Whilst the blood line of Derbyshire’s Derwent Brass can be traced back to 1860, the band in its current guise was established in 1992 following an amalgamation of Neville Brass and the Davis Derby Brass Band. Some 30 years on the band has firmly established itself firmly in the elite Championship Section of brass banding, together with upholding a reputation for delivering highly innovative and ground breaking sets, together with spellbinding shows.
As part of its anniversary celebrations, the band has organised a special trilogy of in-person events across Derby city, each representing a decade of the band. Up first is a ‘Movies and Musicals Special’ complete with guest performers and a 30-minute new adaptation of Sweet Charity and taking place in Derby Theatre, with whom the band has recently established an artistic partnership.
(Derwent Brass last performed in Derby Theatre in 2019 due to Covid-19)
Following is a gala concert titled ‘This Is Derwent 30’ and sees the band opening the history books to perform some of its most influential works spanning the last 3 decades. The gala concert will include a new score hot off the press titled ‘Jubilate’ from the pen of Music Director Jack Capstaff and written specifically for the band’s celebrations.
The final instalment in the trilogy is aptly named ‘Under the Stars’. Maintaining an astronomical theme throughout, the programme will most notably include a full performance of Holst’s ‘The Planets’, arranged by Stephen Roberts and utilising celeste, harp, chorus and the Cathedral organ. The concert will feature yet another new work, this time from the pen of contemporary music associate Paul McGhee.
“Our planning for 2022 began some time ago with us mapping out various objectives we wanted to achieve across several aspects of the organisation in time for this important landmark in the band’s history.
The back end of 2021 saw us release a new website; up to date, smart, packed full of new elements and much more reflective of our brand and values. Planned to coincide with this was the release of our new digital members handbook – a Kanban style app-based platform which puts all our resources into one neat, accessible, and dynamic format. The band has also invested considerable effort into ensuring those resources, and indeed the wider organisation, was fully BandSAFE compliant with training and full policy, process, and documentation reviews.
Having your governance, back office and online platforms in a great place is important, but it is artistic development that gets the people of Derwent Brass excited. The special concert trilogy, new musical themes, major classical suite, new works, special guests, working with our associates, digital products and much more to come, make for the perfect ingredients to another inspiring and busy year of collaborative music making at the highest level.Ash Hewson - Derwent Brass Patron
We must take this opportunity to thank all our followers and volunteers who continue to support everything we do. Our ‘Friends of Derwent Brass’ programme and social following continues to grow, and our digital developments would simply not have been possible with the creative input and sponsorship of patron Ash Hewson of Affinity Serif.” Chris Leonard, Derwent Brass Band Manager.
You can find details of all 3 trilogy concerts in the 'Events' Section.