A jolly good-shaw indeed
Prior to ten to eight last Sunday [12 June], a fair number of the Boarshurst faithful were racking their brains as to whereabouts in Lancashire is Goodshaw. Prior to ten to eight this morning, a few might have whistled at least one of their fourteen pieces from their concert and had a rough idea of its location. Needless to say, they had a great time, and Goodshaw Band gave us a fantastic concert.
Not only a fantastic concert. It was one with a degree of gravitas as well as entertainment. A varied programme with a generous serving of topside beef alongside the freshly cooked vegetables and home made Yorkshire Pudding.
Behind the Cordon Bleu running order was a mix of experienced and new players, and their musical director, Joshua Hughes. Assuming the Brian Turner role with a baton, Mr. Hughes is no stranger to Boarshurst Silver Band, having previously played for them. At 23 years old, his record is enviable, having been the Musical Director for City of Chester Band and Coventry Festival Band.
Throughout the programme, most of the pieces chosen hadn’t been played in this year’s season of Sunday Brass concerts. As to what inspired his programme, we shall tell you later. Believe me, the Lancastrian fourth section band well and truly sated our appetites.
- March: Starburst (Dan Price);
- Overture: Lustspiele Ouverture (Kéler Béla);
- Principal Cornet solo (performed by Anne Taylor): All That I Am (William Himes);
- Light Concert Piece: Sweet Gingerbread Man (Michel Legrand);
- Contest March: Simoraine (Clive Barraclough);
- Film Music: Deborah’s Theme (from Once Upon a Time in America) (Ennio Morricone);
- Film Music: Butterflies in the Rain (from the film Butterflies in the Rain) (Al Bowlly).
- Classical Piece: Dies Irae (Giuseppe Verdi);
- Principal Euphonium Solo (performed by Philip Taylor): Lament from Stabat Mater (Dvorak, arr. Karl Jenkins);
- Medley: Selection from Oklahoma (Richards Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II, arr. Dennis Wright):
- I Can’t Say No;
- Out of My Dreams;
- The Surrey With the Fringe on Top;
- Oh What A Beautiful Morning;
- Many a New Day;
- People Will Say We’re in Love;
- Trombone Feature: Trombones on Broadway (Roger Barsotti);
- Light Concert Music: The Seal Lullaby (Eric Whitacre, arr. Alan Fernie);
- March: Finale from Pineapple Poll (Arthur Sullivan, arr. Geoffrey Brand).
- March: The Floral Dance (Derek Broadbent).
For the first of our feast of fourteen pieces (try saying that after a few beers!), we began with a rousing opening march. This time, Dan Price’s Starburst. Penned for the Greater Manchester Youth Brass Band in 2014, it was premiered two years ago at the Bridgewater Hall. It is billed on Mr. Price’s website as “an exciting concert opener which takes inspiration from the concept of stars being created.” Goodshaw’s performance lived up to the blurb.
Whilst in the heavens, this continued with Béla Kéler’s Lustspiel Ouverture. This was one of two items played by BMP (Europe) Goodshaw Band to have been played by previous visitors to Boarshurst this season. That of another Fourth Section band, Sale Brass (14 February). A glorious, well bodied overture it was too.
The third piece was our first soloist of the night. It was the turn of Principal Cornet player, Anne Taylor. Her playing of All That I Am had beautiful tone with a light, yet haunting timbre. The piece was written by William Himes, a Salvationist composer. He has toured with the Chicago Staff Band and has been Musical Director for the Salvation Army’s Central Territory.
For the fourth piece, we broached the subject of Brass Banding Guilty Pleasures. In other words, some high quality cheese. This came courtesy of Michel Legrand’s Sweet Gingerbread Man, a piece best suited for light brass band concerts (A Brass Bands for the Terrified piece though none-too-clichéd). As cheesiness goes, it was more like a good mature Cheddar instead of a pack of economy price cheese squares. It was a most delightful piece. Furthermore, Michel Legrand also wrote The Windmills Of Your Mind, which featured in the original release of The Thomas Crown Affair (1968).
The fifth piece was Goodshaw’s contest march, the oft-overlooked yet fantastic Simoraine by Clive Barraclough. Mr. Barraclough’s piece was written in 1997, with the title a portmanteau of his daughter’s names. The first part being the first four letters of Simone, and the last five letters of Lorraine. Surviving his father, Simon Barraclough has written a bittersweet piece about the making of Clive’s contest march entitled Remembering Simoraine.
From a well-loved contest march made in Huddersfield to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean (at least in celluloid form that is), we came to our first piece of film music. This time with what was our most minimalist piece of the night. From Once Upon a Time in America, Ennio Morricone’s Deborah’s Theme. With light volume and stripped down composition, Goodshaw Band’s treatment of the piece was immersive. It was also proof of how brass bands can do soft tones as well as bombastic works (which you may well agree with, if you think all hymns are best played on brass instruments).
For the last piece of the first half, we took a 743 to 1976. Then we dusted off the cobwebs of a piece that was purchased that year. 40 years later (with the 743 now the Witch Way X43 service), Goodshaw Band rediscovered the piece and played it in front of the Boarshurst faithful – its first public performance. The piece in question was Butterflies in the Rain, also used in the film sharing the same name from 1926.
As for the second half piece, well, what a contrast! This time, from Verdi’s Requiem, Dies Irae. It is a popular piece for orchestras and brass bands. The name translates into English as Day of Wrath. Besides brass banding, the piece has been covered by Sky (Herbie Flowers, Francis Monkman, John Williams, Tristan Fry in other words), and has been used to sell mid-market tabloid newspapers (who remembers the Today newspaper?).
The second piece of the second half saw our second soloist (try saying that with a lisp). On Principal Euphonium, Philip Taylor played the sensitive Lament from Stabat Mater. Arranged by Karl Jenkins from Dvorak’s religious cantata, Dvorak’s work is inspired by the text of the Stabat Mater, a 13th Century Catholic hymn.
For our pre-raffle piece, a degree of audience participation was required. Yes, it was time for us to sing before the box of Black Magic chocolates were claimed, alongside the two bottles of wine. Our challenge, a Selection from Oklahoma!, the well-loved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. By the time we got to the fourth song of the medley, Joshua could have been right in thinking our attempt at Oh What a Beautiful Morning was more Oscar The Grouch than Oscar Hammerstein the Second. The singing of which was interrupted by Josh (not being too impressed with the voices) with the chorus repeated three times.
After the comic interlude, and the drawing of Boarshurst Band Club’s Pink Drum of Destiny (an S.V. sobriquet for the raffle drum), came a trombone feature. The mere mention of ‘trombone feature’, as Josh said, conjures images of 76 Trombones. Au contraire… the trombone feature saw Goodshaw Band’s trio of trombonists play Trombones on Broadway. A delightful piece, far away from the usual clichés that Mr. Hughes had quashed.
For the penultimate non-encore piece of the night, a change of direction. This time with Eric Whitacre’s The Seal Lullaby. The piece is inspired by a Rudyard Kipling work which was originally slated for a film release (in the end, The Seal Lullaby never made it to the cinema). Eric Whitacre, alongside Karl Jenkins, Hans Zimmer, John Williams, and William Himes, is among a number of living composers whose works have transferred well to brass bands. Mr. Whitacre’s piece, arranged by Alan Fernie, neatly took us towards our (non-encore) finale.
For our last piece was the Finale from Pineapple Poll, composed by Arthur Sullivan (one half of Gilbert and Sullivan). Josh had stated how this piece was a familiar programme item in 1980s brass band concerts (back when the X43s had Ribble’s Timesaver livery and Leyland Leopard coaches). Pineapple Poll was first performed on the 13 March 1951 at Sadler’s Wells ballet theatre, and is based on the W.S. Gilbert book, The Bumboat Woman’s Story. It ended the excellent programme on an upbeat note.
As for the encore, we ended last night’s concert in exactly the same way as Denton Brass did the previous week. That of Derek Broadbent’s The Floral Dance. Unlike Denton Brass’ arrangement, there was a greater variation of tempo between slow and fast parts of the piece. Plus, Mr. Broadbent’s piece had been sightread by the band, which gave the piece a charm of its own.
For Josh Hughes, it was a welcome homecoming to Boarshurst Band Club. His well thought out and thoroughly researched programme (thanks in no small part to this blog) made for a most entertaining night. On some occasions, you had to ask yourself whether BMP (Europe) Goodshaw Band were a Section Four band. On face value, you could have been forgiven for thinking they were a Third Section band. Or second, even. With Joshua as musical director, they are definitely a brass band to watch out for.
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One other thing: as to where Goodshaw is, it is between Rawtenstall and Burnley, just off the A682. The hamlet is next door to Crawshawbooth village, which is on Transdev Lancashire’s X43 Witch Way bus route (from Manchester to Burnley and Nelson via the M66 motorway). In 1976, the year when the manuscripts for Butterflies in the Rain were purchased, it was the National Bus Company’s (Ribble Motor Services) 743 service, which also called at Bury. Two years later, it became today’s X43 service.
Next at the Boarshurst Band Club
For next week’s concert, Boarshurst Band Club will be entertaining Diggle Band. Besides being the most local band of the 2016 season to date, they performed well in the All English Masters contest at Kettering on the 29 May. Finishing fifth in Northamptonshire, they are now the 79th Best Brass Band in the World. The test piece that Sunday was Philip Sparke’s Cambridge Variations.
Their present Musical Director, Phil Goodwin, will be making his second visit of the Sunday Brass season, having been M.D. with Delph Band at the North West Regional Championship preview evening on the 21 February.
Diggle Band have come up in leaps and bounds since their return to brass banding in 2000. From 1926 to 2000, they were a brass band without a band, though with a band club to call their own. Today, their senior band is a First Section band, which is bolstered with a ‘B’ band and a training band.
For next Sunday, a good night is on the cards. Please arrive early to be sure of a seat.
Coming Soon: Sunday Youth Brass:
In addition to Boarshurst Band Club’s ever-popular Sunday Brass nights, this autumn sees the introduction of Sunday Youth Brass concerts. Starting on the 25 September, and falling on the last or next to last Sunday of the month, this aims to be a showcase for local youth bands. Concerts will start at 12.30 pm and finish at 2.30pm. The family-friendly times also enable you to get a good breakfast beforehand, or call into one of Greenfield’s public houses for a Sunday dinner.
Once we find out who’s doing the Sunday afternoon concerts, you will be the first to know on East of the M60.
- 180: Greenfield [Clarence Hotel] – Lees – Oldham – Hollinwood – Manchester [Oldham Street];
- 350: Ashton-under-Lyne – Mossley – Greenfield – Uppermill – Dobcross – Delph – Waterhead – Oldham.
Alight at Greenfield Conservative Club. Both services operated by First Greater Manchester.
Twitter details: @boarshurstband; #SundayBrass.
S.V., 13 June 2016.