Cory Band

Cory Band/RWCMD Composition Prize
Conductor: Philip Harper
Sunday 30th June

The world’s number 1 ranked band has hosted this annual event in partnership with the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama  and sponsor Kapitol Promotions with increasing success.

Once again it offered the finalists an unique world premiere opportunity, with the promise also of future musical exposure. This year three contrasting works (from over 20 worldwide entries) from composers Marcus Venables, Stijn Aertgeerts and Mathias Wehr were featured - each of whom had travelled from Canada, Belgium and Germany respectively to hear their short pieces performed. 


The eventual winner 'Colossus' by Marcus Venables, celebrated what he called, "the greatness of the Cory Band" — with its fanfares and heroic calls to competitive battle building towards a 'colossal' finale that he said honoured the "the past, current and future members of the band". It was understandably a popular winner. 

Stijn's 'Hope' was a reflective work inspired by the better traits of the human interaction, especially in these times of anxiety and uncertainty, whilst Mathias provided a fizzing detour into space with his exciting interstellar powered 'Hyperdrive'.

Each offered interest – the winner having a maturity of structure that appealed to the adjudication panel of Liz Lane, Nigel Seaman, Christopher Bond and Philip Harper. It will be good to hear it (and the other finalists) again. 

The eventual winner 'Colossus' by Marcus Venables, celebrated what he called, "the greatness of the Cory Band" — with its fanfares and heroic calls to competitive battle building towards a 'colossal' finale


With a few deps in the ranks Cory strolled through familiar concert repertoire – from ‘The Spaceman’ march still fresh from their recent Band of the Year success (the band was impressively led by principal cornet Hannah Plumridge), to a quick trot through ‘Light Cavalry’, the colourful cartoon excitement of ‘The Incredibles’ all the way through to a neat twist on ‘Somewhere’ from ‘West Side Story’ to close.  

Ailsa Russell, Stephen Kane and Chris Thomas were all on classy form on their feet, whilst Liz Lane’s quirky ‘Grand Union Waltz’ and her curating of a world premiere of ‘Runyege Dance’ (composed by 12 youngsters just a few hours ahead of the concert)  with its Ugandan framework  inspiration was a delightful added bonus.

Iwan Fox 

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