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Black Dyke Band

Conductor: Phil Goodwin
Saffron Hall
Saffron Walden
Saturday 19th February

Black Dyke Band added to the impressive list of post-Covid-19 concert attractions at the 740 seat Saffron Hall in north west Essex.

Open in 2013 in the grounds of its County High School, the £10 million venue results from a partnership believed to be the largest gift of its kind to a state school; one that has enabled it to provide a remarkable programme of regular concerts – from world class soloists and ensembles to local community groups.

Sold out well in advance for this first ever visit of the Queensbury Band – it was aimed at appealling to wide-ranging tastes – from the traditional to the contemporary, James Bond to Edward Elgar.

Standing ovation

The standing ovation at its conclusion spoke volumes; ‘Queensbury’  sending a tsunami of sound bowling over the audience, soon to be felt again in a series of thrilling waves of excitement with Shostakovich’s ‘Festive Overture’.

The standing ovation at its conclusion spoke volumes; ‘Queensbury’  sending a tsunami of sound bowling over the audience, soon to be felt again in a series of thrilling waves of excitement with Shostakovich’s ‘Festive Overture’.

Black Dyke’s soloists were on superb form; Richard Marshall effortlessly elegant with ‘Melody of the Heart’  and Siobhan Bates lyrically flowing with ‘Upon Green Vales’  in the first half, whilst in the second, Brett Baker pulled out all the Pryoresque stops with ‘Thoughts of Love’, Michael Cavanagh provided a tastefully appealing ‘Carrickfergus’  and Daniel Thomas revved up a turbo-charged ‘Grandfather’s Clock’.

Roof raising

Elsewhere, Phil Goodwin led the band through the familiar sounds of a ‘James Bond Suite’  and the move evocative ‘The Peacemakers’, as well as the quirky ‘Fantasy of Joy’. 

The substantial offerings of two movements from Malcolm Arnold’s ‘Cornish Dances’, ‘Nimrod’  and the roof-raising ‘March’  from ‘Pines of Rome’  brought the standing ovation and calls for the encore provided by ‘Highland Cathedral’.

William Strachey

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BA (Hons) (Dunelm) I, FSCO
Composer and Arranger


               

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