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Fulham Brass Band

Conductor: John Ward
Soloist: Tom Hutchinson
Regent Hall Brass Arts Festival
Regent Hall, London
Friday October 14th


The Regent Hall Brass Arts Festival continues to offer a unique opportunity to hear a wide range of performances linked in focus to the Albert Hall National Final weekend.     

10 concerts over eight days in fact; from Guards Brass and the Royal Academy of Music Symphonic Brass through to the Band of the Grenadier Guards, the Regent Hall Salvation Army Band to RAF Brass and Mike Lovatt. 

Excellently run, with a warm welcome to worldwide visitors (including a wonderfully excitable group of local school children), Friday’s pre-National entertainment was kicked off by Fulham Brass Band with a programme as eclectic as the accents heard in ordering coffee at the hall’s excellent in-house café.   

Inventiveness

MD John Ward has instilled a spirit of musical inventiveness to his band’s concert repertoire – with the linked ‘Fanfare’  and ‘National Anthem’  by Dudley Bright and Gareth Trott certainly not in the opening vein of tradition. 

It was refreshing to hear, especially with guest soloist Tom Hutchinson offering a brace of unexpected delights in Norman Bearcroft’s rhapsodic ‘Song of Exultation’  and the Eric Ball homage of Johan Dokter’s ‘Awake Thou That Sleepest’  – played with cultured artistry.

Florence Maunders’ ‘Sewer Crisis’ oozed an oily sense of subterranean menace and witty pungency, whilst Chelsea Pascoe’s ‘Lifeline’ underpinned by a telling pulse, offered hope and thanks to round off a concert of engaging difference.

Witty pungency

The premiere of Dudley Bright’s ‘Jubilee Music’  was a homage of detoured regard and distinctiveness – this time to the late Monarch, whilst David Collins’ touching take on the spiritual ‘Steal Away’  was threaded with embracing unfamiliarity.    

Works from composers exploring very different musical soundscapes caught the imagination and offered as much to the listener as they did to the performers.

Florence Maunders’ ‘Sewer Crisis’  oozed an oily sense of subterranean menace and witty pungency, whilst Chelsea Pascoe’s ‘Lifeline’  underpinned by a telling pulse, offered hope and thanks to round off a concert of engaging difference.

Iwan Fox 

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