CD review: Spero Per Musica

Red Shield Brass Band
Conductor: Dr Jonathan Corry
Soloists: Amy Nelson, Brett Tolcher, Jonathan Corry, Jonathon Weller
RSBB Recordings: 101

The Red Shield Brass Band, based in the Chicago area, is directed in its debut recording by Belfast-born Dr Jonathan Corry, for several years the Bandmaster of Enfield Citadel before taking up his current position with the Metropolitan Division of The Salvation Army.

The music is a refreshing mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar and features two premiere recordings. 

Bill Himes' 'Pathway of Hope' pays tribute to a recent initiative to break the cycle of poverty, featuring the melodies 'Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child', 'Reach Out and Touch' and 'Storm the Forts of Darkness', whilst Tom Davoren's 'Spero per Musica' was commissioned especially the release.

It uses the tune 'Slane' to express the intention to bring hope through music, the underlying theme emerging from times of doubt and turmoil.

Four soloists

The disc features four soloists; with Principal Cornet Amy Nelson's fine rendition of Peter Meechan's 'Song of Hope' and Brett Tolcher on trombone demonstrating a nicely relaxed approach to Bill Himes' samba setting of 'Blessed Assurance'.

The Bandmaster displays his own credentials on trumpet with Mark Freeh's take on 'Onward Christian Soldiers'', whilst vocalist Jonathon Weller reminds us of the famous Old Testament story on 'David’s Dance'. Kenneth Downie’s skill at bringing a fresh touch to a familiar melody is shown with 'Silent Vigil', based on Bram Coles' 'How can I better Serve Thee, Lord'.

The programme is completed with two long-time favourites; John Stainer's 'God So Loved the World' receiving subtle treatment, and Eric Ball's 'Torchbearers' full of poise and dignity to round off a CD that is well worth exploring, despite the relatively short playing time.

Poise and dignity

Bramwell Tovey's 'Deo Gloria' originated as a work for trumpet ensemble to mark Philip Smith's retirement from the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, but he later re-worked it effectively for band, incorporating the tune 'Nicea'.

Peter Graham's 'Shine as the Light' has quickly become a favourite with young and old alike, with its contrast between Joy Webb's 'Candle of the Lord' and Chick Yuill's uplifting 'Wonderful Counsellor'.

The programme is completed with two long-time favourites; John Stainer's 'God So Loved the World' receiving subtle treatment, and Eric Ball's 'Torchbearers' full of poise and dignity to round off a CD that is well worth exploring, despite the relatively short playing time.

Peter Bale

To purchase: https://www.worldofbrass.com/100523.html

Play list:

1. Deo Gloria (Bramwell Tovey)
2. Song of Hope (Peter Meechan)
Soloist: Amy Nelson
3. Pathway of Hope (William Himes)
4. Blessed Assurance (William Himes)
Soloist: Brett Tolcher
5. Silent Vigil (Kenneth Downie)
6. Spero per Musica (Tom Davoren)
7. Onward Christian Soldiers (arr. Mark Freeh)
Soloist:  Jonathan Corry
8. God so loved the World (Stainer arr. Marshall)
9. Torchbearers (Eric Ball)
10. David's Dance 
Soloist: Jonathon Weller
11. Shine as the Light (Peter Graham)

Support us for less than a cup of coffee...

4BR wants to ensure that the brass band movement remains vibrant and relevant. We also want to be able to question, challenge and critically examine those who run and play in it, producing high quality journalism that informs as well as entertains our readers.

So if like us you value a strong, independent perspective on the brass band world - then why not consider becoming a supporter and help make our future and that of a burgeoning brass band movement more secure.

So one less cappuccino then?

Support us    

Black Dyke Band - Macmillan Theatre, Bridgwater

Sunday 18 August • The McMillan Theatre, Bath Road, Bridgwater,Somerset TA6 4PZ

Regent Hall Concerts - Ensemble Sauterelle (french horns and male voices)

Friday 23 August • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE

Sandhurst Silver Band - Music in the Memorial Park

Sunday 25 August • Sandhurst Memorial Park, Yorktown Road, Sandhurst GU47 9DP

Foden's Band - Sandbach

Monday 26 August • The Wheatsheaf, Sandbach, 1 Hightown, Sandbach CW11 1AG

Black Dyke Band - Scarborough Spa

Saturday 31 August • South Bay, Scarborough YO11 2HD

Band of the Gloucestershire Constabulary

August 18 • We require Front Row CORNETS including PRINCIPAL for a friendly, welcoming, non-contesting band with a sensible diary of public engagements including prestigious performances at venues such as Gloucester Cathedral and Tewkesbury Abbey.

Stannington Brass Band

August 18 • A rare opportunity has arisen to join one of Sheffield's leading bands with a vacancy for an EEb TUBA player to complete our bass section. We have a good band room atmosphere and a calendar of interesting concerts and contests

Corby Silver Band

August 17 • We have vacancies for solo cornet, back row cornet and 1st horn. . We are a 3rd section band based in Northamptonshire in the East Midlands. . Rehearsals 8pm - 10pm Monday & Wednesday held in our own band club. We do not charge any subs.

Jack Capstaff

Bmus (Hons)
Conductor | Composer


 © 2019 4barsrest.com Ltd