Gala Concert 2012 “That’s Entertainment”

18/07/2012

Last Saturday night saw the Organisation’s 2012 Gala Concert at the Villa Marina Royal Hall.
The theme for the evening was “That’s’ Entertainment” and what a spectacular evening of entertainment is was.
Manx Concert Brass opened the concert with a rousing performance of John William’s “Olympic Fanfare and Theme” a perfect choice in this Olympic year, this was followed by “Barbarian Horde” which was the theme music to the film Gladiator. It was then time for the first soloist of the evening, the Band’s principle Trombone Stephen Maddocks, playing a stunning performance of “Autumn Leaves”. The next piece they played was Fuick’s Florentina March which was a tribute to the brilliant film (and as Marcus will remind us, a brilliant stage production) “Brassed Off” which was made 15 years ago. Ian then introduced the Band’s principle cornet Simon Briggs to play the second solo of the programme. He played a delightful arrangement of Ronald Binge’s “The Windmill”. The next piece showed off the more modern side of brass band playing with a Steve Yorke arrangement of the “Take That” hit “Shine”, this was followed by a solo from James Aire who played an excellent rendition of the title song from the film “The Children of Sanchez”. The penultimate piece of Manx Concert Brass’s performance was a beautiful duet of the Welsh tune Calon Lan played by the Band’s two Euphonium players Phillip Shimmin and Steven Dugdale. The finale to the first half was Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s Vitae Aeternum, a great piece to complete a thoroughly enjoyable programme of music.
After a short interval the second half was opened by the Manx Youth Band and their first piece was the “Theme From Rocky” which was followed by their first soloist, principle cornet Peter Smith who played an excellent arrangement of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia on My Mind”. They followed this with the piece Ian had chosen for their test piece in this year’s Guild “Young In Heart” written by Eric Ball. The next piece was a duet played by two players playing for the first time out in front of the band. Breesha Foxton on Bb cornet and Todd Crellin on Soprano cornet played a brilliant performance of Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s “Pie Jesu” and proved what talent we have throughout the organisation. Following this was more film music, this time a medley from the children’s film “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” arranged by Edrich Siebert. The next piece was a lovely Eb Bass solo arrangement of “Londonderry Air” played by Harry Henthorn who was also playing a solo for the first time, again it was an excellent performance not just playing the solo but playing it in front of such a large audience in the Villa Marina Royal Hall. The Band then continued with “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” arranged as a feature for two cornets, Peter and Breesha and flugel horn, Breesha Quirk. The finisher for the Youth Band’s programme was Stephen Sykes’s arrangement of the “Main Theme from Star Wars” which received rapturous applause and when it died down they played an encore “What a Wonderful World”. This was a superb performance by the young members of the organisation showing how far they have come in such a short period of time.
While Stephen Maddocks, the Organisation’s Chairman gave his maiden speech to the audience the combined bands, around 60 players, set up ready to play the final part of the concert. The first piece they played was “Pirates of the Caribbean” which featured members of the youth Band on the solo parts. Next was another Lloyd-Webber piece from Sunset Boulevard, “With One Look”. The penultimate piece of the night was “1492 – Conquest Of Paradise” with the finale an atmospheric arrangement of Danny Elfman’s “Main Theme from Batman” arranged by Alan Catherall. The concert was then closed with the Manx National Anthem.
The standard playing throughout the evening was fantastic. The soloists were excellent and special mention should be made to those who stood out front for the first time, they should be very proud of what they have achieved. As usual much thanks must go to Ian and his team for producing such a professional performance.
After the concert everyone enjoyed a social get together where it was good to see so much fun and laughter after what has been a very busy and hard working run up to the Concert.
Well done everyone involved, we hope to have raised in excess of £2000.