David Read MBE Celebration Concert

East London Brass
Conductor: Jayne Murrill
St Mary the Virgin Church
Saturday 20th July

David Read has enjoyed a remarkable brass banding career; player, conductor, teacher, adjudicator. It has been one that has gained him worldwide respect.

Little wonder then this live-broadcast concert was not only enjoyed by family, friends, colleagues and former players on the day, but subsequently (it was excellently recorded) by close on 6,000 people through the band’s Facebook page.


It was a delightful treat - made more so by his recollections of the pieces he had chosen, as well as the personalities and occasions linked to them; Eric Ball, Gilbert Vinter, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Stanley Boddington et al; from the British Open and major contest events to bandstand concerts and recordings.

It was both fascinating and illuminating to hear - the provenance unimpeachable.

They also reflected a form of brass band playing in danger of being lost to time; cultured balances, warm tonality and stylistic nuance – from the wit of Vinter’s ‘Portuguese Party’ to the delicacy of Lehar’s ‘Gold and Silver’ waltz, the variety pack craftsmanship of ‘Oklahoma!’ and the descriptive evocations of ‘The Royal Border Bridge’ and the opening ‘Men of Harlech’.

East London Brass had invested time, energy and commitment to the project, with Jayne Murrill leading quality performances of character and confidence, especially on the trio of major test-pieces; ‘Sunset Rhapsody’ glowing with respectful warmth, ‘Variations for Brass Band’ paced with stylish understanding, ‘James Cook - Circumnavigator’ bright and dramatic. 

Quality performances

East London Brass had invested time, energy and commitment to the project, with Jayne Murrill leading quality performances of character and confidence, especially on the trio of major test-pieces; ‘Sunset Rhapsody’ glowing with respectful warmth, ‘Variations for Brass Band’ paced with stylish understanding, ‘James Cook - Circumnavigator’  bright and dramatic.  

It was appropriate though that the modest celebrant was even persuaded to show off his cornet and conducting skills on ‘Bugler’s Holiday’ and the march ‘The Medallion’.

It was a fitting way to remind everyone of just part of the many facets that have formed a lifetime of the dedicated passion, skill and expertise he has given to the banding movement.

Iwan Fox 

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