Black Dyke and International Staff Bands Trombones

Conductor: Rob Wiffin, OBE
Regent Hall,
Friday 15th November

This lunchtime concert marked the launch of 'Lassus Trombones', a follow-up to 'Cross Flourishes' by the pairing from the celebrated Black Dyke and the ISB sections. The release has been directed by Rob Wiffin, OBE who conducted this engaging recital.

The varied programme included three marches; opening with Eric Ball's perennial favourite 'Star Lake', notable for some particularly fruity sounds from the bass trombones. Later they presented 'Spirit of Praise' and ended on a transatlantic note with 'The Washington Post'.


It was interesting to hear the distinctive cornet opening of William Himes' 'Amazing Grace' on trombones, although it proved to be surprisingly effective. The group also displayed a wide dynamic range with some lively high register playing from Andrew Justice.

The mambo 'Trombone No 5' introduced a Latin American flavour, with Brett Baker featuring as soloist. This contrasted nicely with 'A Mighty Fortress', in a fairly straight setting by Elizabeth Raum and 'La Rejouissance' from Handel's 'Music for the Royal Fireworks' which worked beautifully, with antiphonal effects and a nifty lip trill at the end.

The Black Dyke players presented two items; Piazzolla's 'Libertango' and 'Gospel Time for Four Trombones', in which the audience was encouraged to click fingers in time with the music.

'Cool Shades for Eight' (Philip Wilby) featured lovely flowing lines in a relaxed style, with solo contributions from Stephen Williams on bass trombone, whilst 'Pseudo Blues' an early work from the pen of William Himes came with a laid-back solo line against crunching harmonies in the ensemble.

The Black Dyke players presented two items; Piazzolla's 'Libertango' and 'Gospel Time for Four Trombones', in which the audience was encouraged to click fingers in time with the music.


'I Know Thou Art Mine' is a devotional setting by Len Ballantine featuring the melody 'Unsworth'. Ian Jones' arrangement did a good job in replicating the textures and feel of the original.

The two groups produced some gorgeous sounds, and Rob Wifffin's informative comments and relaxed approach made for a very successful recital.

ISB regulars Andrew Justice, Stuart Hall and Stephen Williams were joined by Howard Elliot and Gareth Craik, whilst the Dyke group consisted of Brett Baker, Paul Woodward, Gary and Adrian Reid and Adrian Hirst. John Nkounkou and Paul Scott provided sterling support on drums and bass guitar respectively.

Peter Bale

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