The Joseph Rowntree Theatre was once again the venue for the organisation’s sell-out Spring Concert. Brass Roots (conducted by Sally Mansell), Academy Brass (conducted by Richard Wilton), Youth Band (conducted by Craig Brown) and our Concert Band (conducted by Mike Pratt) gave us a scintillating first half of this ever popular event.
Brass Roots opened the show, boasting over 30 members, playing a short classical set as the audience took their seats. At curtain up, our Academy Band took to the stage starting with Rimmer’s ever popular march, Slaidburn, finishing with Stuart Johnson’s test piece, A Circus Suite. Then it was the turn of our award winning Youth Brass Band. The band played a set from their recent contest successes, the highlight surely being Under the Boardwalk, featuring Flugelhorn soloist, Isabel Thompson and rising Tuba star (6 feet 8 inch 17 year old) Sam Flemming. Bringing the first half to its conclusion was the highly entertaining Shepherd Group Concert Band. Mike Pratt was once again in fine form with another high energy set including Tenor Horn soloist, Jenny Mansell, in a stunning performance of The Lark in the Clear Air. The first half was brought to a close with the capacity audience singing along to the classic Abba Gold.
After a well deserved interval it was time for Richard Wilton and the wonderful Shepherd Group Brass Band to take the stage. Resplendent in evening wear, they opened their Strictly Brass themed set with the iconic Strictly Come Dancing TV theme. After a highly choreographed set that saw the band move from tango to paso-doblé and even a cha-cha, bringing the set to a conclusion with Matt Hall’s Nightingale Dances as their finale. Many of our audience members’ highlight though had to be Flugelhorn soloist Paul Stamp’s classy and controlled performance of Bacharach’s Alfie.
The band were then joined on stage by members of all bands and, keeping the dance theme alive, gave an encore of Lord of the Dance, the title dance of the 1996 show of the same name, that even featured a guest appearance by Michael Flatley (Mike Pratt) and Bernadette Flynn (Scott Dawson). This really had to be seen to be believed!