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Christmas at the Cathedral

Christmas at the Cathedral - Friday December 13th, 2013

Christmas Cathedral Derwent Brass Band Derby CentralAn evening of festive music with Derby's Premier Brass Band - Derwent Brass, and special guests Derby Central Salvation Army Band.

This event was always set to be a great night of music and Christmas celebrations, particularly as this concert was dedicated to the memory of Mike Richardson, Patron of Derwent Brass who sadly passed away in August 2013.

During our 20th Anniversary Year in 2012, Mike had organised a wonderful joint ‘British Proms’ concert at The Assembly Rooms with Derby Central Salvation Army Band and which was brilliantly hosted by Mike's great friend and actor ‘soldier Bill Varnham’.

Following this event, the seeds were set for this Christmas at the Cathedral Event and it was with Mike’s dying wishes that we decided to carry on with the plans. 

As before, with his close connections with Derby Central Salvation Army it seemed a fitting tribute to join forces again, this time for an evening of festive music making in the wonderful surroundings of Derby Cathedral.

So to the evening, with such a beautiful setting we were a little concerned that we might struggle to get a respectable crowd with the limited marketing time available – how wrong we were! With traditional spirited Christmas fayre on display, the whole evening was just superb.

Christmas Fanfares, Carols and wonderful solo items, such as Silent Night from Principle Cornet David Neville, Lullaby from Pam Davis on Flugel, and a beautiful rendition of O Holy Night from Salvation Army Euphonium soloist Darren Willis; many of which accompanied by projected images and carol words - the night was just perfect.

However, for most, it will be Eric Ball’s 'The Kingdom Triumphant' that will ring in our ears for ever. Dating from 1963, this was such a perfect choice for this occasion as it is designed, in the words of the composer, "to remind listeners of the Christian doctrine of the Second Advent of Christ and the end of this age."

The Kingdom Triumphant is powerful music, with its crescendo drum and timpani roll and fanfare introducing The Blast of the trumpet and a reminder of the Last Judgement. The piece then moves into a time of reflection on the First Advent with the poignant prayer ‘O Come, O Come Immanuel’ before returning to the fanfare motif which introduces the vision of the Second Advent. 

As one member of the audience later commented, “...Mike would have been well chuffed with that!..”

A perfect end to a perfect evening. Thank you for everything Mike. Our time together was cut short, but we play on with you in our thoughts.

Rest in peace dear friend.

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