facebook twitter rss vimeo

*
banner

International Brass Band Summer School

Conductor: Prof Nicholas Childs
Soloists: Gary Curtin, Richard Marshall
Fulton House
Swansea University
Friday 4th August

The success of the International Brass Band Summer School is based on a triptych of hard work, top class tuition and plenty of fun - led from the front by the indefatigable Course Director Prof Nicholas Childs. 

Now in its 27th year, the ethos permeates each musical day led by the Black Dyke MD at Swansea University.

You don’t manage to attract 125 players from all corners of the globe (including their first from Taiwan, a 97 year old cornetist and members of the newly crowned European champions) without knowing how to challenge, engage, enjoy and inspire.  

Style and substance

Good PR also means that the end of course concert also attracts the locals in numbers; with an expectant crowd sat in their seats as the first of the two evenly split ensembles made their nimble, well-balanced way through an eclectic mix of repertoire that contrasted style as well as substance. 

You don’t manage to attract 125 players from all corners of the globe (including their first from Taiwan, a 97 year old cornetist and members of the newly crowned European champions) without knowing how to challenge, engage, enjoy and inspire.  

With the warm rays of a lazy early evening sun streaming through the windows, the Sovereign Band made short work of ‘Star Wars’, ‘The Marriage of Figaro’, ‘Streamline Peaks’ and ‘The Final Voyage’, with featured soloist Gary Curtin delivering a fizz bomb ‘Bravura’ and the featured solo lines in the band played with an admirable level of self-expression and confidence throughout.

Friendly rivalry

A sense of friendly rivalry also plays it part, as after a short break a determined Prestige Band set out their stall with polished takes on ‘633 Squadron’, ‘Festive Overture’, ‘Road to Run’ and ‘To Boldy Go’, whilst Richard Marshall delivered a deliciously capricious ‘Zelda’ in their solo feature. The ensemble work throughout was detailed and warm, with all the main solo lines delivered with aplomb. 

Joie de vivre

The finale came with a massed band display of musical joie-de-vivre: a swaggering ‘Death of Glory’ march followed by the warmly hued hymn ‘Lloyd’, a perky bit of fun with ’76 Trombones’ and a turbo boosted ‘Lohengrin’ that would have trembled the foundations of Bayreuth Opera House let alone the windows of the local Bed & Breakfasts on Swansea Bay seafront. 

‘The Lost Chord’ encore was as tasty a finisher as a scoop of Chocolate Chip deliciousness from the local Verdi’s ice-cream parlour.  No wonder bookings for 2018 are already being taken.

Iwan Fox



Kettering Citadel S A Band - Leicester South Songster Brigade

Saturday 17 February • The Lighthouse Theatre. Kettering Conference Centre. Thurston Drive. Kettering. NN15 6PB NN15 6PB


Contest: Unibrass

Saturday 17 February • Barbican Centre, Paragon St, York YO10 4AH


Foden's Band - Patrons Concert

Tuesday 20 February • Sandbach School. Crewe Rd, Sandbach CW11 3NS CW11 3NS


Regent Hall Concerts - RAF Chamber Ensemble

Friday 23 February • Regent Hall. (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London W1C 2DJ (opposite RESERVED) W1C 2DJ


Elland Silver Band -

Saturday 24 February • All Saints Church Savile Road Elland HX5 0NH


Shipston Town band

February 15 • We currently need a Kit percussionist, 2nd horn and Bb Bass as we prepare for the forthcoming Midlands Area at Bedworth in March. We are graded Section 4


The Corsham Band

February 15 • Having now been promoted to the 2nd Section for the forthcoming Contest season, the band are now looking for a back row cornet player, 2nd or 3rd, to join our team


The Cobham Band

February 14 • The Cobham Band is looking for baritone, euphonium and bass trombone players. This friendly band meets each Monday 8-10pm in Cobham. We have a full programme of bandstands, concerts and do some SCABA contests too. We welcome novices & returning players.


Phil Lawrence

ARCM PGRNCM MFTCL ARCM B.Mus.
Composer and conductor