Report on 2016 Gala Concert by Grimethorpe Colliery Band

On Sunday 8th May 2016 the Grimethorpe Colliery Band made a welcome return visit to St Andrew’s Hall at Norwich to perform the East Anglian Brass Band Association’s 78th Annual Gala Concert.

Included in the audience were 150 young brass musicians between the ages of 9 and 17 from Norwich and the surrounding areas. With support from Norwich Town Close Estate Charity and the Norfolk Music Hub, the East Anglian Brass Band Association had been able to offer free tickets for the concert to these young people to give them the opportunity to hear a world class brass band.

Under the band’s Associate Conductor Brian Grant the band commenced their programme with some lively music from the Frenchman Daniel Auber’s three act opera ‘Le Domino Noir’. This was followed by the first solo of the evening a superb performance by Jamie Smith, ‘Hejre Kati’ by Rafael Mendez.  In sharp contrast the band then played John Ireland’s ‘Elegy from a Downland Suite’.

For the next part of their programme the band turned to music that had been played in the film ‘Brassed Off’ for which they had received such great acclaim. They treated a very appreciative audience to the march ‘Death or Glory by Robert Hall, ‘Danny Boy’ arranged by Percy Grainger, the ‘Clog Dance’ by Marcangelo and finished with the ‘Finale from William Tell’ by Rossini.     

To conclude the first half of the concert the Grimethorpe Colliery Band played what Brian Grant described as the band’s equivalent of a cook’s signature dish when they gave a terrific performance of ‘McArthur Park’ by Jim Webb.

The band started the second half of their concert with a foot tapping performance of Irving Berlin’s ‘Lets Face The Music and Dance’ and this was followed by a piece of music originating with the Salvation Army called ‘Mid All The Traffic’ arranged by Leonard Ballantine and based on the tune Shenandoah.

Brian then introduced the second soloist of the evening the band’s principal euphonium player Michael Dodd who gave a breathtaking performance of Remington’s Carnival of Venice.

The next piece was dedicated to a member of the audience. This was a beautiful rendition of Edward Elgar ‘Nimrod’ from the Enigma Variations. Another piece of music by Percy Grainger ‘Shepherds Hey’ followed.

The final soloist of the evening was given by Chris Gomersall on trombone and he entertained the audience with a superb performance of ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’

All too soon the concert neared its end. For their penultimate piece the band choose to play Johann Strauss’s ‘Perpetuum Mobile’

and for their finale the Grimethorpe Colliery Band played a stirring rendition of Wagner’s Procession to the Minster which drew much applause from the audience. The band responded with the encore ‘Toccata and Fugue in D Minor’ by J S Bach.

Many thanks to Brian Grant and the Grimethorpe Colliery Band for a very enjoyable concert.

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