Sheffield's Biggest Brass Band?
Sheffield’s biggest ever brass band?
Sun shines for pop-up brass band playing in Tudor Square
On Saturday 7 May, 14 brass bands, comprising around 150 musicians, gathered in Tudor Square for a celebration of brass as part of Music in the Round’s Beethoven Revisited festival of chamber music.
The brass bands collectively formed what is thought to have been Sheffield’s biggest ever brass band. Loxley Silver and Training Bands, Oughtibridge Brass and Training Bands, Stannington Training Band, Woodhouse Brass Band, Chapeltown Silver and Unite the Union were among the bands taking part.
After a short rehearsal in the fantastic acoustics of the foyer of the world-famous Crucible Theatre, the massed band filled Sheffield’s Tudor Square basked in sunshine. Of the approximately 150 musicians of all ages, around half were learners. They were invited to share a selection of Beethoven arrangements and uplifting pieces from the brass band repertoire with festival concert-goers and passers-by.
The players performed an uplifting selection of music, with a large crowd gathering to enjoy the summer sounds which included Pop Looks Beethoven’s disco grooves, Slaidburn’s stirring fanfares, and the pop music of Michael Buble’s Haven’t met You Yet.
The band was conducted by Gavin Somerset of Oughtibridge Band and Pennine Music, who was also the music sponsor for the event.
“Having arranged and composed so many things for bands, from simple hymn tunes to full orchestral concert works, the sound of a 150 strong brass band belting out my arrangement of Bublé's Haven't Met You Yet has to go up there alongside other proud moments. Yes it's cheesy music, but it brings smiles!”
Peter of Loxley Silver Band described it as “one of the highlights of my 65 year playing career”. While another participant commented that it was…“the best Saturday morning of my life”.
The event was coordinated by Brass Bands England’s Senior & North of England Liaison Officer, Rachel Veitch-Straw who said: “Our work aims to help local bands gain the maximum benefits from city collaborations and create a legacy of partnership.”
Taking place from 6-14 May 2016 and focussed in and around the Crucible Studio, Music in the Round’s annual festival of chamber music includes 22 concerts, 7 workshops, 4 talks and even a bake-off competition this year, all inspired by the great composer and his influences.
Other musical activities taking place on Saturday 7 May included:
- a free performance on Handel’s Concerti Grossi in the Winter Garden by young local musicians
- a lunchtime concert by the city’s resident chamber group Ensemble 360
- a talk by the eminent Beethoven scholar Professor William Drabkin
- a relaxed concert of improvisation by the extraordinary pianist Harry the Piano
- a chance to hear superstar baritone (and Music in the Round’s new Singer-in-Residence) Roderick Williams in conversation with their artistic director
- a new production of the play for voices by Sheffield-raised playwright Laura Wade, Kreutzer vs Kreutzer
Music in the Round’s Beethoven Revisited festival continues with concerts, workshops, talks, and even a bake-off competition, at the Crucible Studio until Saturday 14 May. Find out more at www.musicintheround.co.uk
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