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Celebrating Four Dogs and a Cat!

Derwent Brass are celebrating following their weekends success at the 20th Wychavon Festival of Brass entertainment contest. The band came away from the Championship Section of the competition crowned as the entertainment champions, whilst also taking away the prize for Best Percussion together with Third place overall finishing ahead of last year’s festival winners.

"Lots of impact to open with some monolithic sounds!" (Adjudicator Remarks)

Wychavon Festival of Brass 2012 Derwent Brass

The band presented their 2012 anniversary work, Episodes Occurrences & Interludes, written by European Composers Champion Paul McGhee, in an intriguing way which really enhanced this stunning new work. A different stage layout, subtle lighting, bespoke audience handouts, an introduction by the composer himself and choreographed stage presentation, bought the music to life, helping this contemporary piece to raise a lot of interest within the venue.

 "Devastating conclusion, really ffff!" (Adjudicator Remarks)

Philip Harper Derwent BrassSuch was the appreciation of the performance by the adjudicator Philip Harper, that he gave a dedicated speech to the hall before continuing with the prizes. “It was a very close, real Championship standard contest today, but keeping in line with the dog show theme [previously bought up by one of the dignitaries] my job has been made even harder as I’ve been presented with 4 dogs and then a cat! One performance made the hairs on my neck stand and I’d like to congratulate Derwent Brass for being brave enough to take on this innovative project and present this amazing new piece today within your 20th year…. I enjoyed it very much and it will be a performance which will stay with me for a very long time. I can’t wait to hear it again!” This was then received in the hall by a round of applause; to the members of the band and all the people involved with the project, it was all worthwhile for this moment alone.

 "Deliciously dark atmosphere created to open" (Adjudicator Remarks) 

Rob Stew, trustee of Derwent Brass told 4barsrest “We’re delighted that our innovative approach was appreciated. It’s a very special work from a very special composer. Also a big thanks to our musical director Keith Leonard for his solid preparation and support”

“I am thrilled that we had such a talented, forward thinking and open minded musician in PhilipChris Leonard Derwent Brass Commission Paul McGhee Episodes Harper, to adjudicate our first contest outing of this great new work. When I sent the application for funding from the PRS for Music Foundation I know we had to do something different to really make this project stand out; Paul McGhee was the man to help us to do that and he has more than delivered the brief for which I am indeed very grateful. The band has worked hard to give the piece the standard it deserves. We always knew it would be a ‘marmite’ piece, but that is what it is all about; crossing boundaries, delivering something new and continually improving not only Derwent Brass, but also the wider movement. The players and all those involved have really grasped the thought process behind the work and whilst anything new or difficult can have its challenging moments, it is fantastic to see the bands energy, growing partnership with the composer and overall dedication reflect in a great result. The kind words from Philip Harper made all of this worthwhile, but of course it is always nice to come away with a trophy, or three!” Chris Leonard, trustee of Derwent Brass.

"I was totally gripped from start to finish. An astonisgingly brave decision (the whole project) and utterly refreshing to hear. Thank you very much and good luck with future performances " (Adjudicator Remarks) 

"I think it prove to be a landmark piece; perhaps only in the repertoire of the able and the brave, but admired by bandsmen and women around the world." Steve Swinden, Chorum Records.

Once again Derwent Brass would like to formally thank the PRS for Music Foundation for their support in funding the work and to Paul McGhee for his passion and dedication to the entire project.  

PRS for Music Foundation supporting Derwent Brass 

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