CD review: Dedication

Vernon Building Society (Poynton) Band
Conductor: Stig Maersk
Soloists: Natsumi MacDonald; Jilly Atwell; Sam Noden; David Johnson; Toby Marshall
KMJ Recordings: 001

At some time in the evolving history of every brass band, dedication is rewarded with either the highs of triumphant success or the lows of dispiriting defeat. 

Mostly it is to do with contesting.  

They are however ephemeral emotions; little more than occasional weekend spasms of delight or disappointment. In the greater scheme of things there are other issues much more important.

Knowing what has happened at Vernon Building Society (Poynton) Band over the last couple of years is a case in point. 

Generous celebration

It is remarkable that they have managed to release this CD at all – especially one that so generously celebrates the dedication of people and their spirit to keep alive a band that until recently could proudly boast around 200 years of shared community values.

Hopefully it will ignite a return to the type of cohesive inclusion that this particular group of individuals yearn for. The fleeting joys of contest day success can wait for another day.

Hopefully it will ignite a return to the type of cohesive inclusion that this particular group of individuals yearn for. The fleeting joys of contest day success can wait for another day.

Neatly produced by KMJ Recordings and led with a keen appreciation of style by MD Stig Maersk, it embraces 14 tracks of easy listening repertoire aimed at supporters and concert goers alike – from the rousing sounds of ‘The Cossack’  march to the frothy bubble of ‘Uptown Funk’.

Fresh veneer

The soloists showcase their dedicated solo work splendidly - both lyrical and lithe, whilst the familiar ensemble detours are manoeuvred into with ease. 

There is a well applied lick of fresh veneer to the warm sounds of ‘Deep Harmony’  and the molten drive of the ‘Infernal Dance’  from ‘The Firebird’. Contrast comes with the Nordic coolness of ‘Gota’  and the Broadway flamboyance of ‘The Greatest Showman’, whilst the jazz dislocations of Dave Brubeck’s ‘Blue Rondo’  and 70’s overload of John Miles’ ‘Music’  cater for those with longer memories and eclectic taste buds.

The dedication to keep a fine banding name alive deserves success – as does this spirited release.

Iwan Fox

Play list: 

1. The Cossack (William Rimmer)
2. The Greatest Showman (Murtha arr. C. Bond)
3. Rule Britannia (Hartmann arr. D. Stephens)
Soloist: Natsumi McDonald
4. Gota (Karlsson arr. T. Kvamme)
5. Blue Rondo a la Turk (Brubeck arr. K. Edwards)
6. The Lark in the Clear Sky (arr. G. Langford)
Soloist: Jilly Attwell
7. Excerpts from ‘The Firebird’ (Stravinsky arr. R. Farr)
8. Home of Legends (Paul Lovatt Cooper)
9. Benedictus (K. Jenkins arr. T. Small)
Soloist: Sam Noden
10. Ol’ Man River (J. Kern arr. M. Freeh)
Soloist: David Johnson
11. Deep Harmony (H. Parker arr. J. Golland)
12. Londonderry Air (arr. J. Iveson)
Soloist: Toby Marshall
13. Music (J. Miles arr. P. Sparke)
14. Uptown Funk (Ronson/Mars arr. H. Lutzen)

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