This recording is a first!
Aided by their guests, Students from the Arthur Terry School, Mere Green, Sutton Coldfield and with funds provided by an 'Home Front Recall' lottery grant, the Band offer up a celebration and commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War 2 - BACK to the 40's.
Featuring many of your favourites from that era, it also features two world premieres from Wesley Kendrick - 'Songs That Won the War', and Variations on the 'Beer Barrel Polka' - a fiendish Euphonium Solo. Click here to hear samples of all the tracks on the CD.
About the Programme...
“We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender........” Winston Churchill, June 4th 1940
We start with music from a war film, based on the true story of 617 Squadron, using the famous ‘bouncing bombs’ invented by Barnes Wallis - the famous Dam Busters March, by Eric Coates, beginning with the start-up of the engines of a Lancaster bomber.
The first soloist is the Band’s Solo Trombone, Richard Wigley who’s mastery of the instrument is delightfully shown in Howard Snell’s arrangement of A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.
One of the major ideas behind this recording was to introduce today’s generation to some wartime hits and it was an experience to hear a fresh slant on those favourites. Here is Glenn Miller Special with Carly Taylor (‘In the Mood’), Charlotte Head (‘Moonlight Serenade’) and Rachel Houslin (‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’) - all students at the Arthur Terry School, Sutton Coldfield.
An organisation ever associated with Rememberance is the Royal British Legion and next is the British Legion March. Wesley Kendrick is the Band’s Composer-in-Residence and a wonderful musician, which is amply demonstrated in his brilliant arrangement of American Patrol. From a trilogy of pieces under the banner of ‘Frankly Speaking’ arranged by Mark Freeh, is I’ve Got You Under My Skin, performed in her own special way by the Band’s Flugel Horn player, Jo Todd. Duke Ellington, under the arranging pen of Steve Sykes, comes alive in the mesmeric Caravan, featuring Richard Wigley again on Trombone.
The students are back - this time with Darrol Barry’s arrangement of Keep Smiling Through, with Josh Tonks (‘The Army, The Navy and the Air Force’), Abigail Wells (‘Yours’), Joshua Longhorne and Izaak Rushton (‘Lilli Marlene’), Bethany O’Neil (‘White Cliffs of Dover’) and Carly Taylor (‘We’ll Meet Again’).
“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” Winston Churchill, August 20th 1940
Film music again - this time from one of the most lavish war films ever made. Ron Goodwin’s stirring title track from Battle of Britain.
The first premiered work by Wesley Kendrick is Variations on the ‘Beer Barrel Polka’, which was specially written for this CD and the Band’s Solo Euphonium player, Mark Glover. Wesley has produced a truly remarkable piece - and one which demands a remarkable player to perform it.
The Cornet Section is featured in Ray Woodfield’s arrangement of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, which is followed by the second new work by Wesley Kendrick - Songs That Won the War. A brilliant collection of popular war songs ending with the hero’s return, church bells ringing and a dash of ‘Dads Army’ thrown in for good measure!
Amy Hextell, from the Arthur Terry School, is the exquisite soloist in Philip Sparke’s arrangement of I Vow to Thee My Country. The 60th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War is a time for reflection and contemplation of the battles won and the lives lost. Here is Nightfall in Camp - the hymn ‘Lead, Kindly Light’ with Paul White, Principal Cornet performing the ‘Last Post’.
“ God bless you all. This is your victory! ... In all our long history we have never seen a greater day than this.” Winston Churchill, 8th May 1945
Finally to end our tribute and our journey BACK to the 40’s, this is the majestic Pomp & Circumstance March No. 1 by Edward Elgar.
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