Here is the latest recording by the Band.

'Something 2 Celebrate' is a true reflection of the Band's philosopy in enjoying their music and is also a showcase of the very special talents of Wesley Kendrick, Dave Morgan and Simon Lesley.

For an unbiased opinion, read the review on

Special thanks must go to Geoffrey Poulton and Harlequin Recordings for their attention to detail, during the recordings in June 2002 at The Streetly School, Birmingham.

About the Programme...

A much-requested piece opens our recording - 'Mars', part of Gustav Holst's 'The Planets', was first performed in 1918 and from its opening, the full horror of mechanised warfare confronts us face to face in this bleakest of all tone poems. Its pace is unrelenting, unrepentant and merciless offering us no hope of redemption. This marvellous arrangement is by Stephen Roberts. 'Veni, Creator Spiritus', is the third movement from a piece called 'Fantasies for Band' - the full work being completed in only 5 days by the very talented David Morgan, is based on the plainchant melody of the same name. The slow-moving plainsong is accompanied by music that steadily increases in emotional intensity, until, following the final impassioned statement, the piece dies away to the quietest of endings. 2002 was the first year the band competed in the annual Whit Friday March Contests held around Saddleworth and Tameside, near Manchester, and Willam Rimmer's superb contest march, 'Ravenswood'' was our choice to play. Having played through wind, rain and cold, the band found itself, at 11.30pm, playing its last contest at Delph and coming 3rd out of 67 bands, 1/2 a point behind the famous Brighouse & Rastrick Band - a great result and memorable experience. The first arrangement by that master craftsman Wesley Kendrick now follows - 'Crimond', that most famous of hymns is given the full treatment - listen and enjoy. J.B.Arban was Professor of Cornet at the Paris Conservatoire in the 19th century and his 'Cornet Method' book is still regarded as the 'Bible' for all players. The 14 studies and 12 theme and variations with which the book ends, pose a formidable challenge even now. The most well-known of these challenges is 'Le Carneval de Venise' which is here given a completely new setting by Wesley Kendrick. Providing a stern test for the band accompaniments, it also highlights the sound and technique of the band's Principal Cornet, Paul White, for whom the piece was specially arranged. Two arrangements by Wesley Kendrick now follow. Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman had a big hit with the beautiful 'Con te Partiro' - 'Time to say Goodbye', and 'El Relicario', which is an unusual example of the Pasa Doble, in that it is in 3/4 time, not the usual 6/8 - but a foot-tapper nonetheless, especially with the added one-off percussionists, Julie Dale and Adrian Lacey. In March 2002, the Band became Midlands Area Champion Band (First Section) having given a wonderful performance of George Lloyd's, 'Royal Parks'. The middle movement, In Memoriam, was written in memory of bandsmen killed by terrorists in the 1982 bombing of London's Regent's Park bandstand. A quotation from Tchaikovsky's 'Pathetique' Symphony ushers in a sensitive but powerful arrangement of 'None but the Weary Heart' by Wesley Kendrick, featuring the band's terrific Flugel Horn Soloist, Jo Todd. A new friend of the band is the Norwegian musician, Torgny Hanson whose frightening arrangement of Dimitri Shostakovitch's 'Folk Dances', follows rather quickly! Kate Williams is the band's superb Euphonium Soloist and features here in John Golland's slow and enchantingly melodic, 'Peace'. One of the most successful films of recent times, 'Gladiator', has won many richly deserved awards, particularly for its music, here so cleverly arranged by Frank Bernaerts - the magnificent settings take you back to the Colosseum itself! 'Just My Imagination' (Running Away with Me), is probably the most popular song by The Temptations. Featuring the band's flugel and tenor horn section, this brilliant arrangement is by Simon Lesley.

The band's final piece is by James Curnow. 'Meditation - The New Covenant' is just the sort of spiritual, uplifting music with which to end this programme and fully encompass the band's feeling of 'Something 2 Celebrate'.

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