“Music to be Proud Of”
Since 1998, the East Anglian Brass Band Association has made a huge contribution to both music for brass bands and to East Anglian Culture. In all, twelve new works have been commissioned, four of which are for developing youth bands. The Arts Council of England has given high praise for the Association's achievements.
The Norvicensians was commissioned in 2000 for 'Concert Brass 2000'. A bright new march, from the pen of Derek Broadbent, it is a fine musical description of a modern busy city and its citizens. Not published but very worthy of playing. It is featured on the CD 'Concert Brass 2000'. The march is available from the composer.
The Spire at Cowholm, Composed by Ray Steadman-Allen. Commissioned in 1997 for the 1998 celebratory Spring Festival, it is a musical portrayal of the events surrounding Norwich Cathedral from its building and the Cloisters, to Queen Elizabeth's Banquet and the subdued ending depicting the laying to rest of Nurse Edith Cavell. Performed in Norwich Cathedral in 1999 by the GUS Band. This is a truly fine work to which the composer truly warmed. Of National First Section Standard it is also a fine concert number. It is not published but is available from the composer. Highly recommended, it really does deserve to be played!
Paintings is another fine work by Derek Broadbent and paints a musical picture of two of Gainsborough's works, 'a View Near the Coast' and 'William Wollaston' and Munnings's 'Travellers'. Commissioned in 1997 for the celebratory 1998 Spring Festival, it is of National First Section standard and is available from Wright & Round. It is featured on the CD 'Concert Brass 2000'. Don't let this superb work rot in the archives!
Constable Country was commissioned in 2000 from the same composer and is a musical journey to 'St. Mary's Church', East Bergholt in Suffolk, a look at 'The Haywain' and a trip along the 'Colne Valley Railway'. Again of National First Section standard.
Angles, by Ken Downie, is a superb set of variations on the hymn tune 'King's Lynn'-'looked at from all angles by Angles! National First section standard, it is not published but is available from the composer.
Iceni Autumn - To take a look back in time we again commissioned this work for the 1998 Spring Festival. Very descriptive from the pen of Darrol Barry, it is a musical portrayal of the exploits of Boadicea and her Iceni warriors who sacked Colchester and London. Not published but is of National Second Section standard. Available from the composer.
Hereward the Wake was commissioned for the 1998 Spring Festival. It depicts the exploits of England's last Saxon 'King!' Of National Fourth Section standard it is available from Kirklees Music.
East Anglian Watercolours, for the same event, was composed by William Relton. A suite in three movements it was written for youth bands and features 'The Docks', 'The Broads' and 'Lifeboats'. Not an easy piece, it will stretch many youth bands. Worth a look at by any National Fourth Section band. Deserves to be played! Available from Kirklees Music.
Dunwich Sinfonietta was commissioned in 1999 from the pen of Roy Newsome and it takes a look at this famous region of East Anglia. In suite format, this work was set for the Fourth Section of the 2000 Pontins Brass Band Championships Finals. Published.
The Flintknappers is a delightful number for very young players. By Stuart Johnson it depicts a journey through the Breckland district of Norfolk and portrays 'The Pines of Thetford', 'Grimes Graves' (the workings of ancient flint mines) and 'Squirrels' not forgetting of course the deer! This work has been used by a number of youth bands from outside East Anglian and was set as the Youth Section test piece for the 1999 South Australian Brass Band Championships. It is not published but is available from the composer. A must for all young bands!
Two works by Alan Fernie were commissioned for the 1999 Spring Festival. Both are for youth bands-Anglian Dances and St. Andrew's Variations. Two very important numbers for developing young bands. Contact Kirklees Music.
A Sutton Hoo Suite, composed in 2002, is by Stuart Johnson and was commissioned for bands with players under the age of fifteen years. The inspiration for the music comes from the wonderful excavations and discoveries at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk. This is the burial site of Raedwald and included a burial ship that reflected his power and majesty. The work is in four movements:-
Movement 1. Raedwald, the Warrior King
Raedwald was the King of the East Angles from the late sixth or early seventh century. He successfully fought off the King of Kent to assert his independence and later defeated the King of Northumbria.
Movement 2. The Burial Ship
When the Burial Ship was excavated it revealed an astonishingly rich collection of grave goods including weapons. The Burial Mask, Shield and Jewels are brilliant works of art unbelievingly preserved in all their brilliance.
Movement 3. Lay of the Last Survivor
In the old English poem Beowulf, the grandson of Raedwald and the last survivor of his people, pronounces a poem over the treasure-laden grave. It is a lament for the fallen in battle.
"With a sweeping slaughterbattle-death bore off each of the men, my own people,they who put off this life:they had seen the joys in the hall.Many living kin has baleful death sent forth away".
[From 'The Lay of the Last Survivor']
Movement 4. The Sand People
Burials on the site, some of which were macabre, lasted from the seventh to the eleventh centuries. Signs of hangings, beheadings and mutilated bodies were discovered but no skeletons remained, just the impressions in the sandy soil. Now it is a happier scene as holiday-makers view the barrows and vistas of the history of the region.
University Suite, composed in 2002 by Derek Broadbent , has been written for youth bands with players under nineteen years of age. The work is in three movements.
Movement 1: "The Great Gatehouse of St. John's"
Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, founded St. John's College in 1505 in honour of St. John the Evangelist. The gate-way is a magnificent three storey brick and stone structure bearing the Beaufort arms, which are supported by two yales - fabulous beasts with antelopes bodies and goat-like heads with the ability to swivel their horns about. What tales they could tell as they have watched through the centuries the busy life of Cambridge passing by- and the students passing beneath them. The heraldic decoration commemorates Lady Margaret and Henry VII and above the Beaufort Crest is an eagle's head with wings rising from a coronet, whilst each side is a rose and a portcullis.
Movement 2: Andante - "The Chapel of King's College"
A visitor enters the Chapel of King's College and is immediately struck by its beauty, unsurpassed by most parochial churches. The visitor stands silently in the peace and tranquillity of the chapel before turning to the magnificent stained glass window. One of only two medieval churches to retain its original glass, the subject of the window is "The Betrayal of Christ by Judas". The windows in King's College are the last surviving examples of the medieval glaziers' art.
Movement 3: Scherzo - "Town and Gown"
This is the 'fun movement' depicting the frivolities of students and the annual races that are held by them on the River Cam.
Truly, music and a record of which we are justly proud!