Cornet legend Phillip McCann made an emotional return home to Scotland last weekend to perform as guest soloist with his very first band, UNISON Kinneil in Bo’ness.
It proved to be a very special evening for the former Black Dyke principal cornet as a packed hall welcomed him back to his ‘home turf’ for the band’s annual concert.
Listeners had in fact travelled from all over Europe to hear him play, with one couple making the trip from Germany, and quite few cross border Sassenach fans also taking the opportunity to drive north to hear their hero perform once more.
Phillip made sure their long trips were well worth while by playing the beautiful Germanic inspired echo cornet solo, ‘Bird Songs from the Thüringen Forest’, as well as ‘Jenny Wren’, a new arrangement of Stephen Bradnum’s ‘The Prayer’, plus other favourites from his famous ‘Beautiful Melodies’ releases, including a gem of an arrangement by Erik Leidzen of ‘The Old Rugged Cross’.
The concert also featured a showcase from the Kinneil Youth Band, whilst Phillip ensured the young players would remember the night for a very long time by donating the ‘Phillip McCann Trophy’.
The delighted first recipient was young tenor horn player Robbie Hardie, who was in fact making his first concert appearance with the UNISON Kinneil senior band on the night.
It was wonderful to be back home so to speak. As always the warmth of the welcome overwhelmed me, and it was an added personal bonus that so many people came from so far to hear me play, and support the Kinneil organisationPhillip McCann
Phillip told 4BR: "It was wonderful to be back home so to speak. As always the warmth of the welcome overwhelmed me, and it was an added personal bonus that so many people came from so far to hear me play, and support the Kinneil organisation."
He added: "The award of the trophy was just something to give back to band that gave me so much when I was growing up. Perhaps it will inspire a few young players to start the type of association with brass bands that I have enjoyed. It really was a lovely night with lovely people."