Concorde March

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by alanl58, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. alanl58

    alanl58 Member

    Some time ago we bought "Concorde March", by Robert Farnon, arranged for brass band by Allan Street, commissioned by British Airways, copyright 1975.

    Has anyone else played this? Anyone know the background?

    Quite a pleasant piece, with the melody mainly from the baris down....

    Any information would be welcome.


    Bude Metric Brass
  2. I remember playing this piece at the Albert Hall in 1975 the evening after the National, with massed bands (Cory - and I think Brighouse, Fairey and Yorkshire Imps?). Pretty sure it was Brighouse and Fairey because I remember Brian Evans and Alan Wycherly playing sop. If you say it is copyright 1975 this might well have been the first performance

    This was also the concert where Don Lusher (with Cory) premiered the Gordon Langford Rhapsody for Trombone and Band - what a great performer he was!

    Just trying to remember the tune to Concorde March, but it eludes me so far...
  3. Just remembered something else about that concert - Robert Farnon conducted the Concorde March, which might make it more likely it was the first performance. Still can't remember the tune though...
  4. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    I can't help feeling that if British Airways had commissioned the work, they'd have expected their own band to give its first performance. Also, British Airways as a company did not actually exist in 1975. My guess is that the original work (probably for orchestra, like most of Farnon's work) dates from 1975, and BA commissioned Allan Street to do the arrangement some time after BA came into existence in 1978.

    Regarding the 1975 Gala concert, I think you might be getting confused with the Colditz March (also by Farnon). The memory of that hideously out-of-tune cornet note on the LP of the event lives with me to this day...
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  5. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

  6. Well, I admit to be being frequently confused:-?, but I'm sure Concorde was on the program as well as Colditz. When I get home I might venture into my loft and dig out the vinyl LP...

    The note that stuck in my mind from the concert was the last pause of Cavalleria Rusticana, where one of the four sops seemed to pitch a wrong 'un...
  7. Saved myself up trip up the ladder - found a link to a review of the LP which lists the Concorde March:,+Cory,+Fairey,+Yorkshire+Imperial+Metals+conducted+by+Robert+Farnon,+IGeoffrey+Brand.+Item+marked+%C2%A7+with+Don+Lusher+(trombone),+Cory+Band+conducted+by+H.+Arthur+Kenney.+Pye+Top+Brass+QS+quadraphonic+TB3004+(%C2%A3175)
  8. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Now that I'm home I have ventured into the cellar where the kindly old archivists (copyright ISIHAC) have dusted off the old twelve incher, and..... you are absolutely right - Concorde is there as well as Colditz. And what's more, it says on the sleeve that this was indeed the first performance of the arrangement. It also says that the original was indeed commissioned by British Airways. So the information that I got from the British Airways Band website about BA not being created until 1978 seems to be a bit wayward!

    I might just give the disc a spin on my USB turntable right now to remind myself of the full horror of the tuning.....
  9. Well done, you got there ahead of me. I also decided to look in the archives of my loft yesterday, and as it happened a family friend was visiting and offered to help. She's a delightful young lady called Samantha, and we had a long poke amongst the record stacks until we found it. Samantha then remembered she had left her favourite albums stored in our loft, and I was overjoyed when she got her magnificent hits out for me.

    Moderator - can you please enter this post for the 'Most off Topic Post' competition?
  10. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    We seem to have achieved a 'concorde' in more ways than one!
  11. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    Wasn't the title also recognizing the introduction of the Concorde aircraft into BA service? I remember the 1975 RAH recording too and believe the comments re tuning could be made for most live massed band items recorded until at least the late seventies. I can't remember how the march goes either so will have to dig it out and have a listen.
  12. alanl58

    alanl58 Member

    Thanks for your very informative replies, I've ordered the "retroblokes" record, to see what a symphony orchestra makes of it.

    If we play this at a Concert, I'll see if I can make a half-decent recording!


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