Dereham Divertimento, new music written by Leigh Baker premiers in Dereham

Discussion in 'The Auditorium - Concert Details' started by sop with altitude, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. It’s not every day that a market town like Dereham, in Norfolk experiences a musical “world premier” but that is just what will be happening on September the 12th 2009 at Northgate High School in Dereham , Norfolk
    On this date the audience will be the first to hear a newly commissioned piece of music written especially for The Dereham band by Leigh Baker, renowned composer in residence, and arranger with the world famous Brighouse and Rastrick Band.

    The music entitled “Dereham Divertimento” was commissioned by the band to be a lasting tribute to band member and former chairman Dawn Rollins and her husband Colin Smith, who were tragically killed in a light aircraft accident whilst on holiday in Malawi in 2007. Both Dawn and Colin had a passion for seeing the world around them and visiting exotic new places. This was almost always done during extensive foreign cycling holidays, which is very much a theme of the piece. The band wanted to do something really special with the money kindly donated by people after the funeral, and this seemed a fitting tribute to their friends.

    The band gave Leigh as much information about Dawn and Colin as they could and he has used this information to produce a suite of three movements, which reflect very personally on two special lives.

    Leigh was very pleased to be offered this commission in such special circumstances. The Dereham Band was in turn very impressed by Leigh’s thoughtful and kind approach, which has resulted in a uniquely individual piece. His professionalism was very much appreciated.

    The music intricately weaves a picture throughout all three movements, and is by no means sad and funereal. Indeed, the first movement is a lively piece, which sets the scene with its florid semiquavers and bold and optimistic underlying theme. It evokes the speeding up and slowing down of bicycle pedals, and beautifully captures the theme of exciting prospects for an exciting holiday filled with the promise of foreign travel. Movement two is one of the most beautifully reflective pieces written in recent years for a brass band with hymn-like solemnity and chords based on C and D, for Colin and Dawn. A plaintive euphonium motif precedes a moving chorale section, which has a restless quality as the piece spiritually soars. The third movement really goes to town and makes good use of the tune “Daisy Daisy” in a breathless set of mini variations which really shows us how much fun life can be! A rhythmically cheeky 10/8 section is complete with bicycle bells for the back row cornets to abuse, and plenty of “car horn” action and the odd wonky wheel, Daisy’s “bicycle built for two moves” at 90 smiles per hour!

    Dereham are realy enjoying this fabulous piece and would like to thank Leigh for his fantastic creation.

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