• David Johnston

Norwegian Legend stalks Derbyshire Dales

Updated: Nov 14, 2019

MK Brass introduced a touch of Nordic battlefield passion to the normally peaceful Derbyshire town of Buxton this week-end when the band competed in the picturesque resort’s brass band competition.

The band’s chosen test-piece this time out was Philip Sparke’s depiction of Norwegian King Haakon’s struggle to introduce Christianity to his kingdom in the 10th century, called “The Saga of Haakon the Good”.

The demanding work describes the King’s travels around the challenging northern landscape, the establishment of the first churches in the bitter snow-filled environment, and then closes with a rousing portrayal of a battle between the Christian and Pagan armies. The piece raises some significant technical and musical challenges for all the band’s players, but particularly for key soloists, Matt Ball (cornet), Martin Wakeley (trombone) and Duncan Bruce (euphonium) who rose to the occasion, and of course for MD Jonathon Mott, who did a fantastic job of knitting the divers musical elements into an engaging whole.

On this occasion MK Brass were competing in a combined Championship and First Section event (MK is newly promoted to the First Section) so the band’s members were delighted to come away with Third Place, in a significantly more challenging competition. Such a positive result made the long journey north worthwhile.

Jonathan Mott holding the trophy

#songwriting #music #recording

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