On Palm Sunday the Woodfalls Band helped premier a major brass work from the pen of Philip Wilby. A Passion For Our Times was originally commissioned by the City of Liverpool in 1993 to commemorate the life of James Bulger, the little lad that was abducted and so brutally killed by two young boys. The music was first written for wind band and choir but it’s been Philip’s ambition to arrange this piece for brass band and choir. So Woodfalls Band was very proud and honoured to be asked to help premier this new version of such a powerful piece. The performance of this new version took place in the amazing setting of Bristol Cathedral and also involved the Great Choir of the Cathedral, Paul Walton on organ, narration from Neil Baker, actors from trinity College, Bristol and Phillip Wilby’s wife Canon Wendy Wilby. There are three acts to the Passion separated by two highly virtuoso organ solos, and the music moves from a brutal start, to a sorrowful middle and a beautifully serene ending as it tells the story of Jesus’ trial, crucifixion, and resurrection. Band, choir and narrator are skilfully interwoven for the first two acts whilst the peaceful finale follows the more traditional format of a choral mass. The huge work also highlighted the band’s soloists with cornets, flugel, solo horn, trombones and soprano asked to act parts of the drama. The performance conducted by Mark Lee went extremely well with Professor Wilby declaring himself bowled over by the results. Woodfalls Band would like to take this opportunity to thank Phillip Wilby for his stunning music and for our chance to play at such a prestigious event. A Passion for our Times deserves many more performances and we hope that the band movement takes note of this hugely important work for our medium.