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Swanwick Concert Review 2019

Blidworth in fine form... with a little help from their friends!

The annual Swanwick brass band concert presented by Blidworth Welfare Band took place on Saturday 22nd June 2019 to a near capacity audience and once again in conjunction with organist, Keith Hearnshaw.

Blidworth delivered a class performance in spite of having a few hiccups in the lead up to the concert. Earlier in the week the dep player on Soprano covering for Geoff Weeks had to pull out of the concert due to a family illness, however the band were fortunate to deputise this seat with Clive Purnell of Jaguar Land Rover Band and who played Soprano for Desford, GUS and William Davis Construction Group Band for many years.

Solo Trombone player, Pete Thornburn then took ill later in the week requiring a deputy solo trombone player which was achieved, however at 10am on the morning of the concert that deputy took ill requiring a frantic search for another replacement. Fortunately all was not lost as Tim Mossad from Newstead Brass kindly adjusted his diary and traveled down from Leeds to deliver a class performance throughout the concert.

Just as we thought we had cracked it, our Assistant Euphonium player then called in to say that he was unable to attend due to the imminent arrival of his grand child and being required for babysitting duties. We were grateful to Karl Booker who received a call within a couple of hours of the concert starting, leaving a barbeque and attending to perform with Blidworth.

The concert commenced with a rousing and tight performance of the John Collins march, Bramwyn before leading into the first piece of the band's entertainment contest programme, East meets West; a unique fusion of eastern classical music genres with the western culture of the brass band and appropriately (for this concert) including a snapshot of 'With a little help from my friends'.

The first of the evenings soloists was Principal Euphonium player, Lynden Cooper who chose to perform 'With His First Breath', another of the pieces that the band will perform in July at the Shirebrook Open Entertainment Contest.

The upbeat 'The Melody Shop' then followed showing virtuosity around the band before the sublime arrangement of choral music 'Lux Aurumque' by Eric Whitacre.

The final soloist of the first half was Sandra Kowalenko, the band's Solo Horn player who chose to perform Johnny Bates' excellent arrangement of Hushabye Mountain before the band played into the interval with Philip Harper's arrangement of 'The Four Seasons'.

Keith Hearnshaw then showed gave a virtuoso performance on the organ before being joined by a quintiet of players in the Gigout work before the band opened their second half of the programme with Paul Lovatt-Cooper's 'When Thunder Calls'.

Principal Cornet player, John McMurran showcased his supreme tonal qualities in the arrangement of Cinema Paradiso before the band wowed the audience with their performance of North Eastern folk song, Water of Tyne.

Swanwick was the debut concert on the flugel horn for Jacqui Oswin who chose to perform the Mark Freeh arrangement of April in Paris before the band delivered a superb rendition of Bach's 'Toccata in D Minor' arranged by former conductor of Blidworth, Ray Farr.

Following the waving of flags and singing in the proms section of the concert, the band concluded with an encore of 'I'll walk with God'.

Heard on leaving the venue an audience member said "That band just get better every year".

Disappointed you missed it?...

This concert is repeated in Balderton, Nottinghamshire on 29th June 2019.

Please see events page for details on how to purchase tickets.

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