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WFEL Fairey Band

Conductor: Adam Cooke
St Michaels & All Angels Parish Church
Bramhall near Stockport
Saturday 18th December


With news of potential restrictions on public performances amid increases in Omicron cases forming a depressing backdrop of cancelled festive events, the need for some timely musical cheer in the run-up to Christmas was much needed.

Thankfully WFEL Fairey provided it with this enjoyable concert performed in line with Covid safety guidance and in partnership with the popular East Leeds FM radio station’s  ‘From the Bandroom’ series of live recordings introduced by Andrew Forster-Fake.

Uplifting

The repertoire certainly brought a welcome uplifting feel of the season – from the crisp opening ‘Festive Intrada’  by Ben Hollings all the way to the encore of ‘Jingle Bells’. 

The acoustic aided the warm tonality of the band (as did the excellent recording) which has quietly been going about its recruitment business under the direction of Adam Cooke, who was interviewed by Andrew alongside stalwart cornet player Brian Taylor.  

The acoustic aided the warm tonality of the band (as did the excellent recording) which has quietly been going about its recruitment business under the direction of Adam Cooke, who was interviewed by Andrew alongside stalwart cornet player Brian Taylor.  

Alicia Davis on ‘Candlelight Carol’, Nicola Shaw with ‘Away in a Manger’, Jeff Lewis leading on ‘O Holy Night’  and Emma Conway featured with ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’  brought tasteful solo reflections to proceedings, whilst there was a snowball of fun with Josh Cargill on ‘Frosty the Snowman’.

Thoughtful inclusion

You could excuse the reprise carol snippets contained within some of the items, although nobody really tires of hearing ‘Troika’  or ‘Gaudete’, ‘O Magnum Mysterium’, ‘Little Drummer Boy’, ‘Three Kings Swing’  or ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’. 

The thoughtful inclusion of Eric Ball’s ‘Kingdom Triumphant’  brought contrasting substance to close for a band that should be looking forward to 2022 after the varied performance challenges of the past year.

The concert can be enjoyed at: https://www.chapelfm.co.uk/events/list/

Iwan Fox   

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