Stratford Music Festival

Stratford Upon Avon

21st October 2007

 

The finale to the Stratford Music Festival was a charity concert to support Brain Tumour UK presented by Jaguar Coventry Band, conducted by its director of music, Dave Lea.

A near capacity audience was treated to wide-ranging styles of music performed by this very talented group of brass musicians, well controlled by its conductor and director of music David Lea.

The finale to the Stratford Music Festival was a charity concert to support Brain Tumour UK presented by Jaguar Coventry Band, conducted by its director of music, Dave Lea.

A near capacity audience was treated to wide-ranging styles of music performed by this very talented group of brass musicians, well controlled by its conductor and director of music David Lea.

Overall the band showed what is best in the unique,wonderful sounds of a truly top class British brass band.

The Programme started in fine style with the Intrada Ein Fest Berg. Then followed Vaughan Williams's theme music to the film The 49th Parallel. This featured principal cornet player Bob Baggott who displayed his beautiful style and lyrical sound. The first half concluded with eric Balls's brilliant arrangement of the Enigma Variations, composed by Edward Elgar - a very rare item in a brass band programme, due to its length and can only be accomplished by a top ensemble like this.

The second half took its cue from Sunday being the start of Brain Tumour Awareness Week. We started in Britian with a selection of famous British marches, arranged by Gordon Landford. Then we travelled to France where the audience was treated to a beautiful rendition of April in Paris, performed by Andy Bates on flugel horn. From there the music travelled to Sweden for a moving performance of Peter Graham's Swedish Folk Song; to Italy with Symphony No. 4 Ilalian by Mendelssohn; Russia and Hora Staccata; New Zealand abd the traditional Maori tune Hine e Hine arranged by Peter Graham; South America and Valero; and then to the USA to play two items, the first being a real treat. Kevin Lea, the band's principal trombone, gave a very exacting interpretation, showing off his lovely musical style, of a selection of American tunes put together originally for the famous Sousa band, called The volunteer, arranged by Keith Wilkinson. Finally, there was a rousing finale of Gordon Langford's Sullivan Fantasy, featuring many memorable melodies.

The organisers must be congratulated in having vision in featuring a very British event for a very British music festival.

John Smith - Stratford Herald

25 October 2007

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