Foden's, Elland Silver Youth & Superbrass

Conductors: Michael Fowles, Samantha Harrison
George Lawton Hall
Saturday 13th July

This collaborative concert showcasing National Champions Foden’s and Elland Silver Youth alongside the Superbrass ensemble really did live up to its ‘Top Brass’ billing.

On a sultry afternoon a healthy sized audience had eagerly descended upon the Pennine town. By the time they left, they had been blown away by three ensembles on top form.

Elland Silver Youth led by Samantha Harrison got proceedings underway with the upbeat ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’, before their 14 year old gem of a principal cornet gave a remarkably mature rendition of ‘Napoli’. The Beatles classic, ‘Eleanor Rigby’ was followed by trombonist, Amelia Lewis dazzling in Rob Wiffen’s ‘Shout’, before they rounded things off with a vibrant account of Mathew Hall’s stylistically inventive ‘Nightingale Dances’.

Standard set

The standard set, Foden’s took the audience to the interval with a set of predominantly original music. 

Kenneth Hesketh’s ‘Masque’ was followed by guest soloist, trumpeter Mike Lovatt giving a ripper performance of Kenny Baker’s ‘Virtuosity’.  Jonny Bates’ power charged ‘War Dance of the Red Cossacks’ was contrasted with the reflective ‘Not to be Forgotten’ before two compositions from trombonist John Barber, ‘The King of Swing’ and ‘Thy tribute Bring’, brought the first half to a stirring close. 

Mood to wow

Superbrass, made up of some of the finest professional brass players around, were certainly in the mood to wow. 

Mike Lovatt and trombonist Chris Houlding had earlier led an highly informative masterclass, but joined by their counterparts they then delivered another hour’s masterclass in the art of brass ensemble playing.

A great take on ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’ and a colourful ‘Malaguena’ brought the set to a close, although much to the delight of those sweating beads of perspirsation as well as admiration the encore of ‘Sol Bossa Nova’ touched a steamy boiling point.

The filmatic taster ‘OB1 Fanfare’ by Tom Watson was slick and brilliant before ‘Homenaje a Don Luis de Victoria’ with its interweaving lines and the Iberian flair of ‘Donde el Mar Saluda al Cielo’ written for trombonist Andy Wood, flowed with intuitive musicality.

Andy was featured alongside with Mike Lovatt in ‘Red Vest Man’ - an old Buddy Bolden track that bristled with New Orleans influences  - from slow funeral march to blistering swagger. It was virtuosic brilliance.

A great take on ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’ and a colourful ‘Malaguena’ brought the set to a close, although much to the delight of those sweating beads of perspirsation as well as admiration the encore of ‘Sol Bossa Nova’ touched another steamy boiling point.

Foden’s fund raising efforts for their 2020 European Championship trip saw some delighted supporters leave with some tasty additional treats (including a round of golf at The Belfry) before a hugely enjoyable afternoon was rounded off with a massed band rendition of ‘Los Canarious’.

Malcolm Wood

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