Tuesday, 12 March 2013 23:03

Wire Brass Concert

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An audience of over 150 were given a treat on Saturday 10th April at Castle Rushen High School when Bactiguard Wire Brass and guest soloist Glyn Williams performed a gala concert. The band had been invited to the island by Castletown Metropolitan Silver Band who joined Wire Brass on stage for 2 pieces during the concert.

During the day, a number of players from Wire Brass gave their time to brass and percussion players from across the island in workshops, explaining and helping the players with warm up techniques, breath control and ensemble playing. This was followed by a rehearsal with Castletown Band of the 2 pieces they would be playing jointly during the evening.

The concert in the evening started off in a traditional way with an opening fanfare, Also Sprach Zarathustra, followed by the march The Wizard and an overture The Land of the Mountain and the Flood. Then came the first of Glyn Williams’s appearances, for which he played the euphonium solos Rule Brittania and Myfanwy, both of which were warmly received by the audience. Wire Brass then followed this I’ll Walk With God arranged by Goff Richards and a piece composed by one of their solo cornet players, James Hatton, Of Might And Mystery.

At this point the band left the stage so that extra seats could be added, allowing them to be joined by Castletown for the last 2 pieces before the interval. The chosen pieces were the hymn tune Crofton which had local connections, being composed by Dr Henry Clague, a local physician, and arranged by Les Hartill, a former member of Castletown Band. This was conducted by Rodney Evans the Castletown musical director. The second was the piece March from the Pines of Rome, conducted by Paul Andrews, musical director of Wire Brass. This was a rousing end to the first half and a wonderful experience for the players from Castletown.

Following the interval Wire Brass came back to the stage but in a different layout with the full cornet line standing at the back of the band to entertain the audience with a big band style performance. This started with God Put a Smile On Your face followed by a cornet solo, Cry Me a River as sung by Michael Buble, by Wire Brass principal cornet player, Mike Jones. Then Glyn Williams came back to the stage for his second stint. He started this showing his vocal capabilities by singing Have You Met Miss Jones, made famous by both Frank Sinatra and latterly Robbie Williams. Then came the highlight of the night. Glyn played The New Grandfathers Clock, which started with him playing the euphonium, and finishing off with a kitchen sink after having played every instrument in the band! A real crowd pleaser.

The band then kept the excitement going, playing Malaguena followed by a version of Sparkling Diamonds and finishing with the Irish spectacular, River Dance. Unfortunately for the audience, who had enjoyed a wonderfully entertaining programme that brought the concert to an end. However, I think everyone went home happy.

Thanks must go to Ian Cottier for sharing the compering with Paul Andrews, and to the Arts Council for their assistance.

I know the players from the Castletown band are looking forward to welcoming Wire Brass back to the island sometime soon.

Report by Brian Osborn 22/05/2010

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