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Derwent Brass 2011 Friends Concert

October 8th saw Derwent Brass performing their annual Friends Concert at Cedar Arts Centre, Mickleover, treating their invitation only audience to a varied programme featuring solo items intermingled with hymn arrangements, big band numbers, show music and more traditional brass band music. The friends of the option of voting for their favourite music to be performed on the build up to the event, intermingled with recent additions to the bands repetoire.

The band kicked off the proceedings with the rousing ‘Softly, Softly’ the theme from the British 1960’s TV drama series of the same name; fortunately the dynamics are not indicative of the title! Following this the band performed a John Barry tribute with ‘Born Free’ complete with native percussion and elephant calls! Further highlights of the first half included ‘Hejre Kati’ (voted number one by the Friends of Derwent Brass) once again played superbly by principal cornet Dave Neville, a cheeky rendition by the band’s principal trombonist Martyn Johnson of Noel Gay’s ‘Leaning on a Lamp-Post’, fantastic virtuosic playing by Adam Rutter in the euphonium solo ‘Bravura’ and rounded off with ‘Symphonic Dances from WestSide Story’; the band’s debut of a fantastic arrangement also to be featured in the forthcoming Swingle Singers collaboration concert on the 12th November 2011 at the Derby Assembly Rooms.

Before the band commenced the second half of the concert, Chris Leonard (pictured right) the band’s E-Marketing Manager was awarded ‘Bandsman of the Year’ for his omnipresence in everything that the band did during the course of 2010, from playing in the full band and 10 piece ensemble to contributing enormously to all marketing aspects of the band (including Facebook, Twitter, the band website, merchandising and more). Also awarded was the band’s infamous ‘Champagne Moment’ trophy to Grant Ashenden, for arriving at the Midland Regional Championships literally as the band was walking on stage! 

The second half opened with Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s rousing ‘Walking With Heroes’, which always proves to be a concert favourite with audience members, being voted in at number two. A more subtle and reflective ‘On My Own’ from Les Mis followed by the band’s Solo Baritone player Adrian Drewitt, once again performed to perfection. The diverse mixture of music continued with the well known ‘Magnificent Seven’ theme, Philip Wilby’s arrangement of ‘Abide With Me’ and the unique percussion based arrangement of ‘Ol’ Man River’ – performed magnificently on drum kit by Lee Gilbert – the audience were warned that this wasn’t the usual slow version! That only left room for one more solo item. Up stepped Andy Devereux on Bass Trombone with his trendy interpretation of Harry Warren and Al Dubin’s ‘I Only Have Eyes for You’. PLC was again the choice for the band’s final item; another debut performance, this time for his tremendous 'Vitae Aeternum'. The band finished the concert with their on encore of their signature march 'Montreal Citadel' to bring to a close another fine evening of music making. 

Keith Leonard the Musical Director of Derwent Brass expressed his delight at how well the evening went and the audience comments received after the concert, showed how well the performance was regarded. He went on to praise the band for their hard work, especially in connection with the new pieces debuted at the concert, claiming all the determination and commitment had once again delivered an enjoyable evening. 

Derwent Brass will be performing with the world-class Grammy award winning Swingle Singers at Derby Assembly Rooms on Saturday November 12th. It is not very often that two diverse yet superb musical groups come together to give a concert in a local setting. Tickets are available from Derby Live Box Office on 01332 255800 priced £10-20. 

Click here to book your tickets!






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