AN EVENING OF MUSIC WITH OLD HALL BRASS SOUTHPORT LITTLE THEATRE - 16.06.2013 - Review by Peter Elliott
Published in Band News on 2013-06-29 by Old Hall Brass
Karen and I arrived at the theatre where there was already a sizeable crowd gathered. On looking at the program of music, it became clear to me that I wasn't familiar with most of the pieces that the band were going to play. all that changed as they played each piece and I realised that I did know them (but not all the titles).
The evening got off with the band playing O.R.B (Oldham Rifle Brigade) which they played seven times at the Whit Friday marches in Tameside, so they should now be good at playing this piece (which they were!). One thing you do notice with Old Hall Brass is how much they enjoy playing together. The audience realised this and were very appreciative towards the end of the piece.
The second piece was La Forza del Destino (The Force of Destiny). This is one of three contest pieces that the band played on Sunday. The stand out features of the test pieces are the technicality and the length of the piece (around 12 minutes) and I must say that every band member played their part in this sterling performance.
Next came Perhaps Love, featuring a duet by Cath Singleton on Euphonium and Sue Sudworth on Baritone. Both players and instruments complimented each other very well, perfectly accompanied by the rest of the band.
Fourth piece of the night was one that I and many other males of my age eagerly awaited THUNDERBIRDS. I am sure I wasn't the only one taken back to my youth as I listened to this vibrant performance.
Let Me Try Again was the next piece featuring a Soprano Cornet solo by Debbie Williams. It amazes me when I hear the sounds that Debbie produces during her solo. A definite hair on the back of the neck moment. Again impeccably backed up by the rest of the band.
Onto the second test piece of the evening, Hollywood! I really enjoyed listening to this as it had varying tempos and styles throughout the piece. Again it was around 12 minutes long so the band had a well deserved break whilst the audience refreshed themselves.
First piece after the break was another Dad's favourite, Dambusters, Normally sung and acted out by many after a night out. You could see that the band enjoyed playing this piece.
Next it was one from the musicals, Don't Cry For Me Argentina, featuring Colin Campbell on Solo Cornet. This was a slower piece compared to the previous two, but was played by all with just as much enthusiasm, and was well received by the audience.
Birdland was next, this was quite a "Chirpy" piece, see what I did there? and was a piece that certainly got your foot tapping, again played very well by the band.
Next it was Crimond. This was one of those were the title didn't mean anything to me, but once the band started to play, it was a piece that everyone knows as The Lord's my Shepard. A very slow and sombre piece, which highlighted the bands versatility and passion for music.
Now my highlight of the evening. The Bare Necessities, featuring Eb bass solo by John "Baloo" Sudworth. At the start of the piece, John was upstaged by Roxy North on Flugel, who was cheered on by the rest of the band for stealing his limelight. John stepped up to the fore and stole the show with his playing and acting ability. Just as John was getting into the swing, Matthew Smalley stood up and again, the limelight was taken from John, which he saw as his cue to storm off stage. It was good to see Baloo back amongst the audience, playing with a smile on his face as the audience clapped and cheered along.
Back to the serious stuff next with Choral and Rock Out. This is one of those were I didn't know the title and still didn't know the piece once they started playing. But because of the way the band were playing and delivering, it was still pleasurable to watch and listen.
Firestorm was the third test piece of the evening. You wouldn't believe the amount of time that the band spend practicing these test pieces and the quality of the performance proves that without dedication and commitment, there is no end product. To deliver a piece of this quality is a credit to each and every member of Old Hall Brass.
A 12 minute test piece just delivered and the audience are shouting for more. Full credit to the band, they didn't say no or complain, they just raised their instruments and gave us an encore of Hootenanny, which once again they played with excitement.
To sum the evening up, a very enjoyable evening of music. If you have never seen Old Hall Brass, they are a credit to themselves. They are full of pride and passion for what they do but also have lots of fun doing it. I am not a musician, but to play all this, including three test pieces, should be applauded. If you ever get the chance to see them anywhere, you will not be disappointed.
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