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RWCMD Brass Band

Hemispheres
Conductors: Dr Robert Childs, Ruth Mellor
Dora Stoutzker Hall
Wednesday 31st October

The RWCMD’s commitment to programming works from female composers saw the college brass band spearhead a concert of engaging, thought provoking repertoire, with two very different major compositions forming its cornerstones. 

A long overdue revival of Judith Bingham’s seminal ‘Prague’ was wholeheartedly embraced, with MD Dr Robert Childs eliciting a rich intensity to her  evocative musical portrait of the historic city that combined power, beauty and mystery. 

In contrast, Imogen Holst’s ‘The Unfortunate Traveller’ with its folk inspired individuality and wit drew a picture of a very different kind – as English as anything her father had written, but with a pointed sense of character that was neatly developed on its musical canvas with the lightest of hands.

World premieres

The concert also featured two world premieres commissioned by the RWCMD for the event. 

Mirroring the theme of her work, composer Louisa Trewartha travelled all the way from her Australian home to hear the premiere of ‘Flight’.

The pulsating concert opener captured the sense of pioneering spirit and adventure, aided by soaring melodic lines, of pilot Maude ‘Lores’ Bonney, who made the 12,300 mile flight from Australia to the UK in 1933. 

Award winning Lucy Pankhurst is already an established compositional voice for the brass band medium, but her ever inventive music is a constantly surprising delight. 

Award winning Lucy Pankhurst is already an established compositional voice for the brass band medium, but her ever inventive music is a constantly surprising delight. 

‘Where She Sings Freely’, was set to the narration of a poem by 13-year-old Clara Price, exploring the thoughtful themes of female emancipation.

Mirroring the rather poignant dialogue, the floating effects and dark undertones grew in conviction towards an immense climax, before gradually fading away – leaving a telling impression on the listener’s mind.

Antagonistic personality

Pat Pimpanit Karoomyavanich also further demonstrated her growing reputation with ‘Poseidon’; a cleverly scored work exploring the sea god’s antagonistic personality – a mercurial portrait played with confidence and character.

To finish, student Ruth Mellor maturely led Lucy Pankhurst’s infectiously upbeat ‘Wired’ - complete with impressive solo contributions that drew deservedly enthusiastic applause from the audience who had thoroughly enjoyed a concert of insight and inspiration.

Thomas Dunne

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