monday, 26 january 2015

I am adding to my tweets about the RNCM Festival of Brass to thank everyone who contributed to making the weekend such a success. I didn't have room to congratulate the soloist principals from Black Dyke and Grimethorpe. How you guys perform these huge concertos and soloists as well as leading the band from the end chairs is amazing! Richard, Gary, Iain, Mike and Phillipe - many thanks.All the bands were on top form and each concert had some truly remarkable performances..Black Dyke's Trumpets of the Angels was thrilling, Fairey's Blackfriars revealed a lovely neglected piece, Tredegar launched Gavin Higgins' Dark Arteries with great authority, Mark O'Keefe and Foden's and Bramwell Tovey (to whom many, many thanks also) premiered BT's new trumpet concerto in fantastic style. And what about the RNCM/Gourlay's revival of Salford Toccata  - absolutely wonderful, revealing for the first time I think the genius of the piece. Cory's Ragtimes and Habaneras was as stylish as I've ever heard it...and thanks for playing my little arrangement of Frank Bridge Lament, guys...While Iain Culross, Bob Childs and Grimethorpe were hugely impressive in the Howarth Cornet Concerto, the highlight for me was Elgar Howarth returning to the Grimethorpe podium for conduct a touching and very emotional encore - his American Dream...Hardly a dry eye in the house and a wonderful way to finish the festival.Many thanks to Edward Gregson, Elgar Howarth and all the composers for enriching the band repertoire with their writing, to Band of the King's Division for presenting some new repertoire, to the RNCM Brass Ensemble and the RNCM Junior Brass Band for their excellent contributions. What a weekend! Can't wait for next year...29-31 January.

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