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The 10 piece at Willersley Castle Hotel

The Derwent Brass Ensemble were pleased to provide an evening of informal entertainment for 50 or so residents at a Wesley Guild ‘Holiday Week’ at the wonderful setting of the Willersley Castle Hotel a 200 year old Grade II listed building, occupying a magnificent position on the edge of the Peak District, overlooking the River Derwent.

In this intimate venue the Ensemble was very well received by an attentive and appreciative crowd and hopefully many new ‘friends’ were made from all over the UK & Ireland.

The program was a mix of traditional numbers, big band with a short Glen Miller collection, Beatles numbers, and no less than “four” solos.
First up was “Sugar Blues” – played, as we have come to expect brilliantly on the cornet by David Neville, then "Autumn Leaves" the much-recorded popular song became a pop standard and a jazz standard classic and no exception here with the band's Flugel soloist, Pam Davis entertaining the audience.

In the second half the groups ‘introvert’ (?) trombone soloist Martyn Johnson had everyone on the edge of their seats with an old time classic “Leaning on the Lampost .. Final soloist was Graham Johnson giving a beautiful performance of the classic Jim Webb number “By The Time I Get to Phoenix” on the tenor horn.

Adam Rutter, the ensemble's MusicaL Director, asked for any ‘requests’  which resulted in the Ensemble giving a lively rendition of the very American Sousa March  “The Stars & Stripes Forever”.

At the Hotel it was very interesting to see a display of the work of the Guild in particular, The Nigerian Health Care Project. This project was launched in April 1992 in order to revive the work of the Wesley Guild medical mission, which began at Ilesha Hospital in 1912. The NHCP closely monitors the health care communities it is supporting; by receiving regular reports from each of the individual projects and with biennial visits to Nigeria to gain first hand knowledge. This allows the trustees to assess the benefits of the projects being supported and determine their current and future requirements. Over £910,000 has been raised since the project began and it is hoped the £1,000,000 milestone will be reached during 2010

For more information about this project see   http://www.nhcp.org.uk/

Report by Rob Stew

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