BASBWE London Festival - Saturday 24th March 2012
Invicta Wind Orchestra (Jeremy Cooper - cond.)
With an early start, leaving Torquay, Devon, at 04.30 to travel to London for the BASBWE festival, I wasn't disappointed when greeted by music on my arrival at Ravens Wood School.
The first band concert, to be performed by the Invicta Wind Orchestra, under the direction of Jeremy Cooper were busy rehearsing and sound checking their programme of music in the main concert hall. This was to follow the opening massed band proceedings, led by guest conductor Guy Woolfenden.
Invicta Wind Orchestra immediately put the audience at ease with a classic military match entitled Fougasse, penned by a former military musician himself, Richard Hubbert.
Following this, was the first piece to be heard during the course of the day by one of the finalists from the newly instigated BASBWE composition competition. John Holland, the now BASBWE secretary's programmatic Overture to an Imaginary Silent Film inspired by the 'The Artist' incorporates themes for the lonely heroine and her dashing soldier, along with the bustle of the big city, interspersed by stamping feet across the whole band, signalling the return of deployed troops. Future performances will, without doubt, allow many different interpretations of the music, given the nature of this tribute to the magic of Hollywood silent film music.
In contrast, the ensemble continued with four more different stylistic pieces. Antiphonies is Alan Ridout's only wind band piece and was composed by request from Jeremy when he was conducting the Oxford University Wind in 1989. Jubilo, a relatively new work, incorporates what we have been accustom to in Fergal Carroll's music. Multi rhythmic challenges and prominent percussion sections, along with celtic colour, added a touch of joviality to a composition written to celebrate the birthday of a man who 'loved life and lived well.'
Prominent tuned percussion lines and melodic phrasing continued as the band performed Kit Turnball's Far from Home with additional soprano saxophone harmonies that needing careful handling of intonation. The band concluded with Towards a Better World, a movement from Trevor Widdicombe's Spirit of Youth Suite.
Tim Watson, Colour Sergeant Royal Marines and Salford DMA Candidate.