VISIT OF THE HIGH SHERIFF OF GREATER MANCHESTER
It was a pleasure to welcome Mrs. Mary-Liz Walker, The High Sheriff of Greater Manchester (representative of King Charles! ) down to our Youth Band this morning.
The High Sheriff visits many voluntary organisations across the County to say thank you for their work and commitment to the community.
Councillor Pat Draper and her colleagues were also down to visit this morning.
It is such an honour for the organisation to be recognised in this way; and is an ongoing testament to the ethos of Pemberton Band and all of the hard work put into the Youth Band by John Don-Duncan.
The High Sheriff commented on how much she had enjoyed listening to the rehearsal and the improvement made by the players during the morning.
She spent several hours with us spending time to talk to the youngsters and the conductors and representatives of the organisation.
THE AREA 2023
On Sunday the 26th February Both the A band and the B band played in the National Championships of Great Britain North West Region at the Winter gardens Blackpool.
The B band were first on stage, in the Opera house. This was the first time that the B band had played in the First section of the area qualifiers having been promoted last year.
The test piece was
'A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A KNIGHT'
Sixteens bands were competing in the section and our band was drawn to play number 7.
The band were on top form and produced an excellent performance under the guidance of Gareth Brindle, Gareth had stepped in to assist the band at short notice.
At the conclusion of their performance there were a couple of hours wait for the results.
7th was the place achieved a very creditable placing due to the fact that it was the first time playing against bands that have had years in this section and Championship section.
Below a few photos of the band on stage.
The A band were the next to take the stage at the conclusion of the 1st Section.
The chosen test piece for the Championship section was
THE RED PRIEST
The band was drawn to play 8th, again under the direction of Gareth Brindle who had stepped in due to our resident conductor Ben Dixon having been taken ill prior to the contest.
This piece had moved away from the normal formation of brass bands,
Once again the band gave a very creditable performance and were awarded 5th place.
Again there are several photos below of the A band on stage.
As an organisation we would like to thank Gareth for all the hard work he has put in over the previous weeks getting both bands ready for the contest.
A MISSED OPPORTUNITY
Anyone who did't attend the concert at the band rooms on Sunday 22nd January really did miss a treat.
There was a great selection of music and some outstanding solo performances from the principal cornet (Joanne Johnson) and Euphonium (Nick Giles). not to be outdone the trombone section entertained with the trombone trio Trombola.
snippets of the performances can be seen on our Facebook pages.
The next concert at the bandroom will be on 22nd April and given by Hammonds band from Yorkshire.
Our 'A' Band have secured a number of high quality lockdown signings, with James Stone signing on Solo Horn, Ellie Warren,Lee Davenport,Karl Stott and Rebbeca Jane joining the cornet team, whilst Kristian Howles joins the bass section and Ross Manning on Percussion.
Ellie Warren joins the back row on Repiano Cornet, signing from the Elland Band. Ellie is currently studying Geography at Liverpool University, whilst Lee returns to the band on 3rd cornet bringing a wealth of experience having played with a number of the North Wests leading bands.
James Stone joins the band after a 18 year break from banding. As a teenager James played for Seindorf Beaumaris, Gwynedd & Môn, was a member of the NYBBW, and also won several solo prizes including at national Eisteddfods. In September James joined the current Uni Brass champions, Salford.
Ross is also a student at Salford University studying music and also signing from the Elland band. Before his university life, Ross was the Principal Percussionist of the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland and also played for the Scottish Championship band, Bo'ness & Carriden.
Kristian Howles has joined the band on Bb bass from Wardle Anderson. In 2014, Kris was solo Eb Bass with the band when they performed in the Championship Section for the first time in their history.
The band also welcome Rebecca Jane and Karl Stott to the front row team. Karl has played in many bands in the North West and Wales, including Northop Silver and Rainford Band. Rebecca has also played for many bands in the North West and Yorkshire, including BT and Pennine Brass. They are both graduates of Salford University where they studied under David King, Brian Taylor and Howard Evans.
The band are back in rehearsals working hard and looking forward to our upcoming engagements later in the year.
Last weekend saw the North West Regional Championships take place in which both our ‘A’ and ‘B’ bands take part.
The Championships take place annually at the Blackpool Winter Gardens on the last Sunday in February, in which bands compete to cement their place in the National Championships later in the year.
The day started with the ‘B’ band competing in the second section. Every band in this section were required to play Darrol Barry’s test piece, Rise of the Phoenix.
Rise of the Phoenix was commissioned by The Clifton and Lightcliffe Band with funds from The National Lottery Commission. Darrol Barry had earlier written another piece in 1991 for the band following their four year sponsorship with Yorkshire Water, titled Yorkshire Water Music. Darrol’s remit this time was to compose a test piece standard piece of music which would depict the highs and lows of the band throughout its history since its formation in 1838. The music is dedicated to all the former players and conductors of Clifton and Lightcliffe Band.
At 8.30am, the draw commenced. Unfortunately for the band, they were dealt with the supposed “draw of death” meaning they were to play 2nd out of the competing 17 bands. Despite this, the band played brilliantly and weren’t forgotten by the judges, earning themselves their first “top 6” finish since 2015.
This is a great result for the ‘B’ band and a great start for the return of Michael Golding as conductor.
After the results, the ‘A’ band’s draw was taking place. There were 12 bands in the Championship section in which they were competing, placing 7th in the draw.
The test piece for the championship section was “Seascapes” by Ray Steadman-Allen. First used at the 1988 National Championships, this work was inspired by the poem "CARGOES" by John Mansfield, with each verse having its own dedicated movement.
Like the ‘B’ Band, our ‘A’ band put in a fantastic perforce of their set piece, and we are very proud for them to achieve a podium finish in coming 3rd. Not only is this a fantastic result, thanks to Fodens band coming in the top 2, we have also received an invitation to the National Championships at the Albert hall in London later in the year!
On the 10th anniversary of when the band first qualified for the Albert Hall, Ben Dixon led the band to the National Championships, for the 3rd time in our history.
The organisation as a whole have had a fantastic day and would like to thank the hard work of both bands and their conductors Mike Golding, and Ben Dixon.
Tonight saw our series of concerts continue with our very own Pemberton Old Wigan DW 'B' Band.
With the concert adopting a film theme, the band opened with Kenneth Alford's, "Colonel Bogey". Made famous in the 1957 film "The Bridge on the River Kwai", this was a great start to our second concert of the year.
The band then continued with the James Bond Collection, featuring the music from the classic 007 films such as Goldfinger, the Spy Who Loved Me, and Casino Royale.
No brass band in the country can do a film themed concert without referencing the 1996 film, Brassed Off, and this was no exception. A trio of pieces followed this theme starting with the beautiful Londonderry Air featuring the bands principal cornet, Emma Barkley. This was followed by more solo contributions with the principal cornets sister, Lauren, who played Joaquín Rodrigo's "Concerto de Aranjuez" on the iconic Flugel Horn. Our trio of "Brassed Off" classics finished with "Clog Dance", featured in the film as Grimley Colliery travel from their small town to compete at the national championships at the Albert Hall in London. Lets hope its not too long before this band visit the championships themselves!
After the arousing trio of brass band classics, rising tenor horn star, Daniel Marsh took the the stage to play Goff Richards' stunning arrangement of "Over the Rainbow" made famous in the 1939 musical, the Wizard of Oz
To end the first half, the band had a small break from the film music theme, in which they played the test piece "Rise of the Phoenix" by the late Darrol Barry. The band gained a respectable 5th place at the recent Preston Brass at the Guild contest playing this piece and will be performing it again at the North West Championships in Blackpool in 2 weeks time.
After the interval, the band resumed playing with music from the 2018 musical "The Greatest Showman".
The second half also saw the first music from a Disney film to be played. The 1995 animation of Pocahontas features the beautiful song "Colours of Wind", the band played Philips Sparke's fantastic arrangement of this.
The Austin Powers films were released between 1997 and 2002 in which the groovy "Soul Bossa Nova" is featured as all 3 of the films', main theme. Featuring our percussion section of Vicky Hough and Adam Roby, Andrew Duncans arrangement was an enjoyable addition to the programme.
The Armed Man is a Mass by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, subtitled "A Mass for Peace". The piece was commissioned by the Royal Armouries Museum for the Millennium celebrations, to mark the museum's move from London to Leeds, and it was dedicated to victims of the Kosovo crisis. The Armed Man Film was created by film maker and director Hefin Owen, and was premiered in its current form in Johannesburg, South Africa in September 2007 with Karl Jenkins conducting. "The film echoes and traces the story as told in the text of the work; the build up to conflict, conflict itself and the aftermath, finally looking forward to a better future," says Karl Jenkins. The 12th movement of The Armed Man is entitled, "Benedictus". Tony Small arranged this movement as a Euphonium solo for David Childs to perform at brass in concert many years ago. Now published, Pemberton Old Wigan 'B' Band's Euphonium player, Steve Gordon, played with brilliant contrasting accompaniment by the band.
The recent blockbuster film "Bohemian Rhapsody" is a biographical film about the British rock band Queen. This was the perfect excuse to play some classic pop music from the rock band. The B Band continued with the duo of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Fat Bottom Girls" featuring fine solo efforts from across the band.
After this duo of rock classics, the band played some emotional music from Tom Hanks' 1998 film, Saving Private Ryan. John Williams' Hymn to the Fallen was played beautifully by the band featuring the eerie marching drums throughout.
To lighten the mood and finish the concert, the band finished with "I Will Follow Him" from the 1992 film "Sister Act". Featuring, Harry Quirk, Lesley Quirk, and Dominic Francis as a trombone trio.
This was a fantastic concert with fantastic film music the audience wanted more and the band did not disappoint. From the 1954 film "The Student Prince", the band played another Goff Richards arrangement playing "I'll Walk With God".
We want to thank the band for playing at our venue and we cannot wait for our next concert here in March.
The Pemberton Old Wigan B band are pleased to announce that the following players have joined their ranks.
Steve Gordon and Simon Topp fill the Euphonium seats. Taking over from siblings, and long serving members of the band, Robert Don-Duncan and Helen Smart, as they both have a short break from full-time banding.
Cornet player of St. Helens Youth Band, Adam Wilson joins the back row team on second cornet.
Daniel Marsh and Victoria Kentworthy-Nash also join on Solo and 1st Horn. Along with new cornet player Adam, Daniel also plays for St. Helens Youth Band. Victoria joins us from the Bolton based band, Horwich RMI.
Dominic Francis completes the trio of players joining from St. Helens Youth, taking the Bass Trombone seat.