Funeralcare Band North West in fine form at Atherton
2:20pm Friday 22nd March 2013 in North West
BRASS music fans were treated to a high quality concert when the Co-operative Funeralcare Band North West from Crewe performed at the Formby Hall.
Conducted by Jef Sparkes the band delivered a highly entertaining programme.
The first half began with Peter Graham’s ‘Prelude on Tallis’ which the Band had played two weeks previously at the wedding of two of its percussionists, Hannah Edwards and Dan Baldwin. This was followed by the first solo of the evening by principal cornet player Mike Jones who gave a beautiful rendition of ‘Tango’ - the first time this slow and melodic arrangement of a Gardel piece by Peter Graham had been played live by the Band but it came across well.
‘The Contestor’ featured next in the programme and the soprano and principal cornets sounded particularly impressive. A change of mood followed with Norwegian Kjerulf's 'Love Song' arranged by Tom Brevik.
This piece had been played at the wedding of Sarah and Jef Sparkes. A second solo featured 17 year old Dan Morgan on euphonium who played Peter Graham’s ‘Bravura’ in fine style. Dan is currently the principal euphonium player with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.
The first half ended with two Paul Lovatt Cooper numbers, ‘Fire in the Blood’ and ‘When Thunder Calls’. The first piece was highlighted by Sarah Sparkes on flugel horn and the second gave each section of the Band the chance to shine in turn.
The second half began with the Band's signature tune ‘Valero’ arranged by Sandy Smith and was followed by three film numbers the first two arranged by Darrol Barry; ‘For Your Eyes Only’ that featured some lovely flugel horn playing and ‘Nobody Does It Better’ that featured solo trombonist Claire Dixon. The third was a Sandy Smith arrangement of James Horner’s ‘Mask of Zorro’ a very atmospheric number with a Spanish sound.
A change of mood came with Goff Richards' arrangement ‘I’ll Walk With God’ and Broadhead’s arrangement of the hymn ‘Deep Harmony’. There was nothing melancholy about the Band's final number which was full of panache, loud and exciting - Peter Graham’s ‘Phoenix’ from War of the Worlds.
The next Brass Band concert at Formby Hall will be on Sunday, April 21 and will feature Flixton Brass Band. Doors open 7pm for a 7.30pm start.
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