Music from the Big Stage: Boarshurst Silver Band’s Broadway Spectacular

Showstopping performance made for a memorable night

The 02 July finished with a most memorable concert from Boarshurst Silver Band. Repeating the success of last year’s Hollywood themed summer concert, it was another multimedia experience. Coupled with a virtuoso performance from the band, the visuals worked to great effect. There was also three stunning songs, from the voice of Georgina Hulme. Oh, and this fellow, your reviewer, was the Master of Ceremonies. Fresh from the Brighouse Hymn and March Contest.

As with last year’s film orientated theme, this was a fundraiser for the National Finals. For Boarshurst Silver Band, this will take place on the 16 September at The Centaur Suite at Cheltenham Racecourse. Like last summer, this was the hottest ticket in Saddleworth, and a sell out at that. For the first half of the concert, His Worshipful, the Mayor of Oldham, Shadab Qumer was in attendance. As he had another engagement he, regrettably, couldn’t see last night’s performance in full.

Act I

  1. Introduction: Hollywood (Goff Richards);
  2. Les Miserables: I Dreamed a Dream (Michael Schoenberg, arr. Darrol Barry);
  3. Chicago: All That Jazz (John Kander/Fred Ebb, arr. Alan Morrison);
  4. The Bodyguard: I Have Nothing (sung by Georgina Hulme);
  5. The Music Man: 76 Trombones (Meredith Wilson, arr. Alan Fernie);
  6. The Sound of Music: Edelweiss (Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, arr. Edrich Siebert);
  7. West Side Story: Suite from West Side Story (Leonard Bernstein, arr. Eric Crees), including:
    • Prologue;
    • Mambo
    • Cha Cha;
    • Cool;
    • America;
    • Somewhere.

Act II

  1. Girl Crazy: I Got Rhythm (George Gershwin, arr. Alan Fernie);
  2. The Wizard of Oz: Over The Rainbow (Harold Arlen/Edgar Yipsel Harburg, arr. Goff Richards);
  3. Annie Get Your Gun: There’s No Business Like Showbusiness (Irving Berlin, arr. Goff Richards);
  4. Grease: Hopelessly Devoted to You (sung by Georgina Hulme);
  5. Singin’ in the Rain: Singin’ in the Rain (Arthur Freed/Nacio Herb Brown, arr. Rieks van der Velde);
  6. The Phantom of the Opera: All I Ask of You (Andrew Lloyd-Webber/Charles Hart/Richard Stilgoe, arr. Alan Fernie);
  7. Mamma Mia!: Thank ABBA for the Music (sung by Georgina Hulme);
  8. Moulin Rouge: Sparkling Diamonds (Jule Styne/Leo Robin – as Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend, arr. Sandy Smith).

“42 years on, closer to Broadway in Chadderton…”

We opened the first act with Goff Richards’ Hollywood. Our choice of introduction music was written as a test piece for Third Section bands. Fitting in with the rest of the night, its vibe was more Hollywood than Hollinwood. Plus it gave the audience a foretaste of what was ahead of them for the next fifteen pieces.

The next piece came from one of Britain’s most popular musicals, one that became a highly-acclaimed film in 2013. Based on a novel by Victor Hugo and (as we found in 2009, a nice little pension plan for Susan Boyle) was Les Miserables. This time with one of its best known numbers I Dreamed a Dream. After the montage of clips from various musicals, the one for this had clips from Les Mis. This would set the tone for the other fourteen pieces, each clip spliced and synchronised with Boarshurst’s players. A good piece; one suitable enough for a solo work.

Whereas Les Miserables was inspired by the little people’s struggle over their well shod fellows, we turned our focus to Prohibition era Chicago with a piece from Chicago. Originally written as a satirical play on the celebrity status of criminals and corruption in the US judicial system, it became a highly successful musical. Guaranteed to give anyone a Type 2 Earworm weeks after its performance is All That Jazz. Suffice to say Boarshurst Silver Band succeeded in doing that with yours truly, with another fine performance.

Giving the band a well deserved rest (apart from its flugelhorn player) was the fourth piece of the night. Normally at that point in any concert programme where we introduce our first soloist. This time, the first of three songs of the night sung by flugelhorn player, Georgina Hulme. She gave a superb performance of the Whitney Houston song, I Have Nothing. Apart from the cover of Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You (by the same artiste), the best known song from The Bodyguard.

The Bodyguard was a highly successful 1992 film directed by Mick Jackson. His other credits include A Very British Coup (based on a left-wing Prime Minister’s rise to power, set in Sheffield) and Threads (also set in Sheffield but before, during, and after a nuclear attack). In 2012, the stage version of The Bodyguard premiered at the Adelphi Theatre, London. As for the stage version of Threads, don’t go there.

Our next piece came from The Music Man. In the musical production its main characters feature a conman, a prim librarian, and several brass banding types – largely clad in red and gold. From the musical, we were treated to its most famous piece, 76 Trombones. A popular light concert piece, well played to the synchronised strains of several red and gold brass banding types on screen.

This was followed by a piece about a small white flower and a captain’s nostalgia for Austrian values. Well, high mountains and lonely goatherds instead of elderly women on bicycles riding past village greens staging cricket matches. En route to a field of wheat. The piece in question was Edelweiss, one of many well known pieces from the record-breaking musical and film, The Sound of Music. It was beautifully played and – like the second piece of this half – could be a good soloist’s piece. The soundtrack album was in the UK Album Chart for three years and Number One twelve times.

We rounded off the first half with a medley. A medley from West Side Story. The musical’s modern day take on Romeo and Juliet is set in New York City instead than Verona. Instead of the Montagues and the Capulets, two street gangs: the Jets and the Sharks. This, in bite size forms, included the popular numbers written by Leonard Bernstein. Like America, Cha Cha, and Somewhere. A very good climax, leaving everyone in the mood for interval drinks and an epic second act.

I got rhythm, plus two boxes of chocolates and a bottle of wine in the Moonlit Raffle

After the first Moonlit Raffle in Greenfield since January 1974, we started the second half with a bouncy number from Girl Crazy. That of George Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm. For some people, the song is better known than the musical it came from. Girl Crazy follows the fortunes of Danny Churchill, who is sent to manage his family’s ranch in Custerville. After being told to turn his attention away from wine and women, he didn’t listen, and did the opposite.

Our next piece has been played a few times in the Boarshurst Band Club, especially as a solo piece. Instead of Custerville, our focus was switched to Kansas and a yellow brick road. That of Over The Rainbow, the most famous song from The Wizard of Oz. The MGM film was based on the novel by Lyman Frank Baum, a science fiction writer and newspaper editor. It opened a lot of doors for Judy Garland, and inspired two other versions of The Wizard of Oz. In 1978, there was The Wiz, with songs by Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. Then, similarly successful, it spawned Wicked – a version of The Wizard of Oz told from the witch’s point of view.

After a most delightful performance, we traded in the ruby slippers for a pistol. Well, Annie Oakley’s to be precise. One of the most famous and best appreciated songs from Annie Get Your Gun is by far There’s No Business Like Show Business. For many people, Ethel Mermen’s version, in its original form, is the yardstick (and, yes, she did do a disco version). In the 1986 UK tour of the stage musical, Suzi Quatro was Annie Oakley.

In the same year when Ms. Quatro had hits with If You Can’t Give Me Love and Stumblin’ In (with Smokie’s Chris Norman), a rather obscure musical film did the rounds at the Oldham ODEON and ABC cinemas. The musical film in question was Grease, and the year was 1978. Summer Nights and You’re The One That I Want were Number One singles on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Both featured Sandra Dee (Olivia Newton-John) and Danny Zuko (John Travolta). Assuming the guise of Saddleworth’s very own Sandra Dee was the vocal talents of Georgina Hulme with Hopelessly Devoted to You.

After a superb performance of the Olivia Newton-John song, we moved on to another concert favourite. One that really came to life with footage from a Gene Kelly film. That of the title track from Singin’ in the Rain. Many of us reading this would remember the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special sketch. Or George Sampson’s dance to Mint Royale’s remix on Britain’s Got Talent.

This was followed by one of the best known songs from The Phantom of the Opera: that of All I Ask of You. In the musical, it appears at the end of Act I. Originally sung by Sarah Brightman in the West End production, it was a UK Number 3 single for Ms. Brightman with Cliff Richard (October 1986). The Phantom of the Opera was based on the Gaston Leroux novel, inspired by events at the Paris Opera, and the use of a former ballet pupil’s skeleton in Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz (The Freeshooter, 1841). Before its publication as a complete novel in 1910, it was serialised and it inspired a 1925 film starring Lou Chaney.

For the penultimate item of our programme, we moved away from Box 5 to a sun kissed Greek island. This time, our third and final song from Georgina Hulme. Inspired by Mamma Mia! (the stage musical), was Thank ABBA For The Music. It original release in 1999 song coincided with the stage musical’s West End arrival. On the original song, we had Steps, B’witched, Tina Cousins, Billie, and Cleopatra. Complete with improvised cigarette lighters (well, LED candles and lighting, courtesy of the band and the 10-year-old smoking ban), a fantastic performance by Georgina.

Closing the concert was a piece inspired by Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. In fact, it was originally used in the film and known as Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend. Rearranged for Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge!, Sparkling Diamonds rounded off proceedings. All in all, a great concert and a very tight programme.

Music From The Big Stage

A Boarshurst Silver Band production, 2017.

Boarshurst Silver Band were supported by:

  • Musical Director: James Garlick;
  • Presenter: Stuart Vallantine;
  • Solo Singer: Georgina Hulme;
  • Special Guest: Shadab Qumer, His Worshipful, the Mayor of Oldham;
  • Video Editing: Liam Welsh, Nathan Edge, Keith Welsh;
  • Graphic Design: Liam Welsh, Nathan Edge, Keith Welsh;
  • Catering: Linda Finan.

Next up…

At The World Famous Boarshurst Band Club on the 09 July will be Glossop Old Band. One of the world’s oldest brass bands, they were crowned the Midland Area Second Section Champions early this year. Like our fellows from Boarshurst Silver and Delph bands, Glossop Old Band will be following them to Cheltenham in September.

Their Musical Director, Duncan Beckley, is a familiar face as a contest adjudicator. He was born in London and gained an interest in school music lessons after being thrown out of a Maths class. In 1976, he was in the bass section of Wakefield Youth Band. He has previously played flugelhorn, and the first band he conducted was Warren Youth. Then he moved on to Newstead Band.

On the 12 March 2017, he joined Glossop Old Band. On the strength of previous concerts with Glossop, we could be in for a good night. This will be back to our usual start time of 8pm.

Buses:

  • 180: Greenfield [Clarence Hotel] – Lees – Oldham – Hollinwood – Manchester [Oldham Street];
  • 350: Ashton-under-Lyne – Mossley – Greenfield – Uppermill – Dobcross – Delph – Waterhead – Oldham.

Alight at the former Greenfield Conservative Club. Both services operated by First Greater Manchester.

Twitter details: @boarshurstband#SundayBrass.

Website: www.boarshurstband.co.uk.

S.V., 03 July 2017.

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