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How To Make Friends and Entertain People

"How To Make Friends and Entertain People" - not quite as big a blockbuster hit as the simiarily titled recent comedy movie, however it certainly is a very fitting title for the recent Friends of Derwent Brass Concert success.

The Cedar Arts Centre in Mickleover was the venue for the 2012 Annual Friends Concert event which took place on April 21st; it is certainly a location the band finds comfort in having recorded 3 of their CDs there, together with several concerts and also rehearsals.

For those of you not familiar with the Friends of Derwent Brass scheme, by signing up for FREE you recieve quarterly newsletters with both public and background gossip, event emails and reminders together with an annual, friends invitation only concert which again you enter completely FREE! WIth this in mind it goes without saying that the event was very well attended and extra seating was being laid out moments before the band took to the stage.

Ordinarly as a friend, you have a say in a selection of the programme the band performs through the Pam Davis Derwent Brass Concerto de Aranjeuznow recognised route of voting slips, which are then posted or emailed back to the musical director Keith Leonard. 2012 however is a special year for Derwent Brass being their 20th anniversary so this time things were tackled a little differently. Whilst our friends still did vote, this time it was for the finale only as the rest of the evening was a planned journey through time as the band performed music from almost each of the 20 years they had been established. This saw some real golden oldies come out the bag right back from 1992, including the likes of Billy's Exhibition Hop, Pastime With Good Company, Ruby Tuesday, Let's Face the Music, I Got Rhythm, and many more. Amongst these were also some fantastic solos, both old and new. Dave Neville thrilled the audience with the traditional Cornet air varie (with extras!) 'The Paragon' which can also be found on the band's 10th anniversary disc 'Celebration' and later Adam Rutter conquered the very challenging, million notes a minute, 'Neath the Dublin Skies'. Of course the evening could not pass without some comedy genuis from the bell (and mouth!) of Martyn Johnson on Solo Trombone in 'Leaning on a Lampost', but perhaps the biggest highlight of the evening was the immaculate and beautiful rendition of 'Concerto de Aranjuez' by Pam Davis on Flugel Horn which really captured the heart of the audience.

And so the finale - in joint third place was Baccahanale, Kingdom Triumphant and PLC's Vitae Aeternum. In second place was the the Finale to Tchaikovsky Symphony 4 (phew!) But as anticipated by the band and the clear winner as voted for by the Friends of Derwent Brass was 'Gladitator' - it went down a storm, as always! The band then wrapped up proceedings nicely with a polished version of their signature march 'Montreal Citadeal' leaving a fulfilled audience with a smile on their face.

Another newbie for this years event was the release of a new Derwent Brass CD entitled Deruentio Aeternum. This is the band's first totally live CD (though we are proud to have laid down more than one first take track in the past) recorded at their first concert in 2012, the 'New Year New Work' event featuring the bespoke composition by Paul McGhee celebrating the band's anniversary. The limited edition disc features some superb tracks in addition to this new work including Jubilee, 'Ol Man River (feat. Lee Gilbert on kit), Vitae Aeternum and more.

Click here to sign up as a Friend of Derwent Brass. We look forward to seeing you at a concert soon!

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