Hepworth Band 125th Anniversary Concert

Discussion in 'theMouthPiece.com User Reviews' started by Thirteen Ball, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Brighouse, Yorkshire
    Sitting in huddersfield town hall, waiting for a band to come on is an experience I'm well used to. Hepworth's concert was not the first I'd attended there, however I think I was probably more nervous than any of the band.

    The reason? For the first time, I was going to sit in a concert hall as an audience member, and listen to something I'd arranged for band. There was barely a spare seat in the place, and to top it all off, the stage was being shared with the Huddersfield Choral Society, slightly under-strength at around 100 members!

    So no pressure then.

    The opener, Zadok the priest, really showed what both band and choir were capable of. Often when playing with a choir, a band needs to be careful not to drown them out - however there was no such risk here. Hepworth began with power and quality, and the choir followed with just as much of both. If anyone in the hall remained unmoved by the magnificent sound, they really were in the wrong place.

    If anything, that just made me even more nervous.

    The band's performance of Salterello passed off without a hitch, sparkling throughout, and then conductor Mark Bentham turned to the Audience to Introduce the night's first soloist.

    This was it. Principal Cornet, Rob Westacott, had chosen to play my arrangement of the Rondo Allegretto from Weber's Clarinet Concerto no.1 - the UK premier of the piece, and naturally, at such a prestigious occasion, I was understandably nervous about how it would be received.

    I needn't have worried.

    Rob was in fine form right from the start, though it was only when I actually heard the piece from out in front, I started to realise how difficult the solo I'd arranged really was! A sparkling display of cornet-playing followed, with some very fine high-register work and real soloistic flair.

    With the band showing the form that could easily lead to a high finish at the albert hall this october, Bentham's reading of the score was brilliant and really brought the best out of the music, always compimenting the soloist perfectly. As I remarked to him over a pint after the concert, to find so much music in a deliberately simple accompaniment was a feat indeed.

    When Rob tested the limits of the Bb cornet's high register, soaring up for the final super-f in the piece - and getting it in fine style - the audience knew they'd seen a very special performance, and the applause for band and soloist lasted nearly as long as the piece had.

    The rest of the concert shone with quality form both band and choir - with a particular high points being Mark Bentham's own arrangement of Barber's Adagio - which he really should send to a publisher - and the finale, O Fortuna from Carmina Burana endangering the roof of Huddersfield town hall.

    I just felt I had to pen this small note, to Thank Hepworth band and Huddersfield Choral society for a great evening's entertainment. Also particulaly the band for providing one of the highest points of my so-far short career as composer and arranger, Rob Westacott for such a fine performance, and Hepworth's Eb bass player Tony Whittingham, who knows why.
  2. Belfast Barman

    Belfast Barman Member

    Belfast, Northern Ireland
    First off buddy, many many congratulations on arranging such a terrific piece of music...
    Secondly, having heard Rob play on many occasions, you should've known he wouldn't let you down....
    Thirdly, so thats where Tony Tuba is plying his trade these days!

    Well done mate - always knew you had the talent to go far - I kept on telling you!!

    Andy - I used to sit next to both Andi and Tony!!!!!!!
  3. andylockett86

    andylockett86 Member

    Chorley, Lancashire
    Hi Andi! Great concert last night - really enjoyed my first with the band. good to meet you afterwards aswell!
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