The Famous C.W.S Manchester Band

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by tuba1974, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. tuba1974

    tuba1974 Member

    Does any memories of the Famous Manchester C.W.S Band,
    The only ones I have are, Going to see them at tomorden Town Hall in about 1973 I think, Alex Mortimer coming on to conduct a couple of items, I think derick Garside was the conductor but not 100%, the other one being,
    the tetley contest held in leeds town hall I think about 1984, i also think the band was called the city of manchester band,
    As a bus driver I drive though Manchester twice a day and when i drive past the COOP buildings i often wonder, Why we had to loose this great band. :rolleyes:
  2. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    I heard CWS (Manchester) twice. Once on a London bandstand and the other time in Canada. Unfortunately neither concert was representative of this great band. The bandstand concert was a typical romp through a bunch of light music and was without the energy, concentration etc. that you would find in a concert hall etc.

    They came to Canada in 1972 and by then the band was already into it's demise. Derek Garside was conducting and it was very apparent that things were not good. The deportment of some showed a complete disrespect for the MD with several players sitting with their legs crossed and one or two even slouching in their seats as well.

    I do have some of their recordings in my collection and, for me, the absolute stunner is their performance of The Force of Destiny at the RAH; inho that single performance far exceeded any of their studio recordings.

    I agree, in their day they were a great and very exciting band.
  3. rikster

    rikster New Member

    I saw the massed bands evening concert in 1968 at the RAH , Derek Garside played Facilita accompanied by (I think) his wife on piano, brilliant performance, as were the massed bands that night. As a 15 year old not long into playing, it was truly motivating.
  4. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Ive got a CD with Winning performance of Force of Destiny phew a real class show as well.
    The first senior band i played with(walsall metropolitan band) our conductor Peter Bright was part of that famous band as well he played on the front row.
  5. barrytone

    barrytone Member

    My music teacher, George Morgan - sadly no longer with us, played trombone for CWS early on in his championship banding career. He spoke fondly of the Mortimer boys and Alex in particular who he was very friendly with. It was wonderful knowing someone like George who had been at the top in banding and had lots of stories to tell that only those who had been there could know.

    He very much enjoyed his time at CWS and was conducted by some of the best musicians of their day. He moved on to play in the Yorkshire Championship section with the likes of Black Dyke and Brighouse but kept in touch with Alex and took me to see CWS in action in a contest in Leeds, where if I remember rightly, they won. May be able to dig out some photos of the band if anyone's interested.
  6. Highams

    Highams Member

  7. jcowensEb

    jcowensEb Member

    doesn't grandad(your dad) no anything about them, he talks about them alot.
  8. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    In the 1960's my banding mates and I used to travel to hear "the Co-op" whenever they were in the Leeds area.
    We all played for Leeds Model Band (Now Yorkshire Post Band) and the Fontana recording of "The Co-op" playing "Life Divine" inspired me to join Imps in time to play it at the 1963 British Open.
    Tony Ryan who was 1st Baritone at LMB actually joined Manchester CWS a couple or years later and was there for quite a few years before coming back to Yorkshire to join Hammonds Sauce Works Band (Recently resurrected.)
    Manchester CWS were a fabulous band, Derrek Garside, Lyndon Baglyn, Brian Evans, Michael Hawkins et al
    ( Not forgetting Joe Poole on BBb of course !!)
    Smart uniforms too !!

    - Wilkie
  9. ghost

    ghost Member

    Hi All

    In the 1970's I played under a wonderful man called Freddie Roberts. Fred had taught Derek Garside as a child and right through to when he took the Principal chair at CWS. Fred was the bandmaster and Alex Mortimer's right hand man.

    When I was just 13 Fred invited Derek Garside to play with St Austell band. Derek's playing was stunning and I just sat and watched in awe and played nothing all evening. I can still remember his playing clearly and the memory makes me choke up - it was awsome - the sound was so big and wide. He played everything. He was a real master.

    I saw Derek on many occasions and he was always superb. But also, he was such a humble man and a gentleman. I recently got in touch with a guy called Chris Helme who was writing a piece about Manchester CWS. I told him this story and much more that Fred had relayed to me all those years ago. He got in touch with Derek and one Saturday morning I got a call at home from Derek. We had a really nice chat. Now we are in touch and he gives me advice by letter and by sending CD's of my own playing! (and advice is very much needed!).

    There is a company which is remastering all the old CWS recordings and many other recordings. If anyone would like to know details, send me a message and I will let you have the company's details. I have bought a dozen CD's from them and they are very good quality. The playing is stunning too. Yes, the style is different - lots of short notes to end phrases etc. However, the tone in resurgam is something I do not hear alot of today. I think many of you would agree. Further, Derek explained that many of the early recordings were one takes - no editing etc. I wonder how good modern recordings would be if we used old instruments, old fashioned recording equipment and just one take!? In my experience some younger players seem to consider bands from half a century ago as being of less ability than modern bands. However, I think we owe a great deal to these players and can still learn a great deal from them. After all, just look at the line up of Manchester CWS when they played force of Destiny - I have the recording and I think it would still be the performance to beat if it were played today!

    Or am I just an old romantic at heart who looks at the past with rose tinted specs?
  10. Highams

    Highams Member

    They certainly were an amazing band. There's an LP of them playing 3 major works, Journey Into Freedom, Carnival Romain and the old Les Preludes. They go thro' them like knife through butter.

    Going back to an LP of 1959, the bass section playing in Tam O'Shanter's Ride is stunning!.

  11. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    One of the Fontana LPs included "The Frogs of Aristophanes" which also had some excellent bass playing.

    - Wilkie

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