'The Northampton Concert Band aims to provide exciting, energetic and flexible wind ensembles for musical events' 'They aim to embrace diversity in musical taste, thereby appealing to the wider needs of the whole community'.
A quote from their website, not from me, and under the direction of Stephen Bell this is pretty much what we heard today. The opening piece, Fandango by Frank Perkins took us on a musical journey providing us with the high quality of music that was to follow.
Looking at the band, they had the full arsenal of instruments, including Contra Bassoon, Electric Bass and a certain Mr Holland backing up what seemed like most of the percussion! After a slightly awkward moment from the conductor asking if there were any Goedicke fans in the audience, Chris Cox, the soloist in the Concert Etude played with style and ease, gently accompanied by the band.
I do find it amazing that this band is non-auditioning, so one might think the standard might be a little less, but this is not so. A significant piece followed in which the whole band is stretched to its abilities. Gary Carpenter has been writing substantial wind band music for some time, and his Flying God Suite builds on many layers. The band showed it can tackle all dynamics, including the fff multi layered parts in which you could hear all the lines. This contrasted well with Elergy from David Haddon, seeing the more emotional side to band for which it was written.
We then proceed to what the conductor calls the 'bread and butter' of concert band repertoire. The light music of Sweeney Todd, highlights of Guys and Dolls and ending with the toe tapping Pirates of the Caribbean puts a smile on the faces of the audience from all ages. It's just a shame there weren't more people from other bands in the audience to witness this polished performance.
BASBWE is an association, we should endeavour to be part of the wider community and hear what other have to offer, not just turn up, play, and leave. Bravo Northampton!