I was fortunate to attend the season closing concert by HSSB yesterday with guest conductor Edward Gregson and what a concert it was. HSSB were in great form and were inspired by Mr Gregson. Opening with J. Scott Irvine's Anniversary Overture (in the presence of the composer), they followed with a stunning performance of the brass band version of the Gregson Trombone Concerto by Gordon Wolfe, principal trombone of the Toronto Symphony; and what a consumate performer he is. His skill and fine tone throughout the register made this sound almost easy. An encore was Traumerie in which Wolfe was joined by the Hannaford trombones - exquisite! The concert also included Gregson works Symphony in Two Movements, Chalk Farm No.2 and Of Distant Memories all of which received wonderful performances. They were interspersed with solos from Robert Venables (HSSB principal cornet) in a new work - Tryptique - by Canadian composer Tristan Capicchione - there wont be many players capable of performing this relatively short but supremely difficult piece. Capicchione had travelled fromMontreal to hear his piece receive a tremendous performance. A feature of the Festival of Brass weekend is a silent auction and last years winning bid for Maestro for a Moment saw Willard Watt, dressed in highland garb, conduct Kevin Larssons They Shall Come From The East. Solos from the winning youth solo competition were also featured (slow melody and concerto) with My Ain Folk on Flugel Horn and excerpts from the Langford Trombone Concerto, performances that more than demonstrated the promise of the two young soloists. The big tune at the end of Of Distant Memories, coming as it did at the end of a long and demanding program, showed no evidence of fatigue from a band that had given their all and more. It was a stunning end to a stunning concert. This is not intended to be a critical report, but is just my own observations of a great afternoon, spent with superb musicians, making great music. Thank you ladies and gentlemen of the HSSB. On a personal note, Mr. Gregson had donated the Black Dyke SYMPHONY CD to the silent auction. As the winning bid, I had the immense privilege of going back stage and meeting Mr. Gregon one on one for a few minutes - what a thrill and what an absolute gentleman. I was able to share that I had admired his music from Dalaro, his first published composition, on through the years of so much great music. Thank you sir, you made my day!