• David Johnston

Trip North brings satisfying 5th Place in prestigious Entertainments Contest

Updated: Nov 14, 2019

Last week-end (6th October) saw an early morning caravan of cars containing members of MK Brass hit the M1 trail north to Bolsover to take part in one of the top UK Entertainment Contests. The Bolsover contest not only attracts a high level of competition but is brilliant at presentation in today’s social media world. The competition is live-streamed so supporters and audience can follow their favourite bands, and production values are really high – sound and video quality is superb, while informed and entertaining commentary provided between bands keeps the audience interested. Other contests take note, please!

MD, Jonathan Mott, had devised an intriguing programme of music for the band which provided the audience with a musical tour of South America. The band started with a linked trio of items demonstrating some of the rich rhythmic heritage of Latin-American music. First in the set came Peter Graham’s “Amazonia” from “Windows of the World”, (written for the Royal Norwegian Navy Band), evoking the sounds and atmosphere of Brazil’s great river and jungle landscape.

The Big Phat Band’s infectiously, toe-tappingly rhythmic “Samba del Gringo” by Gordon Goodwin came next (The arrangement for brass band is by J. V. Larsen, the Danish Composer-Arranger well known for his work with top Norwegian band, Stavanger), and thirdly Puerto Rican composer Rafael Hernandez’s popular song “El Cumbanchero” arranged as a Cornet Solo by Goff Richards. A flamboyant rendering of the solo was played by MK Brass’ Principal Cornet, Matt Ball, who treated the audience to the typical Mariachi trumpet style of Mexican street bands.

The mood and tone was then dramatically changed by a soulful rendering of “Chequilin de Bachin”. This was a passionate musical response to the composer’s (A. Piazzolla) and lyricist’s (H. Ferrer) observations of a beggar-boy on the streets of Buenos Aries, Argentina; the sensitive, colourful arrangement is by Norwegian Reid Gilje.

The band’s finale was the last movement of Martin Ellerby’s Evocations, “The Royal Hunt of the Sun”. The percussive music depicts the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire in Peru during the 16th Century, and provided an exciting close to the band’s programme.

The band’s performance was well received by the audience and adjudicator, who expressed particular praise for the band’s Bass and Percussion sections. The band was pleased to be placed 5th in a field of 14 quality bands, some of which are already qualified for promotion to the Championship Section.

You can hear and watch the performance by clicking on the link below

(MK Brass’s performance starts at 3 hours into the video of the 1st Section Contest)

53 views0 comments