Sunday, 8 December 2019

Northampton Concert Band to perform Classic Children’s Story


Meghan and Noah with The Snowman

Music from ‘The Blues Brothers’, ‘The Incredibles’ and ‘The Greatest Showman’ are just some of the popular favourites ready and rehearsed for what promises to be a fun filled evening for all ages. Though the main event at Northampton Concert Band’s annual Christmas concert will be a full narrated performance of the classic children’s story ‘The Snowman’.

Based on Raymond Brigg’s picture book of the same name, ‘The Snowman’ has become a popular Christmas film since it was first shown in 1982 with music by Howard Blake.

The 50 plus strong band, conducted by Graham Tear, will be joined by Meghan McCrimmon-Foster who will narrate alongside the band’s performance.

Meghan, who is an accomplished musician herself, said “I was honoured to be asked by the band to help bring this story to life as there is no film to accompany our music. I need to time the reading of the story very carefully to ensure it fits.”

The band are also joined by Noah Taylor-Whitley, 13, who will be singing the famous song “Walking in the Air”. Noah, who has only been singing for 2 years, was seen on the Derngate stage in October with the Northampton Musical Theatre Company, playing ‘Graham’ in ‘Made in Dagenham’. Noah said, “The Snowman is very different from anything I’ve sung before, so I know it’s going to be a challenge and an amazing experience.” 

The band will also perform a selection of popular and seasonal favourites to get everyone in the holiday mood. 

The concert will take place at the Cripps Hall Theatre, Northampton School for Boys, Northampton at 7:30pm on Saturday 14th December. Tickets are £10 Adults, £5 Children/Students. Box Office 01604 258666 (answerphone out of hours) Online at: www.ticketsource.co.uk/cripps-hall
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Christmas Concert featuring The Snowman - Full Programme

Saturday 14th December 2019
The Cripps Hall Theatre, Northampton School for Boys, Northampton
Musical Director: Graham Tear

A Musical Toast
Leonard Bernstien
arr. Clare Grundman
Composed in 1980, Leonard Bernstein wrote this piece as a tribute to his friend Andre Kostelanetz, the music uses the rhythm of his name and layers it over itself to create a great motif. Musicians have been know to substitute the name, Andre Kostelanetz, with words that suit the occasion. Tonight, we use it to 'Welcome you to our concert'.

Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
Berns, Burke and Wexler
arr. Marcel Saurer
Written and recorded in 1964 the song peaked in the US charts at number 58. The song was later made famous in the 1980 comedy film The Blues Brothers starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as brothers Jake and Elwood Blues. In 1989 it was released as a single in the UK, backed by "Think" and it peaked in the UK charts at number 12.

The Greatest Showman (Selections from)
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
arr. Paul Murtha
The Greatest Showman is a 2017 musical biographical drama film and stars Hugh Jackman as the famed circus owner P.T. Barnum and follows his career from humble beginnings to success. The film received praise from critics for the performances, music and production value.
This selection include the songs : The Greatest Show | A Million Dreams | Never Enough | This is Me | From Now On

The Snowman
Howard Blake
arr. Philip Littlemore
Narrator: Meghan McCrimmon Foster
Boy Soprano: Noah Taylor-Whitley
The animated television film, based on Raymond Briggs' 1978 picture book The Snowman, was first shown on 26 December 1982, and was an immediate success. The story is told through pictures, action and music, scored by Howard Blake, and is wordless, with the exception of the central song "Walking in the Air".
Instead of pictures and action, our story tonight will be narrated by Meghan and our boy soprano is Noah Taylor Whitley . This arrangement for wind band stays true to the original film. Enjoy.

Toccata
J.S. Bach
arr. Ray Farr & Kevin Lamb
This musical curio was arranged in 1984 and based on a version by English/Australian progressive rock group “Sky” who specialised in combining a variety of musical styles, most prominently rock, classical and jazz. Their version – simply named ‘ Toccata’ – appeared on their second studio album named Sky 2. Despite being a double album it reached number one in the British Album charts and the single peaked at number 5 in the British Singles Chart.

Interval

Sleigh Ride
Leroy Anderson
The composer had the original idea for the piece during a heat wave in July 1946 and finished the work in February 1948. Lyrics were later written by Mitchell Parish in 1950. Although "Sleigh Ride" is often associated with Christmas and appears on Christmas compilation albums, its lyrics mention no holiday. The song is noted for the sounds of a horse clip-clopping, and a whip used to get the horse moving. Toward the end of the piece, a trumpet imitates the sound of a horse whinnying. The song was also covered by the Ronettes in 1963.

The Incredibles
Michael Giacchino
arr. Jay Bocook
Brad Bird’s 2004 computer animated film was set in an alternate version of the 1960s where a family of superheroes hide their powers in an attempt to live a quiet suburban life.
Michael Giacchino created a score for the film that was inspired by the films retro-futuristic design.

White Christmas
Irving Berlin
arr. John Edmondson
Irving Berlin’s song, reminiscing about an old fashioned Christmas setting, originally sung by Bing Crosby, is the world’s best-selling single with an estimated sales of over 50 million worldwide.

Once in Royal David's City - Audience Carol

Hunter's Moon
Gilbert Vinter
arr. Graham Tear
Solo: Meghan McCrimmon Foster
Gilbert was already an accomplished composer and arranger before the second world war when in he enlisted in the RAF in 1940. It was during his time in Torquay in 1942 that he wrote Hunter’s Moon for horn and orchestra. The piece was premiered by John Burden – for whom it was written. The term ‘Hunter’s Moon,’ also known as a sanguine or “blood” moon, is used traditionally to refer to a full moon that appears during the month of October.

Let the Bells Ring!

Robert Buckley
Based on the familiar Ukrainian Bell Carol, Robert Buckley has taken a rhapsodic approach mixing original ideas along with this well-known melody. Originally composed by Mykola Dmytrovich Leontovych, the Ukrainian Bell Carol is part of a large choral work entitled Shchedryk. It was first performed by students of Kiev University in December 1916. The tune is an adaptation of an old ‘shchedrivka’, a song traditionally sung on Ukrainian New Year’s Eve.

Hark the Herald Audience Carol

Can-Can Alla Rossini
Philip R Buttall
arr. John Glenesk Mortimer
Philip was born in Plymouth, Devon. He retired from full-time teaching in 1997, after more than twenty-five years in the secondary school sector, initially in Cornwall and then in Devon. He has been composing since the age of fifteen and has also produced many arrangements. Can-Can Alla Rossini was suggested after the success of one of his other pieces; The Lone Ar-Ranger.

The Christmas Song
Torme and Wells
arr. Jerry Nowak
According to Tormé, the song was written during a blistering hot summer in 1945. In an effort to "stay cool by thinking cool". I saw a spiral pad on Wells' piano with four lines written in pencil", Tormé recalled. "They started, 'Chestnuts roasting..., Jack Frost nipping..., Yuletide carols..., Folks dressed up like Eskimos.' Bob didn't think he was writing a song lyric. He said he thought if he could immerse himself in winter he could cool off. Forty minutes later that song was written. I wrote all the music and some of the lyrics."

A Christmas Overture
Nigel Hess
We finish tonight's concert with this vivacious and colourful Christmas Overture, originally commissioned as an orchestral work by John Rutter for his 2007 Christmas Festival, proved an instant success with audience and orchestra alike. Traditional carols, skilfully juxtaposed and interwoven, provide the thematic material. They are, in order of appearance, Ding Dong! Merrily On High; Deck The Halls, Il Est Né Le Divin Enfant, Infant Holy, Infant Lowly, Personent Hodie, We Wish You A Merry Christmas and Angels, From the Realms Of Glory, which brings the overture to a majestic close. Fragments of other carols appear along the way to enrich the texture of what is surely one of the most attractive pieces written for the festive season.
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Saturday, 16 March 2019

A Northampton Prelude by Daniel Basford

Daniel Basford
Picture www.danielbasford.co.uk
Northampton Concert Band will be giving the world premiere performance of 'A Northampton Prelude' by Daniel Basford at their centenary Gala Concert on Saturday 23rd March 2019, compered by Anna Murby.

Daniel Basford was born in Hitchin and learned piano, cello, bassoon, and percussion before focussing on composition. He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Adam Gorb and David Horne. His music – particularly for wind band – has been performed in the UK, USA, and Europe, and has won national and international awards.

Of his piece, commissioned by the band to celebrate their centenary, Daniel writes:

“The goal of this piece was to create a work that was interesting to play yet accessible, fun to listen to but also not overly complex.

Most of the material used in A Northampton Prelude is heard in the opening thirty seconds. The piece is essentially in three parts: a short and majestic fanfare-style opening, a faster rhythmic section which itself has a calmer central episode, and an extended coda that combines elements of the previous two parts. 

Perhaps as a slight nod to Northampton’s manufacturing history, metal percussion features strongly in the piece, particularly the cutting sounds of the brake drum, cowbell, and tubular bells.“
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Thursday, 14 March 2019

Gala Concert to celebrate Centenary

This year Northampton Concert Band are celebrating our centenary. Formed in 1919 by a group of ex-servicemen who wished to continue their musical interests in civilian life. The band was originally called the Northamptonshire Comrades of the Great War and were locally known as the 'Merry Comrades Band'. In 1976 the name was changed to the Northampton Concert Band to reflect the increase in membership of younger musicians and the wider repertoire of music played.

Today the band is stronger than ever with over 50 members under the baton of local maestro Graham Tear (64), who has been an educator of music in Northampton for all his adult life. 

To celebrate this milestone we are performing a concert of music that reflects our musical history. 

Graham Tear said, "The band has so much music in its library it was difficult to decide which items to include. We've all had a say in what we should play. Some choices reflect the eras of the band under different conductors and their favourite pieces. My personal choice is 'Thames Journey' by Nigel Hess, which was one of the first items I purchased for the band when I took over the batton in 2015."

As well as performing famous band pieces, like the 'Dam Busters March', we have also commissioned a new piece for our centenary by Daniel Basford. Entitled 'A Northampton Prelude', the piece will have its world premiere at the Gala Concert on the 23rd March.

The evening will be compered by BBC Radio Northampton's Anna Murby at Abington Avenue United Reformed Church at 7:30pm on Saturday 23rd March. Visit our Tickets page for more information and to get your tickets.
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Sunday, 30 December 2018

New Year - New Musical Opportunity



It's that time of year when you decide to make a change in your life. We'll if that change is playing that old instrument of yours then we have a brilliant opportunity for you.

This year Northampton Concert Band will be celebrating their centenary year with a Gala concert on Saturday 23rd March at Abington Avenue United Reformed Church, and this could be your opportunity to join us at our weekly rehearsals leading up to the event.

Ideally, we are looking for grade 6 and above, though if you're rusty or are determined to improve you're also welcome.

We are particularly keen to find more :
  • Trumpets/Cornets
  • Trombones
  • Tuba
  • Alto Clarinet
  • String Bass
  • Percussionists (percussion instruments provided)
For more information about joining us read our Join Us page or contact members.ncb@gmail.com.



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