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Amersham Band & Tredegar Band

Epic Brass
Featuring: Amersham Band Brass Roots
Conductors: Paul Fisher, Ian Porthouse, Ash Horton
Pipers Corner School
Buckinghamshire
Saturday 23rd October



Two organisations sharing progressive musical outlooks joined forces for an afternoon concert highlighting ambition as well as attainment. 

Not surprisingly it attracted a packed audience from the local community as well as a fair sprinkling of the wider Welsh diaspora proudly proclaiming family connections back to the South Wales town.

The excellent acoustic of the modern concert hall enabled considerable scope for dynamic flexibility whilst also allowing plenty of room to accommodate the massed ranked finale. 

Joy to hear

That saw the bands joined by the brilliant youngsters of Brass Roots – the first step ensemble of the seven the Amersham organisation now supports.

They were the beaming little stars who opened proceedings with their items before sitting transfixed in the front row – the look on faces telling you all you needed to know as they soaked up the performance attainment on stage. Their musical ambitions were a joy to hear. 

Amersham’s own top flight aspirations are certainly based on solid foundations as Paul Fisher led a first half that combined well known Salvation Army repertoire such as the march ‘Celebration’ and ‘Endeavour’ to excerpts from ‘West Side Story’.

They were the beaming little stars who opened proceedings with their items before sitting transfixed in the front row – the look on faces telling you all you needed to know as they soaked up the performance attainment on stage. Their musical ambitions were a joy to hear. 

The ‘War Dance of the Red Cossacks’ and ‘Prelude on Lavenham’ were diverse contrasts whilst soprano Rob Wallace provided a neat ‘Poppy Dance’ that offered its own serious aside to the fun of the closing Whitney Houston ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’. 

Impressive selection box

Tredegar delved impressively into their selection box of repertoire for a second half that touched all bases; music from Berlioz to Jimmy Webb, tumbling Rimsky-Korsakov to sleepy Eriks Esenvalds, American Barn Dancing to Bette Midler, with cracking solo spots from Ross Dunne, Ryan Richards, Dewi Griffiths, Will Norman and Yu Han Yang. 

‘The Final Countdown’ with everyone finding a space was the perfect all-inclusive way to round off a concert from organisations sharing a musical vision that continues to inspire as well as flourish.

The technical virtuosity was backed by ensemble precision and balance, whilst the stylistic quality of the class-act soloists - from the excitement of ‘Glorious Ventures’ and ‘Harlequin’ to the tenderness of ‘Lark in the Clear Air’, the suave duet ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ and the swaggering funk of ‘Shout!’ was top-drawer stuff.    

‘The Final Countdown’ with everyone finding a space was the perfect all-inclusive way to round off a concert from organisations sharing a musical vision (even the uniforms are the same colour) that continues to inspire as well as flourish.

Matthew Ruel 

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