Weekend details and Christmas Shows

Hi All,

Very long weekend of playing last S,Su, and M.  Saturday B&R did their annual show in Brighouse at the Methodist Church.  2-shows which included performances by the Brighouse High School Concert Band, The Brighouse High School FUNK Band (yes Funk Band!), and a folk singer from Brighouse. As you may recall I was slated to play flugel but with 2 players missing in the front row Steve (top man) asked that I play in the front for the day.  All worked out OK though I must admit I was very tired by the end of the second show.  Also had a very nice meal was provided by the band supporters between shows!!!!

A couple of observations:  None of these guys ever seem to get tired.  Alex (who could easily play top man somewhere but loves B&R) on Rep and Martin on Sop played spotless on both shows and seemed to have no issues with fatigue.  Steve Wilkinson played a beautiful rendition of Far More Than I Deserve on both shows.   I think the second show may have been the best I have heard him play (and he always plays very well).  His grandmother passed away on Thursday and he dedicated the solo on the evening performance to her memory.  It was beautiful.   Of course the rest of the back row never gets tired and Richard, Mick, Colin, and Dean played so loud at the end my ears were ringing. Probably not a good thing for me……

Too many great players and performances to mention, but Steve Walsh on euph did the Finale from Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto (killer hard accompaniment) and Toni seemed to have a lot of fun doing Frosty The Snowman for bass trombone solo.

Since everyone has given Colin such a hard time about my post concerning his playing and extra work we are thinking of adding a page to the blog: Cornet Corner with Colin.  I’ll be sure to include a photo of him and maybe he’ll even let me do the odd video tutorial uploaded to YouTube.  Ha!

On Sunday I was able to play with Lindley at their YMCA Club concert (B&R had another show but they let me out for the solo).  It was sort of the warm-up for our Huddersfield Town Hall Gala this Friday, 18 Dec.  After my lesson with McCann I think the Lindley guys were happier with my performance of Napoli and as I said in my previous post, it went well.  Still trying to figure out the double buzz issue (on low C no less) but I was happy with the solo over all.  After the solo, Adam (top man) and Steve came up and we played 12th Street Rag for 3 cornets (I was able to relax on 3rd).   The whole show seemed to go well (nice solos by Nicola on flugel and Ian on euph) but ending with Christmas Festival and then 1812 Overture is a KILLER!

Sunday evening I received a phone call from McCann asking if I could come help out his University of Huddersfield Brass Band on Monday for 2 shows they were doing, one in Leeds Town Hall, and one back in Huddersfield at “The Uni”.  The 3rd man had contracted Swine Flu and was told to stay away from people for 7-days and so they needed an extra player.

I had fun and the group plays very, very well.  We took an early coach up to Leeds, did a 90 min rehearsal, had an hour break and then the show. The principal cornet for them is Jo Payne who after working for 10-years has gone back to school and is almost finished.  She did several solos on both the afternoon and evening concerts and sounded outstanding.  I think she has one of the best pure cornet sounds I have ever heard.  She also plays lead for Skelmanthorpe Brass Band in the Championship Section.

Anyway, it was great fun playing with them and working with Phillip for the day.  He was, as you might expect, VERY demanding and I have sent some of his MANY memorable quotes on to Sal.  I just can’t bring myself to put them up here but I’m still laughing about them.  OK here is just one he said to us in the front row (don’t remember the actual words):  he stops, turns to us and says:  “Surely it is harder to play a melodic line like that with no life or music, then it is to actually give it something.”  I almost fell out of my chair but thought that would be bad form in front of the students 🙂

Due to the schedule I have  to miss both Lindley rehearsals this week (last night for rehearsal with B&R, and Monday to be with “The Uni”) and I’m actually totally free today!  So it is 2:30 here and I have yet to play a note.

This weekend concludes the year for brass band shows.  I’ll do the Gala (and solo) with Lindley on Friday, and 3 more shows with B&R on Saturday and Sunday. Then the bands are off until Jan. 4.

Oh, one exception is midnight on Christmas Eve.  I’m playing the midnight mass at our church (2 hymns only) but I’ll leave our church service and run across the street to the Lindley Clock Tower (see photo page).  With as many of The Lindley Band who show up, we’ll play Christian’s Awake! when the clock strikes 12:00.  My parents will be in town so I’ll have my father video tape and we’ll post it on YouTube as our Christmas Message.

Take care and keep in touch.


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