On Saturday 7th May, around 150 musicians, representing a total of 14 brass bands, gathered in sunny Sheffield in a Brass Bands England spectacular. The event was co-ordinated by Brass Bands England’s Senior Liaison Officer, Rachel Veitch-Straw, as a celebration of brass and was part of the Beethoven Revisited festival of chamber music.
After a short rehearsal in the fantastic acoustics of the foyer of the world-famous Crucible Theatre, the massed band filled Sheffield’s Tudor Square. A mix of players of all ages and ability performed an uplifting selection of music, with a large crowd gathering to enjoy the summer sounds which included Pop Looks Beethoven’s disco grooves, Slaidburn’s stirring fanfares, and the pop music of Michael Buble’s “Haven’t Met You Yet”. The band was conducted by Gavin Somerset of Oughtibridge Band and Pennine Music, who was also the music sponsor for the event. Gavin smiled: “Having arranged/composed so many things for band, from simple hymn tunes to full orchestral concert works, the sound of a 150 strong brass band belting out my arrangement of Bublé’s Haven’t Met You Yet has to go up there alongside other proud moments. Yes it’s cheesy music, but it brings smiles!”
Many in the audience were regular classical concert-goers, unused to brass bands, and were astounded by the high quality of the musical performance. Thanks to the bands’ excellent promotional material, they now know where to find more. Brass Bands England officers will be making the most of the success of the event to build further partnerships and new musical collaborations.
The Sheffield area bands, supported by Brass Bands England, have been linking together over the last two years to build connections with each other and with creative partners in their city. More activities are being planned around the BBC Music Day on June 3rd and discussions are underway regarding a brass band city centre concert season.
“One of the highlights of my 65 year playing career” Peter, Loxley Silver.
Image courtesy of David Morris