Another Successful Gala Concert

The Annual Gala Concert 2002 was held on the evening of Sunday 14th July. A change of venue was forced on the bands by the loss of the Villa Marina Royal Hall, due to the refurbishment of the complex. Despite the different ticketing arrangements, the Gaiety Theatre was reasonable full for this highlight of the bands' fund-raising concerts. And how well the large audience was entertained by both bands, individually and combined as one group. Much thought had obviously been given by Ian Clague and guest conductor, Derek Broadbent, to the composition of the programme to show off the varied talents of both bands.

The Youth Band's section began with William Rimmer's march "One of the Best", followed by the Overture "A Slaidburn Festival" by Beverly Ann Stoll. Our first soloist of the evening was Principal Cornet Charlotte Chambers who gave a moving rendition of Neil Diamond's hit "Love on the Rocks". This was 14 year old Charlotte's first outing as Principal Cornet of the Youth Band. Next we heard the Gordon Langford arrangement of the Welsh Folk Song "All Through The Night", followed by another fine solo, James Currnow's "Fantasy For Trombone" played by Principal Trombone Lyndsay Shimmin. As a finale The Youth Band played (with superb choreography from the Bass Section) Ray Woodfield's arrangement of the ever popular Russian Folk Song "Kalinka".

Manx Concert Brass opened their section with William Rimmers march "The Cossack", made famous by the Fodens Band. They then followed with John Williams' stirring "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" arranged by Foster & Dye. Principal Cornet Simon Briggs then took centre stage to play Alan Catherals fine arrangement of Stanley Black's "People". This was followed by Stephen Bulla's Folk Song Fantasy "Blow Away The Morning Dew". To prove the overall musical talent of the band, Manx Concert Brass then premiered an original composition by Tenor Horn player and Salford University Band Studies Student Kathryn Power entitled "Romance for Tenor Horns". What a beautiful piece this proved to be! The hit musical The Lion King provided the Band's finale in the form of the "Circle of Life" by Sir Elton John & Tim Rice, arranged for band by Philip Harper.

The two bands combined after a short interval and opened up with the robust fanfare "Summon the Dragon" by Peter Graham. Next up was Phillip Sparke's "Music for a Festival", which brought out the best from the combined bands. Our next soloist was Manx Concert Brass's Principal Trombone, Stephen Maddocks playing a superb arrangement by Bill Geldard of the Hoagy Carmichael classic "Stardust". Next, the Frank Bearnearts arrangement of the hit "Something Stupid" by Carson Parks provided the audience an opportunity to exercise their vocal talents. Following this, another superb Gordon Langford arrangement: this time his Rhapsody "Three Songs Of The South". Next, Philip Wilby's arrangement of the Hymn "Abide with Me" was expertly played to a hushed theatre. Derek Broadbent then conducted his own arrangement of the big band hit "Tom Hark". This featured a trio of David Quinlan (Soprano Cornet), Simon Briggs (Cornet) and Charlotte Chambers (Cornet) who negotiated this piece with style! As a rousing finale, the bands played Peter Graham's arrangement the Sousa march "The Stars and Stripes Forever" which included some fine playing in the soprano cornet obbligato by David Quinlan. As an encore the audience were treated to the bands gentle treatment of an "An Irish Blessing".

Thanks must go to major Sponsors Charles Brand (IOM) Ltd. and all companies and individuals for their continued support. Well done to all the players in the two bands, with special praise for the soloists who performed so well. A big thank you also to all the many supporters who turned up on the evening to make it such a success.

Malcolm Magee
Press Officer