facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label support us

*
banner

Stan Kenton's 'A Merry Christmas'

Conductor: Richard Ward
Regent Hall
London
Friday 14th December

This was a carol concert with a difference given by a brass group directed admirably by Richard Ward – consisting largely of arrangements made by Ralph Carmichael for a recording by the famous Stan Kenton Band. 

Kenton was experimenting with a section of mellophones replacing the reed players at the time, but here the parts were inventively covered by an excellent quartet of French horn players who added warmth to 4 trumpets and trombones, tuba, keyboards, bass and two percussionists.

Lush harmonies

The extended opening melody featuring a number of well-known Christmas tunes, including 'Joy to the World', 'Away in a Manger', 'We Wish you a Merry Christmas' and 'Silent Night' contained lush harmonies with some particularly fine high register playing by the horns.

'O Tannenbaum' was the first of the Kenton arrangements, with sumptuous chording throughout, and was followed by 'The Holly and the Ivy', which opened with the players whistling the tune before it was taken up by unison horns, the key shifting incrementally by semitones.

'We Three Kings' and 'Good King Wenceslas' featured carillon effects backing the trombone melody. After a lively version of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' the group played Evan Jolly's setting of 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas', arranged originally for Katherine Jenkins. James Copus was the smooth flugel soloist.

The extended opening melody featuring a number of well-known Christmas tunes, including 'Joy to the World''Away in a Manger''We Wish you a Merry Christmas' and 'Silent Night' contained lush harmonies with some particularly fine high register playing by the horns.

Impressive

'Once in Royal David's City' set the horns against quaver figures on percussion and bass, before another non-Kenton item, as Richard Ward joined the trombone section in Roger Harvey's 'It Came Upon the Midnight Clear'.

'God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen' and 'O Come All Ye Faithful' came next - the latter opening with quiet trombones and piano scales before some impressive high trumpet playing and an altitude finish from the horns.

After the rather American 'Angels We Have Heard on High', an enjoyable programme finished with a spectacular setting of 'O Holy Night' - rounding off an excellent effort put together with very little chance for rehearsal.

Peter Bale 

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    



Foden's Band - St Michaels & All Angels Church

Saturday 25 May • Egerton Road, Ashton on Ribble, Preston PR2 1AJ


St Pinnock Brass Band - Rock Choir Cornwall

Sunday 26 May • Sterts Theatre, . Sterts, . Liskeard, . PL14 5AZ PL14 5AZ


Contest: All England International Masters

Sunday 26 May • The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering Conference Centre, Thurston Drive NN15 6PB


Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band - Eastbourne Bandstand - 1812 concert

Wednesday 29 May • Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne BN21 3AD


Black Dyke Band - George Lawton Hall, Mossley

Thursday 30 May • George Lawton Hall, Stamford St, Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne OL5 0HR


Horbury Victoria Band

May 22 • Horbury Victoria Band.. Preparing in good time for section one next year require Solo Euphonium and Front Row Cornet.. A not too busy, friendly and happy band. Rehearsal Wednesday 8pm


Hathersage Band

May 22 • BBb Bass to join in our music making under MD Andy Furmidge. Hathersage Brass Band is a non-contesting band whose friendly members enjoy performing at Village Galas and Fetes as well as several Christmas concerts.


Hathersage Band

May 22 • Back Row Cornet to join in our music making under MD Andy Furmidge. Hathersage Brass Band is a non-contesting band whose friendly members enjoy performing at Village Galas and Fetes as well as several Christmas concerts.


David W. Ashworth

RSCM, ABBA Exec Member, NABBC PRO.
Conductor, Band Trainer and Adjudicator