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Brighouse & Rastrick and Elland Silver Youth

2018 RNCM Brass Band Festival
Conductors: Dr David Thornton and Samantha Harrison
Soloist: Dominic Longhurst
RNCM Manchester
Sunday 28th January

The final instalment of the Festival weekend belonged to two champion bands from Yorkshire: Brighouse & Rastrick and Elland Silver Youth.

Elland's reputation as one of the UK’s leading youth ensembles was certainly underlined with their contribution under inspirational MD Samantha Harrison.

Trailblazing

'Fanfare for a New Age' was sparklingly bright, brassy and articulate, and which contrasted starkly with the serene composure and warmth with Simon Dobson’s ‘Little Hymn’, delivered with enchanting simplicity.

It was followed by 'Starburst' by Dan Price - a pocket of explosive excellence that glowed with endeavour and enthusiasm, the vibrancy of the playing shining like trailblazing comets. 

To close, a finely balanced 'Little Suite No.2' by Malcolm Arnold that oozed mature musicality and contrast - the final ‘Galop’ living delightfully up to its title.  

Plonked

The short break gave just enough time for the National Championship trophy to be proudly plonked on display before Brighouse delivered an impressive quintet of works.

Graham Fitkin's 'Metal' was originally commissioned by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and re-scored for band by Andrew Baker. Bright, percussive and tactile it resonated directly and emphatically. 

Ian Stephens’ ‘Tunnel Vision’ - a condensed 12 minute suite originated from his 85 minute multi-movement work ‘Super Slow Way’: A Rhapsody to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal’ was a fascinating delight.  A thoughtful, meandering journey of a long lost social history, it lost none of its engrossing texture in its compact form, the pacing beautifully realised all the way to a languid, tranquil ending. 

'In Pitch Black', a chilling memorial homage to the 344 lives lost in the 1910 Westhoughton mining disaster received a powerful and moving interpretation by David Thornton – one of deep seated respect of gripping emotional context.  

Chilling memorial

Ray Steadman-Allen's unpublished 'Psalm and Dance for the Creator' was brought to the attention of Festival Artistic Director, Paul Hindmarsh by Andreas Hanson. Utilising the hymn tune, 'Now Thank We All Our God' as its base, it was performed with a fine sense of elegant musicality by Dominic Longhurst.

'In Pitch Black', a chilling memorial homage to the 344 lives lost in the 1910 Westhoughton mining disaster received a powerful and moving interpretation by David Thornton – one of deep seated respect of gripping emotional context.  

It left Bach’s 'Passacaglia in C Minor' as a thoroughly rousing finale – the band revealing the breadth and depth of its tonality without ever sounding strained. The joint encore didn’t sound out of place either – a foot-tapping ‘Goldcrest’ march that put a smile on the face and a skip in the step.

Malcolm Wood 



Contest: Whit Friday March Contests

Friday 25 May • Saddleworth & Tameside OL3


Black Dyke Band - Huddersfield Town Hall - Massed Male Voice Choirs

Saturday 26 May • Huddersfield Town Hall, Corporation St, Huddersfield HD1 2TA


Foden's Band - Edwin Firth Commemoration Event - Sandbach

Friday 1 June • Sandbach School, Crewe Rd, Sandbach CW11 3NS


Contest: French Open Championships 2018

Friday 1 June • Amboise 37400


Contest: French Open Championships 2018

Saturday 2 June • Amboise 37400


Littleport Brass Band

May 23 • Littleport Brass are seeking cornets and a baritone (position negotiable).. Littleport Brass is a 2nd section contesting and friendly band from Littleport near Ely in Cambridgeshire. We rehearse once a week on a Wednesday evening.


Littleport Brass Band

May 23 • We are inviting applications for a confident and experienced Musical Director. Littleport Brass is a 2nd section contesting band from Littleport near Ely in Cambridgeshire. We rehearse once a week on a Wednesday evening.


Glastonbury Brass

May 23 • Euphonium player to join our friendly 1st Section band based in Glastonbury Somerset.


Steve Pritchard-Jones

FTCL LTCL LDBBA DipMusEd GMus QTS NPQH
Conductor, Adjudicator, Teacher