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National Children's Band of Great Britain

Conductor: Prof Nicholas Childs
Soloist: Gary Curtin
Repton School
Friday 30th July


Even the incessant rain was never going to dampen the musical spirits of the talented youngsters of the National Children’s Band of Great Britain, let alone the hardy group of over 250 proud parents and families huddled under umbrellas on the lawn of Repton School to hear this end of course concert.

Sheer joy and determination shone through like blazing rays of sunshine as they performed a highly entertaining programme under the baton of Prof Nicholas Childs (and a sturdy outdoor marquee) to round off an inspiring Summer Course.

Ambition

There was plenty of ambition on show; the Black Dyke Director of Music taking his final bow with the band by picking a programme that included a world premiere of Fredrick Schjelderup’s  ‘New Beginnings’ - very appropriate given the long awaited return from the Covid-19 hiatus, as well as Malcolm Arnold’s   ‘Little Suite for Brass’  and Peter Graham’s  ‘Strange New Worlds’.

The smiles from everyone involved summed things up. The warmth generated by them would have dried out damp clothes well before anyone finally got home.

Foden’s euphonium star Gary Curtin proved to be the perfect choice as guest soloist; his humour and personality also providing a focal point of inspiration for the players throughout the week, capped by his contributions – from the wizardry of Peter Graham’s  ‘Bravura’  to Paul Lovatt Cooper’s  ‘Neath Dublin Skies’  and  ‘From Your Smile’.

Confident verve

Communal as well as individual performances from the ensemble also caught the ear (resplendent in their new uniforms) with well drilled accounts of Alan Fernie’s popular  ‘Prismatic Light’  and Philip Sparke  ‘Concert Prelude’,  ‘The Circle of Life’  (with great vocal accompaniment) and the encore of  ’76 Trombones’  all played with confident verve.

The smiles from everyone involved summed things up. The warmth generated by them would have dried out damp clothes well before anyone finally got home.

Ben Stratford 

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