Emphasis on entertainment pays off for Harrison and Co.

With only a few days to go till the Durham Miners’ Gala, Trimdon Brass put themselves on a firm footing for The Big Meet. At Boarshurst Band Club last night, they gave its live audience a most entertaining programme. It was a bright and breezy programme with a few classic pieces, with songs from stage and screen, and some superb solo performances. 

Trimdon Brass were formed in 1870 as the Thornley Colliery Band. They were founder members of the Durham Brass Band League. In the 1990s, they changed their name to Trimdon Concert Brass. As their brass banding community includes a training band, they changed their name to Trimdon Brass.

Over the last five years, they have risen from the Fourth Section to the Second Section. Their present-day Musical Director William Anderson has been MD since 2018. His wife Katie also plays flugelhorn. Also linked with the band (and in attendance last night) is Steve Robson, who arranged some of last night’s pieces. He has also written a thesis on George Allan, the Shildon born composer of Knight Templar and The Wizard.

Halfway through the first half, their Musical Director said his aim was to entertain audiences. With a well thought out programme, he accomplished his mission.

The Programme

First Half

  1. March: Star Lake (Eric Ball)
  2. Cornet Solo (performed by Lindsey): First Light (Ben Hollings)
  3. Musical Piece Medley (from The Greatest Showman): Medley from The Greatest Showman (Benj Pasek/Justin Paul, arr. Paul Murtha)
  4. Flugelhorn Solo (performed by Katie Harrison): Tears in Heaven (Eric Clapton/Will Jennings, arr. Steve Robson)
  5. Hymn: Prelude on Lavenham (Geoffrey Nobes)
  6. Cornet Solo (performed by Hannah): I Dreamed a Dream (Michael Schoenberg, arr. Darrol Barry)
  7. Original Piece: Lovely Jubilee (Gavin Somerset)

Second Half

  1. March: Sons of the Brave (Thomas Bidgood)
  2. Hymn: Love Unknown (John Ireland, arr. Steve Robson) – dedicated to Dennis.
  3. Baritone Solo (performed by Jeff): Slipping Through My Fingers (Bjorn Ulvaeus/Benny Andersson, arr. Alan Fernie)
  4. Light Concert Music: Crazy Music in the Air (Jacob de Haan)
  5. Medley: Albion Treasures (Various, arr. Gavin Somerset)
  6. Trombone Solo (performed by Phil): Wind Beneath My Wings (Larry Henley/Jeff Silbar, arr. Darrol Barry)

Encore

  • Popular Music: Bohemian Rhapsody (Freddie Mercury, arr. Alan Fernie) 

This is me… on flugelhorn

We opened the piece with a nice, easy march. That of Eric Ball’s Star Lake, a popular one with lower section bands. It is inspired by the Salvation Army camp and conference centre in Bloomingdale, New Jersey. If you only thought Eric Ball wrote some of the greatest test pieces, think again. A nice, easy start. 

Next up was our first soloist of the night: enter Lindsey on principal cornet with First Light. This original piece was composed by Ben Hollings and written for Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band’s Principal Cornet player, Kirsty Abbotts. It also forms part of her solo album, A Search For Peace. The First Light depicts the first light of the morning. Brilliant performance by Lindsey.

For our third piece, we took to the stage with our first medley of the night. Opening our trio of medleys is the Medley from The Greatest Showman. This arrangement includes This Is Me (the musical’s best known song and a worldwide smash hit), its title song, A Million Dreams, From Now On and Never Enough. This was a new one to my ears and a welcome addition to any thematic stage and screen concert programme. Fantastic stuff.

Next up was our second soloist of the night, Katie. This time with a Steve Robson arrangement of Eric Clapton’s Tears In Heaven on flugelhorn. A popular piece in funerals, it was co-written by the singer-songwriter with Will Jennings after the death of his four-year-old son Conor. It was also used in a film called Rush, an American crime drama. A lovely performance.

After the second soloist of the night was our first hymn of the night. A fairly modern day concert staple in Geoffrey Nobes’ Prelude on Lavenham. It is based on Reverend Nick Fawcett’s hymn. The arranger was formerly Bandmaster of Portsmouth Citadel Band, one who is still composing today. With Trimdon Brass’ performance, you could see why it is a well loved piece. Brilliant.

For the penultimate piece of this half, we swapped Southsea and Fratton for Broadway and the West End. This time with I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables. Apart from being our second musical piece of the night, this was also the second cornet solo of the night. This time with the band’s usual repiano cornet player Hannah. As well being heard early in the musical, it also changed the life of Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent in June 2009. Her performance was as cathartic as that scene in Les Mis and a real highlight of this concert.

With 2022 being Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth the Second’s Platinum Jubilee year, it was rude to let this occasion go amiss with our final piece of this half. Closing the first half was Gavin Somerset’s Lovely Jubilee, written for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. This likeable medley includes Men of Harlech, Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia, and On Ilkla Moor Baht’at (as Mr. Somerset is a Sheffield lad, it is rude not to add this piece). Great stuff.

“Any way the wind blows…”

As with the first half, we opened the second half with a march. This time with Sons of the Brave, Thomas Bidgood’s best known march, written in 1898. For several years, it was the Regimental (School) Quick March of the Duke of York’s Royal Military School in Dover. The school didn’t accept its first civilian pupils till 2010, when it gained Academy status. Another great performance.

Our next piece was another hymn – a popular one you hear at hymn and march contests like the Brighouse one next week. That of the excellent Love Unknown by John Ireland. Though the hymn is best heard in a solemn, contemplative outdoor setting, Steve Robson’s arrangement works well in a Band Club setting. With Trimdon Brass’ performance, this was all to see, live and on screen. Brilliant stuff, and an excellent tribute to a lost friend of the band.

This was followed by the fourth solo of the night, this time with Jeff on the baritone horn. His piece was an ABBA song that had a second wind in the Mamma Mia! film and musical franchise. One that is for my money, the most tear-jerking and sensitive song on their 1981 LP The Visitors. If you guessed Slipping Through My Fingers, there’s an imaginary gold star and a drawing of a smiley teacher face with a perm heading your way. In the original LP, the song looks at a child’s first day at primary school. In the 2008 film, it is in a scene where Donna helps her daughter Sophie with her wedding. Jeff’s performance was another cracker.

From ABBA we moved on to more traditional brass banding territory with Jacob de Haan’s Crazy Music in the Air. On introducing the piece, Mr. Harrison said it was one you heard quite a lot in 1980s and 1990s concerts. It is a piece of two halves with a choral first half and a bossanova in the second half. According to Pennine Music’s website it was made popular by Black Dyke Mills Band, who added de Haan’s piece to their concert programme many times. A lovely diversion.

Next up was our second Gavin Somerset piece of the night and our third and final medley. Albion Treasures does exactly what it says on the tin: a treasure trove of British music including Highland Cathedral (which was written by a German composer!), Amazing Grace and Dear Lord and Father of Mankind. Another enjoyable piece well played.

The final piece of the night (well the penultimate one actually, as the Final Piece bit was used as a plot device for The Mean and Keen Boarshurst Stream Team) was our final solo. Enter on trombone Phil, with his solo of Wind Beneath My Wings. The song was written by Larry Henley and Jeff Silbar as a country and western song. After a few false starts, success came to the songwriters when it was covered by Bette Midler in 1988. Her version was used in the film Beaches, and the rest they say… Double Chemistry.

In 2002, it was found to be the most requested song in British funerals. To comic effect, Peter Kay’s Brian Potter character sung it as Wind Beneath My Wheels in an episode of Phoenix Nights. A beautiful ending to the concert.

Strictly speaking, the true finale was a song that Kenny Everett played several times before it topped the UK singles chart for nine weeks. If you guessed Bohemian Rhapsody, put another gold star on your exercise book. Queen’s best known song has picked up four platinum discs, being Number One twice in 1975 and 1991. Apart from getting yours truly to repeat the head banging scene from Wayne’s World, it was a great piece to finish on.

*                  *                  *

For Trimdon Brass, this was their first ever visit to Boarshurst Band Club. Hopefully the first of many as they deserve to been seen by a bigger audience at the Band Club. If you like your concerts straightforward and entertaining, Trimdon Brass fit the bill.

Next up at Boarshurst Band Club…

Our next concert at Boarshurst Band Club is on the 3rd July. This is the same day as the Brighouse Hymn and March Contest, the first since 2019.  On that day, Silk Brass will be heading over from Macclesfield. With Tony Wyatt at the wheel, another great night awaits us. That’s at 7.30 pm with doors open from 6.30 pm.  Please arrive early to be sure of a good seat.

On the Saturday before then, the 2nd July, our very own Boarshurst Silver Band are in concert with World Champion Whistler David Morris.  Starting at 7.30 pm, that’s at Uppermill Civic Hall, admission is £8.00 or £6.00 for concessions with tickets available from Boarshurst Band Club.

Buses:

  • 350: Ashton-under-Lyne – Mossley – Greenfield – Uppermill – Dobcross – Delph – Waterhead – Oldham.

Alight at the former Greenfield Conservative Club. The 350 is operated by First Greater Manchester. Please note that after 7pm its evening journeys are operated by Stagecoach Manchester.

For the Uppermill Civic Hall concert, please note that due to roadworks on part of its route in Dobcross, most 350s will not serve Uppermill. Evening journeys operated by Stagecoach Manchester will serve Uppermill, albeit with a diversion via Delph and Lydgate along Platting Road.

Twitter details: @boarshurstband; #SundayBrass.

Website: www.boarshurstband.co.uk.

S.V., 27 June 2022.

One thought on “Trimdon Brass: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club (26 June 2022)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s