An Hour with the Bands

The Concert Band and Brass Band came together on Sunday 5th November to put on a dazzling concert of band music in the Hall, led by bandmaster Richard Powell. The Brass Band opened the evening with an energetic rendition of Goff Richards’ Barnard Castle March, followed by Chorale & Rock-Out a playful “Baroque-‘n’-roll” pastiche of a Bach chorale. The Brass section finished their shift with Alan Fernie’s exciting and challenging St Andrews Variations.

After the interval, the woodwind section joined the brass on stage to form the much larger Concert Band. The second half commenced with Suppe’s Overture: Light Cavalry, a charismatic military march, followed by Vangelis’ classic theme from 1492: Conquest of Paradise.  One of the highlights of the show was having the privilege to perform and listen to a classic John Williams composition, An Evening at Pops, which involves the well-known Olympians’ March. Williams’ characteristic skill and playfulness is evident right the way through this film-inspired medley of miniature pieces. This was followed by Stanley Myers’ haunting yet beautiful Cavatina, made famous as the theme for The Deer Hunter (originally written for classical guitar, but here arranged for full concert band). The “Hour” was rounded off by an amalgamation of Aram Khachaturian’s classic Sabre Dance, an almost comically frantic character piece with an electrifying percussion part, segueing instantly into Ronan Hardiman’s arrangement of the thrilling and much-loved Lord of the Dance.

All in all, a highly enjoyable and successful concert with an enthralling and varied programme. Many thanks to Richard Powell and the school Concert and Brass Bands.

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