Monday 23 March 2015

Welcome! Graham Tear

If you were at our concert on Saturday you would have heard that our new MD will be Graham Tear.
Graham Tear has a wealth of experience having performed with and conducted many diverse groups within Northamptonshire and beyond.

Our outgoing MD, Stephen Bell, said "I am delighted to be handing the baton over to the capable and masterful Mr Graham Tear who is one of the most talented musicians I have had the pleasure of working with over the years.
"The future of NCB is very bright and I wish each and every player in NCB great success with Graham Tear. I'll be following the progress very closely and I'm confident that you will continue to soar."

Graham will be taking his first rehearsal with Northampton Concert Band after the Easter Break.

Graham Tear - Biog

Graham Tear
Graham was educated at Northampton Grammar School and then at Birmingham Conservatoire studying flute, bassoon and conducting. He won the Midland Institute concerto prize, appearing as flute soloist with the college chamber orchestra at the Aix en Provence Music Festival. After several years as a freelance player, playing with the CBSO, Opera north and Welsh National Opera he taught at Stowe School and Nene College (now Northampton University) and then joined the staff of the Northamptonshire Music Service (now NMPAT).

During his years with the service working as deputy head of woodwind he has conducted most groups including the County Youth Orchestra, County Concert Band and Youth Choir and has regularly taken assorted groups to the National Festival of Music for Youth, winning outstanding performance awards and appearing at the Schools Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.

He has also conducted Towcester Studio Band, Irthlingborough Entertainment Society and Northampton Symphony Orchestra and spent several years directing Northampton Gilbert and Sullivan Group.

He was on the conducting staff of the European Youth Summer Music Course and directed the brass and wind bands for the WMA Summer School. Twenty-five years ago, he founded and still directs Northampton Chamber Orchestra.

Although now semi-retired, he lives in Brixworth and is still very active teaching at Northampton School for Boys and as musical director of Northampton Musical Theatre Company, who will be performing at the Royal Theatre in May and at Derngate in late October. He is also chairman of Northampton Festival of the Performing Arts and plays with the John Clare Wind Quintet as well as assorted other orchestral playing.

He enjoys cooking and tinkering with his model railway and has an amazing collection of hats!
Read More »

Friday 13 March 2015

Director's Choice 21st March 2015 - Concert Programme

Director's Choice - Saturday 21st March 2015 - Overview
  • RAF March Past
  • Barber of Saville Goes to the Devil
  • New Horizons
  • October
  • Death or Glory
  • Time Remembered
  • Star Trek
  • Trailblaze
  • The Firebird
  • Paris Sketches Movt 1
  • A Concert Medley - Mancini
  • Nimrod
  • Guys and Dolls
Director's Choice 
Saturday 21st March 2015
Conducted by Stephen Bell
Abington Avenue United Reformed Church

RAF March Past
Walford Davies
The "Royal Air Force March Past" is the official march of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and is used in some other Commonwealth air forces.
The original score was completed by Sir Walford Davies in 1918 for the new RAF; it combined the rhythm of the bugle call of the Royal Flying Corps with that of the Royal Naval Air Service. The call appears in both the introduction and the coda. The second part of the march past, the trio, was composed by Sir George Dyson.
The march can be played both as a slow march and a quick march, and has been used as both when the Queen's Colour Squadron and RAF Central Band perform public duties such as mounting the guard at Buckingham Palace.

Barber of Saville Goes to the Devil – Comedy Overture
Gordon Jacob
Arr. Robert O'Brien
This rumbustious parody of Rossini's style was composed in 1960 for the BBC Concert Orchestra. This fun and rousing parody explores everything from a Spanish dance to a street parade.

New Horizons - Trumpet solo : Chris Cox
Gordon Langford
Langford (born May 1930 as Gordon Colman - cousin of Harold Colman) began piano lessons aged five. At nine, one of his compositions received a public performance. He attended Bedford Modern School and he went on to win a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music where he studied piano and composition with Norman Demuth. It was Demuth, his professor of composition, who suggested that he should change his surname or use a pseudonym. Hence, he changed his name to become Gordon Colman Langford.
Langford is best known as a brass band composer and arranger including the works of other composers, such as Henry Mancini, Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams.

Eric Whitacre
Commissioned by the Nebraska Wind Consortium; Eric Whitacre composed October with the intention of evoking a peaceful musical representation of the month he has called his favourite, and the feelings this month evokes for him.

Death or Glory
Robert Browne Hall
Robert Browne Hall was a leading composer of marches and other music for brass bands. He was born in Maine, US and seldom left his native state during his lifetime, dying in Portland in 1907.
His music though has travelled around the world. His celebrated march "Death or Glory", written in 1895 and dedicated to the Tenth Regiment Band in Albany, New York, is a well-known staple of band concerts all over the UK.

Time Remembered
Philip Sparke
Time Remembered was commissioned by the Woking Wind Orchestra with support from the British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles (BASBWE).
The initial idea was for a millennium piece, which it is. But rather than add to the many celebratory pieces that have understandably been written to salute the 3rd Millennium, Philip Sparke thought it would perhaps be appropriate to think about the aspects of life that are constantly with us (faith, philosophy – whatever you like to call it) rather than the exciting changes that the year 2000 has undeniably wrought. The aim was to write a piece which reflects on those things we all need to hold on to, no matter how many changes take place around us and to acknowledge the necessity not to forget our past while looking forward to the future.

Star Trek
Giacchino, Courage, Roddenberry
Arr. Jay Bocook
Giacchino admitted personal pressure in scoring the J.J. Abrams 2009 Star Trek film, as "I grew up listening to all of that great [Trek] music, and that's part of what inspired me to do what I'm doing. You just go in scared. You just hope you do your best. It's one of those things where the film will tell me what to do.”
To Boldly Go | Enterprising Young Men End Credits

See Also

Goff Richards
Goff Richards, sometimes credited as Godfrey Richards, was a prominent English brass band arranger and composer.
He was well known for his original brass compositions such as “Trailblaze”, “Doyen”, “Exploding Brass!” and the marches “The Jaguar” and “Barnard Castle”.
NCB performed "Barnard Castle" at the National Concert Band Festival in November where we won a platinum award.

The Firebird (Excerpts from) 
Igor Stravinsky
Arr. Jay Bocook
The Firebird was written for the 1910 Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russe company. The ballet is based on Russian folk tales of the magical glowing bird that can be both a blessing and a curse to its owner. When the ballet was first performed on 25 June 1910, it was an instant success with both audience and critics.
Jay Bocook's arrangement features prominent themes from Stravinsky's powerful ballet.

Paris Sketches
Movt. 1 Saint Germain-des-Prés
Martin Ellerby
Noted British composer Ellerby calls this work "my personal tribute to a city I love." Each movement pays homage to a specific locale in Paris and to the composers who lived, worked, or passed through it. A theme of bells, a prominent feature of Paris life, runs through the entire piece.
This first movement from the suite depicts the Latin Quarter, famous for artistic associations and bohemian lifestyle. This is a dawn prelude haunted by the shade of Ravel: the city awakens with the ever-present sound of morning bells.

Mancini - A Concert Medley
Henry Mancini
Arr. John Moss
Mancini had a long collaboration with the film director Blake Edwards and won numerous Academy Awards for the songs in Edwards’ films, including “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
This arrangement by John Moss sandwiches the melancholy of Moon River between the cheerful and goofy slices of The Pink Panther and Baby Elephant Walk

Edward Elgar
Arr. Barrie Hingley
This 9th movement from the Enigma Variations is dedicated to Augustus J. Jaeger who was employed as music editor by the London publisher Novello & Co., giving Elgar useful advice but also severe criticism, something Elgar greatly appreciated.
Elgar later related how Jaeger had encouraged him as an artist and had stimulated him to continue composing despite being depressed. Nimrod refers to an Old Testament patriarch described as 'a mighty hunter before the Lord' – Jäger being German for hunter.

Guys and Dolls
Frank Loesser
Arr. Calvin Custer
Guys and Dolls is an adaptation of Damon Runyon's short stories. These stories, written in the 1920s and 1930s, concerned gangsters, gamblers, and other characters of the New York underworld. Runyon was known for the unique dialect he employed in his stories, mixing highly formal language with slang.
Frank Loesser, who had spent most of his career as a lyricist for movie musicals, was hired as composer and lyricist.
This selection includes the songs: Guys & Dolls | Luck be a Lady | I've Never Been In Love Before | A Bushel and a Peck | Follow the Fold | If I Were A Bell | Sit Down You're Rocking The Boat

Read More »

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Farewell Wishes for Stephen

If you would like to send a message of goodwill and best wishes to Stephen, please fill in the comments section below this news post.

These comments will be passed to Stephen and a selection will be read out at his last concert on the 21st March.
Read More »