facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label support us

*
banner

Scarlet & Gold

The Bands of the Household Division
Featuring: The Countess of Wessex's String Orchestra; Katie Holmes (soprano)
Cadogan Hall
Thursday 29th November

Keen to reflect the particular British history of the Household Division ensembles in a worldwide 21st century context, this annual showcase concert was a clever mix of the familiar and the progressive - with polished playing aided by the effective use of social and multi-media presentation.

The effervescent compere Brigadier Alastair Bruce OBE added a touch of showmanship to the astute conducting of Lt Col Darren Wolfendale and his Majors - Michael Smith, Justin Matthews, David Barringer and Capt Craig Bywater, with a programme that pointed towards the future with a nod of heartfelt appreciation to the past.

Majesty

The effective use of renowned military choreography ensured a touch of pomp to the opening ‘Majesty’ fanfare and ‘National Anthem’, whilst a first half of geographical ‘Britishness’ saw ‘Vivat Regina’ followed by the stirring ‘Spitfire Prelude & Fugue’ and the UK premiere of Adam Gorb’s hypnotic ‘Let Them Play’ performed by the Household Division Saxophone Quartet.

WO Class II Ralph Brill was a fine flugel lead on ‘By Kell’s Water’ - displaying a languid, warmly burnished tonality, before a rousing trip north of the border with ‘Dundonnell’ from ‘Hymn of Highlands' rounded off the first half with bagpipe vigour.

The Countess of Wessex's String Orchestra took centre stage to open the second half with an accomplished ‘Presto’ from Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ led by Musician Katie Davies, the 2018 Household Division Musician of the Year, with the humour slot coming courtesy of a witty melange of Monti's 'Czardas' followed by the Household Division Brass Ensemble combining wit, wigs and wicked technique in a cleverly cigarillo packaged version of excerpts from Bizet’s usually Cohiba sized opera ‘Carmen’.

WO Class II Ralph Brill was a fine flugel lead on ‘By Kell’s Water’ - displaying a languid, warmly burnished tonality, before a rousing trip north of the border with ‘Dundonnell’ from ‘Hymn of Highlands' rounded off the first half with bagpipe vigour.

Thoughtful tone

Seriousness returned with the filigree whimsy of ‘Molly on the Shore’ before a deeply thoughtful tone was struck with Patrick Hawes conducting extracts from his 'Great War Symphony', featuring soprano Kate Holmes. 

It lost none of its impact even in this précised version written for the occasion – the projected imagery enhancing the musical homage.

It left time for an extra touch of good old British pomp with a brisk ‘Crown Imperial’ followed by a ‘Riverdance’ segue into ‘The Music Makers’ and ‘When the Guards are on Parade’ to send everyone home with a 120 march tempo in their step.

Iwan Fox

Support us for less than a cup of coffee...

4BR wants to ensure that the brass band movement remains vibrant and relevant. We also want to be able to question, challenge and critically examine those who run and play in it, producing high quality journalism that informs as well as entertains our readers.

So if like us you value a strong, independent perspective on the brass band world - then why not consider becoming a supporter and help make our future and that of a burgeoning brass band movement more secure.

So one less cappuccino then?

Support us    



Sherborne Town Band - Sherborne Community Choir & Sherborne Youth Band

Sunday 16 December • Cheap Street Church, Cheap Street, Sherborne, DT9 3BJ DT93BJ


Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band - A Christmas Carol

Sunday 16 December • All Saints Centre. Friars Walk. Lewes BN7 2LE


Jackfield Band - Annual Christmas Concert

Sunday 16 December • Anstice Memorial Hall, Anstice Square , Madeley, Telford, Shropshire TF7 5BD


Black Dyke Band - Skelmanthorpe Male Voice Choir - Dewsbury

Sunday 16 December • Dewsbury Town Hall, Wakefield Old Rd, Dewsbury WF12 8DG


Enderby Band - Enderby Band Christmas Concert

Monday 17 December • Enderby Church. Corner of Leicester Lane/Blaby Road. Enderby. Leicestershire LE19 4AR


Cheshire Constabulary Band

December 16 • The band are seeking a front rank cornet player. The band is made up of players from all walks of life not just the police and has interesting and varied engagements both here and abroad.


Ilkeston Brass

December 16 • We currently have vacancies for front and back row cornets, tenor and bass trombone and Bb bass. We are a friendly 4th section band based in Ilkeston Derbyshire just a few minutes from M1 J25&26. . We rehearse Thursday 7.30-9.30 and Sundays 6.30-8.30.


Milton Keynes Brass

December 16 • Will you be our Christmas present? Our Principal Euphonium player is moving on to GUS after Butlins. We will therefore have a vacancy. Are you able to join us? We have a sensible programme of engagements (about 12 a year) with about 6 contests.


James McLeod

BMus (hons)
Euphonium Soloist, Teacher and Conductor