facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label support us

*
banner

A Celebration of the Music and Legacy of Mark Freeh

Westside Presbyterian Church
Ridgewood
New Jersey
Saturday June 22nd


Salvation Army staff bandsman, military musician, studio trombonist, fine tuba player, award winning recording engineer and producer, founder of brass groups Manhattan Brass Choir and Imperial Brass and world class arranger and composer. 

For most people, any one (or perhaps two) of these attainments would be considered a wonderful career, but the man, whose passing was commemorated by this concert achieved all these and more during his musical life.

One of Mark Freeh’s enduring legacies (and there are many) is the Imperial Brass band, founded in 1991 initially as the Rutgers Alumni Brass Band, in which he played bass trombone.

Now conducted by Ronald Waiksnoris and tirelessly managed by principal trombonist Robert Tiedemann, it was they who hosted this tribute concert. The only disappointment was that due to his ill health Bramwell Tovey was unable to join in the event.

Scintillating

The evening opened with the scintillating Salvation Army quick march ‘Manhattan’ by Erik Leidzen, who was a great influence on Mark who studied under him, followed by a plethora of works that resonated with those who knew Mark well; from ‘What a Friend’ played by Philip Smith to the great jazz cornetist Warren Vaché in Mark’s sensitive setting of the Gershwin standard ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’.

‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ put a huge smile on everyone’s face, especially as there cannot have been such a distinguished line-up of bugle players as Philip Smith, Warren Vaché and Mitch Brodsky.

Warren was also heard on ‘April in Paris’ as well as in a duet with Joseph Alessi on ‘Here’s That Rainy Day’ – an arrangement made by Mark that that could have been taken right from the pages of the ‘Great American Songbook’.

Elsewhere the music flowed; from ‘Tonight’ from ‘West Side Story' to ‘I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face’ and the haunting ‘Elegy’ - a rendition he was working on at the time of his death. Musical tributes came in various styles and genres – from ‘Trombonology’ played by Joseph Alessi to the duet (joined by Philip Smith) of ‘Fandango’.

‘Prelude for Mark’, Mitch Brodsky playing the Ray Steadman-Allen setting of John Larsson’s ‘Someone Cares’ and an up-tempo ‘Ol’ Man River’ contrasted with Torgny Hanson directing ‘None other Name’ and a moving rendition of ‘Resurgam’.

Huge smile

After a stage reset, Imperial Brass were joined by about 20 former members for Mark’s delightful arrangement of Leroy Anderson’s ‘Belle of the Band’ and William Himes’ setting of ‘Amazing Grace’.

‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ put a huge smile on everyone’s face, especially as there cannot have been such a distinguished line-up of bugle players as Philip Smith, Warren Vaché and Mitch Brodsky.

The evening ended with Mark’s adaptation of the Ted Heath Band’s version of ‘Malaguena’ which led to a prolonged and heartfelt standing ovation - and a fitting tribute to a great musician.

Ralph Pearce

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    



Norfolk Wherry Brass - Norfolk Wherry Brass Memorial Concert

Sunday 21 July • Lingwood Village Hall. Station Road. Norwich. Norfolk. NR13 4AZ


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

Wednesday 31 July • Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne BN21 3AD


Gresley Colliery Band - Byrkley Park Garden Centre

Saturday 10 August • Byrkley Drive, Rangemore St, Burton upon Trent . DE13 9RN


Foden's Band - Matt Ford - Gawsworth Hall, Macclesfield

Sunday 11 August • Gawsworth Hall, Church Lane, Gawsworth SK11 9RN


Foden's Band - Snape Maltings

Saturday 17 August • Snape Maltings, Suffolk IP17 1SP


Stannington Brass Band

July 17 • A rare opportunity has arisen to join one of Sheffield's leading bands with a vacancy for an EEb tuba player to complete our bass section. We have a good band room atmosphere and a calendar of interesting concerts and contests.


Freckleton Band

July 17 • We have a vacancy for a soprano cornet player. The band currently competes in the Championship section and have a balanced concert and contest programme. Rehearsal nights are Mondays and Thursdays.


The Corsham Band

July 17 • PRINCIPAL EUPHONIUM - A rare opportunity has arisen for a Principal Euphonium to join our band. Are you an experienced Euphonium player looking for a new and different challenge or have you been sat on that second chair down waiting for this opening?


Steve Pritchard-Jones

FTCL LTCL LDBBA DipMusEd GMus QTS NPQH
Conductor, Adjudicator, Teacher