Tuesday, 12 March 2013 22:43

Subscription Concert 2010

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Castletown Metropolitan Silver Band’s annual brass band workshop and finale concert was held over the weekend 18th – 21st February. This year the band were fortunate in obtaining the services of David Horsfield, who has a good brass band pedigree, having been principal solo cornet with Black Dyke, a member of the James Shepherd Versatile Brass and also a member of the Kings of Brass.

The weekend kicked off on the Thursday evening at the Castletown Methodist Church Hall, with David putting the band through its paces, no one escaped his eagle eye or ear! Again on the Friday evening we were busy rehearsing. Then it all turned a bit difficult due to the weather! On the Saturday morning, a rehearsal with members of the junior band was somewhat disrupted by the snow! David, not fazed by the weather carried on regardless, with reduced numbers, and the juniors had a grand time, rehearsing Radetzky March and football song Here We Go. All who managed to attend were very upbeat after the rehearsal. The weather improved and allowed the Saturday evening rehearsal to proceed, which was followed by a social event and bunfight. A big thanks must go to our own (thankfully not) naked chef, Simon, for providing enough curry and chilli to feed 3 bands!


Unfortunately, the weather had again closed in on Sunday morning meaning that a considerable number of players were unable to make the scheduled rehearsal at Castle Rushen High School. Rodney Evans, the band’s resident musical director was worried. We anticipated performing the concert in the afternoon with only half a band. Carry on regardless was the motto for the day! Players were quickly shuffled around so that key positions were covered. Thankfully by the time the concert commenced, the weather had slightly improved, meaning that a few more players were able to get to the concert. Notably missing, principal cornet Brian Osborn was trapped in his igloo in Ramsey, and principal cornet position was undertaken by Lois Watterson, who proved a sound and confident replacement.


The concert opened with a rousing rendition of the march Father Rhine by Paul Lincke to be followed by the Eric Ball epic, Indian Summer. This piece was one of the main works undertaken during the weekend and both pieces were conducted by David. Rodney then conducted Carnival of Venice, a cornet solo performed by his son Jason Evans from Cheetham School of Music in Manchester. 

The performance went extremely well and the audience were very impressed. Both Indian Summer and Carnival of Venice certainly pushed the band somewhat, however the band members all felt a sense of achievement!


Moving on, David then conducted the band in a euphonium solo, Softly As I Leave You, with the solo part being played by the bands own euphonium player Pat Collins, who again performed to a very high standard.


The concert concluded with the Barry Manilow favourite, One Voice, with the lead euphonium part being taken by a young member of the band, Marie Weale.


The concert was compered by Mr Ian Cottier of Manx Radio’s Time for Brass, who added his usual wit and humour to the proceedings.


The entire weekend has been about increasing the musical ability of the band members, and also developing the younger players for the band’s future. The objectives of the weekend have been fully achieved with all members of the band gaining benefit from the experience.


Rodney thanked David for his patience and understanding and also for his expertise in teaching and drawing out music from band members. Rodney also thanked Ian Cottier for his help with the weekend’s organisation and the Arts Council for underwriting the weekend.


The Castletown Metropolitan Silver Band look forward to holding future workshops and events with David Horsfield.


Now it’s back to the bandroom, all inspired!


Report by Simon Court 4th March 2010


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