Conductor: Morgan Griffiths
Tonight saw our series of concerts continue with British Open Band, and Grand Shield Champions, the Hammonds Band.
Despite being St. Patrick's Day, there was a very varied program showing little Irish influence.
The band started with "A Short Ride in a Brass Machine" by andrew baker. This was written in 2006 to mark the 140th anniversary of the Brighouse and Rastrick Band and first performed in the Central Methodist Church in Brighouse by Brighouse and Rastrick conducted by James Gourlay. The title refers to the orchestral composition A Short Ride in A Fast Machine by the American composer John Adams which provided some of the inspiration for the work. The music is a simple celebratory prelude consisting of two main ideas, an expansive melody full of open fifths (giving the music a slightly “American” feel) and a short fanfare figure. After these are both heard for the first time a brief development of the fanfare material leads to a broader, warm harmonisation of the opening melody and the pulse relaxes a little before tension builds to a reiteration of the fanfare and a final triumphant version of the opening theme.
Following this, we were treated with some sublime classical music with Frank Wright's famous transcription of Giuseppe Verdi's "La Forza del Destino (the Force of Destiny) Overture". This was a very popular choice with fine solo playing from flugel, and principal cornet players.
It wasn't the last we heard of their principal cornet, Philip Varley as he was first up to play a solo. He played Adagio from Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 arranged by Ray Farr. This was fantastic playing of a solo you don't hear very often. Bravo!
To continue the varied program, we were treated with some light film music. This was "Mary Poppins Symphonic Suite" arranged by Andrew Duncan for brass band, featuring memorable songs from the musical including supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, lets go fly a kite, and feed the birds.
Next we heard Sand Smith arrangement of Leroy Anderson's comical "The Waltzering Cat" featuring three angry trombone players and a few cornet playing trying their hand at the alto trombone which got a few laughs from the audience.
Matthew Brown showed up these cornet players with the next item playing Gordon Langford's "Fantasy for Trombone". This was over 10 minutes of stunning playing by one of the countries finest Trombone players that was a real treat for our audience. A real fine performance showing off his apparent lips of steel from start to finish of the concert. Wel played Matthew!
To finish the first half, the band played Little Knut & Sylvelin by Frode Ryland, and some more classical music, in the form of the Finale from Tchaikovsky's "The Little Russian".
After a well eared break for the band, we resumed with the traditional march, "The Waltonian" by J. J. Richards.
This was followed by their third soloist of the evening with "Michael Walsh". In contrast to the old school solos of the first half, he played Paul Lovatt-Cooper's stunning "Donegal Bay".
We were then treated to more film music, this time it was John Williams' score of the 1993 blockbuster "Jurassic Park" arranged by Alan Catherall.
Our next and final soloist was star Euphonium player, Ashley Higgins. He played Hartmans' La Belle Americaine.
This followed on with more old school, with the band playing the 2nd movement from George Lloyd's Royal Parks, In Memoriam. This was beautifully by the band and was followed by more music of Gordon Langford, "Sarie Marais".
The band concluded the concert with Tale of the Dragon by Paul Lovatt-Cooper, taken from their fantastic set from their recent Brass in Concert performance.
We were lucky enough to be treated to an encore by the Grand Shield Champions, in which the band played the popular march, Quality Plus.
Thank you Hammonds Band and Morgan Griffiths for a fantastic concert, and we hope to see you back playing here again very soon.