BCB returned to the lovely acoustic of the Adrian Boult Hall at Birmingham Conservatoire and were joined by the fantastic Dudley Bright (Principal Trombone of the London Symphony Orchestra). Dudley Bright needs little introduction to brass players and orchestral music enthusiasts as he holds the top chair at the LSO having previously played with the Halle and Philharmonia orchestras. He’s appeared on numerous film soundtracks (included two Star Wars films!) and has, of course, had a lifetime association with the Salvation Army and brass bands. This made him the perfect guest for this year’s concert.
During the afternoon BM Gavin Lamplough and guest soloist Dudley Bright worked with 30 youngster from around the West Midlands. They had heard about the concert and a masterclass through their school, brass band or Salvation Army junior band and it was a delight to see them rehearse and make such progress.
BCB opened the programme with the effervescent “Make His Praise Glorious” and this set the tone for a brilliant evening of music-making. Dudley Bright contributed one extended solo in the first half in his own composition “Life’s Command”. This was great music and it was clear from the extended applause that his playing was appreciated by audience and band. Dudley’s rich orchestral sound, flawless production and sublime phrasing was a delight for all to hear.
BCB ended the first half with Edward Gregson’s masterpiece “Variations on Laudate Dominum (Revised)” and the playing was greeted with rapturous applause.
The second half started with the band being joined by the 30 youngsters and they started with Andrew Mackereth’s energetic “Dance Like David”. This was followed by the massed bands, complete with fanfare Cornets and Trombones at the back of the stage, playing another of Dudley Bright’s compositions “In Good Company”. This was really appreciated by the audience and the young musicians did a wonderful job in preparing these two pieces in such a short space of time.
Dudley’s final two solos were the theme and variations (with a comical twist as the soloist kept the conductor on his toes!) “Thoughts of Love” by Arthur Pryor and the beautifully serene “Walk with God” by Ray Steadman-Allen. Dudley was accompanied on the piano by Vivienne Stone-Fewings for the second piece and the audience was still talking about Dudley’s last note the following day such was the control and beauty of it!
After a thought by Major Steve White (Birmingham Citadel) the band ended with a relatively new work: Steven Ponsford’s “Day of the Lord”. This is a cinematic score and the images on the screen certainly helped to portray the story behind the music to great effect. It was wonderfully played by the band, as had every other piece of music that evening, and it was a perfect ending to a perfect evening of music.
Photos: Graham Daff
1.Make His Praise Glorious (arr. Bill Gordon)
2.To Thy Cross I Come, Lord (Ivor Bosanko; arr. Ritman)
3.Let Everything Praise! (Martin Cordner)
4.Trombone Soloist Dudley Bright: Life’s Command (Dudley Bright)
5.Faith is the Victory (Sam Creamer)
6.Variations on “Laudate Dominum” (Revised) (Edward Gregson)
Youth Brass and BCB play....
7.Dance Like David (Andrew Mackereth)
8. Dudley Bright Conducts…In Good Company (Dudley Bright)
9.Vox Dilecti (Kenneth Downie)
10.Trombone Soloist Dudley Bright: Thoughts of Love (Arthur Pryor; arr. Bright)
11.Let there be Praise (arr. Barrie Gott)
12.Trombone Soloist Dudley Bright: Walk with Me (Ray Steadman-Allen)
Piano accompanist: Vivienne Stone-Fewings
13.The Day of the Lord (Steven Ponsford)
14.The Liberator (George Marshall)