The Lydbrook Band has just returned from a successful tour to Poland, forging new links with the UNESCO city of music, Katowice.
The West of England ensemble was invited to perform and give masterclasses to local musicians and councillors the quality and benefits of brass banding as part of the 'Move Your Brass' festival.
Under guest conductor Tom Brevik, Lydbrook showcased a wide variety of repertoire, with the first concert held at the beautiful Mariacki Church. They gained a standing ovation for their performances of works including 'Trumpet Tune and Air', 'A Time for Peace' featuring horn soloist Tom Goodman, 'Nimrod', 'Rusalka's Song to the Moon' with cornet soloist Phil Storer, 'Suite Gothique' and 'Procession to the Minster'.
The following day the band joined Tom Brevik and composer-in-residence, Liz Lane in masterclasses discussing the process of composing and arranging for the brass band genre.
They also visited a local school with a bespoke programme for teachers and young students featuring pieces such as 'Under the Boardwalk' with flugel soloist Tracey Moss and 'Post Horn Galop' with Phil Turner.
Masterclasses and workshops
Sunday morning also featured masterclasses with local musicians, conductors and composers. Principal cornet Phil Storer hosted a trumpet class, while solo euphonium Joanna Ainsworth led a class in teaching and sharing the differences between playing in UK brass bands and Polish wind bands.
They then joined together in rehearsal to experience playing in a UK brass band.
Liz Lane also hosted a composition workshop whilst Tom Brevik led the band in a specially arranged Polish love song.
Sunday evening saw a performance as part of a Gala Concert at Katowice's Concert Hall, where the band played works such as 'Nimrod', 'Procession to the Minster' and 'Demelza' featuring soprano soloist Glen Carroll, as well as 'The Greatest Show', 'The World's Greatest Storyteller' with euphonium solo by Joanna Ainsworth, before closing with 'Enter the Galaxies'.
We have now formed close connections with Katowice and the festival organisers and hopes to continue to support the blossoming brass band movement in PolandLydbrook Band
On their last day the band visited Krakow before performing a concert in the House of Culture in the Giszowiec district, after which they shared a meal with the festival hosts. The band also took time to visit Auschwitz.
A spokesperson told 4BR: "The 'Move Your Brass' festival organisers were fantastic hosts and the whole tour ran smoothly and was very well received, with multiple standing ovations in all their concerts and great feedback from those attending the masterclasses.
We have now formed close connections with Katowice and the festival organisers and hopes to continue to support the blossoming brass band movement in Poland."