Standing Ovation from Swanwick
Blidworth Welfare Band returned to St. Andrew's Church, Swanwick for what has become an annual event in the band's diary after many years of presenting a joint Brass Band and Organ concert.
The band opened the concert paying tribute to brass band composer, Darrol Barry to start their 'Fire' themed first half of the concert performing Celtic Fire before inviting flugel horn player, Sara Baldwin to lead the band in her performance of Peter Graham's Follow the Flame. Continuing with the fire theme, Blidworth took the audience back to the 1930's classic black and white movies and eastern promise which gave the inspiration to Peter Graham for his work With Fire and Sword.
Tom Davoran's stunning work for brass band entitled Embers then gave the audience a little relaxation before out of the embers, new life was born with a rousing finish of the band's first set with Ray Farr's arrangement of Stravinsky's 'The Firebird Suite' featuring exquisite playing from the band and particularly soloists, John McMurran, Pete Thornburn and Andy Baldwin.
Experienced and virtuoso organist, Keith Hearnshaw was the featured organ soloist and opened with Pomp & Circumstance No.4 before then performing the well known Air on a G String by J.S. Bach.
Familiar to many in the band, Boellmann's Suite Gothique was the penultimate piece for Keith showing his dexterity and nifty footwork for the audience to see via the large display screen. Concluding the first half of the concert was a great novelty work by Nigel Ogden entitled, Saints on a Spree featuring many well known tunes set to some of the great organ works such as Widor's Toccata.
After a sing through the hymn I Cannot Tell, the audience were then treated to Sortie in E flat with Keith at the organ once again before his rendition of Vivaldi's Largo from Mandalin Concerto and concluding the organ solo set with Widor's Toccata.
For the first time since the Brass Band and Organ concerts started, this year saw both organist and band collaborate for the first time performing Jan van der Roost's Canterbury Chorale before the band returned with their final two pieces before moving into the traditional Last Night of the Proms set.
Blidworth opened their set with an amazing up beat rendition of J.S. Bach's Toccata in D Minor arranged by Ray Farr and featured technical brilliance from the band and their young and dynamic percussion section of Morgan Gallimore (Xylophone), Will Moran (Kit) and Karen Wain (Timpani). After cheers from the audience, the band then performed Philip Harper's effective arrangement of Climb Every Mountain with Sandra Kowalenko on Solo Horn starting off proceedings.
With a standing ovation at the conclusion of the proms sequence and shouts for more, the band concluded the concert paying tribute to the centenary of the Royal Air Force with The Dambusters.