facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label support us

*
banner

Reading Festival of Brass

Reading Spring Gardens; Saint Sebastian Wokingham; Tadley Concert Brass
Conductors: Matthew Ruel; John Watts; Paul Chapman
Michael Malnick Centre
Reading
Sunday 5th May

stars

A trio of well prepared bands provided an enjoyable Sunday afternoon of entertainment at the Michael Malnick Centre – as well as a fitting tribute to conductor David Ruel, whose untimely death will be greatly felt in this banding area for many years to come.  

Asked to provide a ‘traditional’ brass band programme containing a march, overture, hymn tune arrangement, solo item and entertainment work, the MDs responded with inventive musical thought. It’s not often you get Suppe, Freddie Mercury, Lennon & McCartney and Bela Keler sitting so comfortably next to each other.

Spirited

Saint Sebastian Wokingham under John Watts opened with a spirited ‘Henry the Fifth’ overture, followed by a fine flugel soloist in Michael Bird on ‘One Day’ and the sprightly Eric Ball march ‘Star Lake’.

Contrast came with a tender rendition of ‘Guardian of my Soul’ before closing with a pulsating account of Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s ‘Horizons’.

Tadley Concert and Paul Chapman picked up where they left off; the energetic ‘Come Follow the Band’ followed by the romantic drama of ‘Poet and Peasant’.

Principal cornet Megan Hope was the assured soloist in ‘First Light’ before PLC’s warmly hued arrangement of the hymn tune ‘Lloyd’ led into the operatic bonkerness of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.

To close, the massed bands joined for Roy Newsome’s ‘Belmont’ march and ‘The Lost Chord’ to round off a Sunday afternoon that was a fitting musical tribute to a fine musician and a friend to so many.

Fitting tribute

Matthew Ruel led Reading Spring Gardens with a programme that had his father’s stamp of preparedness hallmarked from first note until last - the choreographed ‘National Emblem’ march played with bold purpose.  

A fine horn and flugel quartet rendition of ‘Hey Jude’ was the prelude to another excellent soloist in Cheryl Heppenstall on ‘An Untold Story’, before a tribute was played to another much missed colleague Ron Curtis with part of ‘St Andrew’s Variations’ by Alan Fernie.  A rare outing for the comic overture ‘Lustspiel’ put a musical smile on everyone’s face.

To close, the massed bands joined for Roy Newsome’s ‘Belmont’ march and ‘The Lost Chord’ to round off a Sunday afternoon that was a fitting musical tribute to a fine musician and a friend to so many.

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    



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


Worsbrough Brass

May 20 • Worsbrough Brass, based just outside of Barnsley are looking for the following instruments to join their team:. . Cornet. Trombone. Bass. Percussion. . All of which positions are negotiable. . . We are a very friendly band that would love to see you at a rehearsal


Oxford Cherwell Brass

May 20 • OCB are looking to recruit a 2nd horn, 2nd baritone & 2nd trombone player to complete our middle and lower band lineup. A good selection of concert work and contests planned for 2019 as we settle into life in the 2nd section.


Hucknall & Linby Brass

May 20 • Hucknall and Linby MC Brass are looking for a Bb bass player to complete their line up. This position offers a trip to the 1st section National finals in September and the enjoyable challenge of the Championship section from January 2020.


Howard J Evans

MA (Dist), Mus.B (hons), ARCM (hons), LRAM, LTCL, PGCE
Conductor, composer, arranger, tutor and pianist