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Things that shouldn't work but do! Swingle Singers & DB Live

Things that shouldn’t work, but do: Pineapple on a Pizza, a Scottish James Bond, multi-Grammy Award winning a Capella group and a brass band playing Stevie Wonder. Indeed, a bespoke arrangement of ‘Superstition’ featuring the internationally acclaimed Swingle Singers and Derwent Brass, penned by the band’s MD, fulfilled the enthusiastic crowd’s request for an encore, as a fantastic night drew to a close in The Great Hall of the Derby Assembly Rooms.

Amidst their normal concert and contest schedule, Derwent Brass host their annual concert, often featuring top class guests (last year was the famous Treorchy Male Choir) and the 2011 event was no exception. The phenomenon that is the Swingle Singers, thrilled and engaged the audience with what can only be described as vocal brilliance from their signature close-microphone technique combined with stunning stage presentation and even some audience ‘beat-box’ style participation. Their repertoire for the evening encompassed classical, jazz, latin, rock and also some pop numbers, the latter perhaps most formidable in their brilliant version of Beyonce’s hit “All The Swingle Ladies”.

“We loved being back in Derby again, it was such a wonderful and warm reception, and truly a pleasure to share the stage with such gifted musicians as Derwent Brass. The joint finale, Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition' , was a blast, and we loved the arrangement by their Director Keith Leonard - such a party feel!” Oliver Griffiths - Swingle Singers 

The modern and creative ethos of Derwent Brass came to the fore, not only in the booking of their guests but also in the construction of the programme. Choreographed throughout the evening, the band included video projection for their black out performance of Lux Aurumque and also unique photography projected over the band in a performance of Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace. With Remembrance Sunday falling the following day the contrasting sensitivity was all the more poignant.  Also amongst the band’s repertoire was Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Ol’ Man River (featuring Lee Gilbert on drum kit), a big band style Beatles set and the euphonium solo Bravura performed by Adam Rutter. 

“The event was fantastic – a thoroughly enjoyable evening. The standard of playing was high, but in particular Adam Rutter’s virtuosic playing in Bravura and Benedictus, supported wonderfully by Pam Davis on Flugel, is a highlight for me. The Swingle Singers were every bit as brilliant as I expected them to be. For me it clearly shows that Derwent Brass is the best band in Derbyshire and as a supporter of several bands in the area it delights me that I will be inviting them to perform alongside the Derby Salvation Army, and others, in a late summer 2012 event, again within the Great Hall of Derby Assembly Rooms”  Mike Richardson (Trustee of Friends of Derby Salvation Army / Patron of Black Dyke Band)

 Also on stage was the band’s patron, and celebrity, Steven Blakeley, perhaps most recognised from his role on ITV’s ‘Heartbeat’, who compered the night’s proceedings. The committee of Derwent Brass would also like to formally thank the programme sponsors and also Derbyshire Scouts for their support.  

See images from the event in our online gallery

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Registered Charity Number: 1146146
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