduction; the balanced tonality eschewing the excess that all too often can rob the music of its refined grandeur in less considered hands. 

Iwan Fox

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    

Northop Silver Band - Christmas Concert with Kirsty Abbotts

Sunday 3 December • St Eurgain & St Peter, Church Road, Northop CH7 6BQ

Boarshurst Silver Band - Littleborough Band

Sunday 3 December • Boarshurst Band Club. Greenbridge Lane. Greenfield. Oldham OL3 7EW

Garforth Brass - Garforth Community Choir

Wednesday 6 December • St James the Great,. Manston,. Crossgates, . Leeds,. LS15 8JB LS15 8JB

Longridge Band - Christmas Concert

Saturday 9 December • Longridge Civic Hall, Calder Avenue, Longridge, Ribble Valley, Lancashire. PR3 3WD

The Hepworth Band - Championship Brass & Voices for Christmas

Saturday 9 December • Thornhill Parish Church, Dewsbury WF12 0JZ

Long Melford Silver Band

December 7 • Long Melford Silver Band has vacancies for Eb and Bb basses. We are a friendly band based in south Suffolk under the leadership of Frankie Ayers undertaking a healthy number of engagements throughout the year.

Fulham Brass Band

December 7 • Bb Bass vacancy! We are looking for a talented and committed team player to complete our friendly Championship Band under the leadership of Musical Director, Sam Hairsine.

Thurcroft Welfare Band

December 7 • The band are seeking to appoint the following: Flugal Horn, Solo Trombone, Percussion - Tuned or Kit. The band recently finished in 2nd place at the Yorks Regional Championships. Thurcroft is a very welcoming and friendly band, with high aspirations

Gary Davies

Conductor, Band Trainer, Adjudicator


 © 2023 4barsrest.com Ltd