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  1. Brian Bowen

    Brighouse & the Unthanks

    I realise BBC programming is facing financial cut-backs but two consecutive weeks of Brighouse playing (uncomfortably at times) second fiddle to the Unthanks folk band at a live concert is hardly listen to the band! For the only radio programme in the UK supposedly dedicated to brass bands it...
  2. Brian Bowen

    Terry Camsey, R.I.P.

    Terry Camsey has died in California, where he lived. He was a virtuoso cornet soloist with the International Staff Band, Upper Norwood SA Band, and the New York Staff Band. He also was a composer. His cornet solo “Life’s Pageant”, written in the style of Percy Code, was premiered by Terry and...
  3. Brian Bowen

    Crusader -- the music of Dean Goffin

    I’d like to commend to everyone this new CD. It reveals the art of composer Dean Goffin in a fine and faithful manner. I detected no showing off for the sake of it but rather well-nuanced playing with attention to contrasting dynamics and utter respect for the composer. Goffin was a musical...
  4. Brian Bowen

    Peter Wilson, R.I.P.

    I read today that well respected Peter Wilson passed away on 6 August 2010. Some years ago he was one of the movers and shakers in the brass band movement, including being editor of the British Bandsman. I came to know him when he published some of my music through the publishing company he...
  5. Brian Bowen

    Ray Bowes, r.i.p.

    I understand Lt. Colonel Ray Bowes died Saturday 13 February. He was known to many, especially within the Salvation Army, as a composer and former bandmaster of the International Staff Band. He was a personal friend with whom I worked for a period and shared many musical occasions together in...
  6. Brian Bowen

    Eikanger-Bjorsvik on CD Review (BBC)

    CD Review on BBC Radio 3 on Saturday 13 February contains the following brass band recording: 9:05 am PROKOFIEV: Romeo and Juliet Suite (excerpts) for Brass Band (arr. Giske, Rydland, and Gilje) Eikanger-Bjorsvik Band / Bjarte Engeset (conductor) Naxos 8572193 (CD, budget) It's particularly...
  7. Brian Bowen

    Was it really Grimethorpe?

    I found it hard to believe it was Grimethorpe Band broadcast on LTTB last evening from Brass in Concert. Questionable tuning, blend and balance, not to mention shrill cornets, it could have been a lower section band. I expect far better from a band with such an illustrious reputation. The pieces...
  8. Brian Bowen

    English Brass Ensemble

    I happened to hear this group on US radio today playing Grieg's "The Last Spring". It was far from an authentic transcription of Grieg's wistful composition. The liberties taken, including a corny key change, made me cringe. No arranger's name was given. Does anyone know if such arrangements...
  9. Brian Bowen

    Royal Albert Hall Highlights vol.1

    I was suspicious of the ISB's 1968 performance of The Present Age (Condon) on the recent CD/download from WoB. It's a long while since I heard the original LP of this concert but the ending on the Highlights version seem faster (considerably) than I remembered. In his review of the new CD...
  10. Brian Bowen

    Wally Stott = Angela Morley

    The obituary of this person in The Guardian and Independent caught my attention this week. I well remember Wally Stott being responsible for the music on the Goon Show and Hancock's Half Hour and later becoming Angela Morley following a sex change. I hadn't realized how she continued to produce...
  11. Brian Bowen

    Cats Tales (P. Graham)

    Having just listened to Peter Graham's new "Cats Tales", played by Black Dyke and the ISB (LTTB 13 June) I think he may have another success on his hands as he did with "Windows of the World" and "Call of the Cosssack".
  12. Brian Bowen

    Too loud?

    Audiences complain about how loud brass bands sound. I don't think the players themselves worry too much about it but maybe they should. This article today's New York Times about European orchestras and safety levels is worth noting...
  13. Brian Bowen

    Brass Band of Battle Creek

    Brass Band of Battle Creek was in Sarasota last evening as part of its mini-tour in Florida. They were under the direction of Richard Evans, amusingly attired in Scottish kilt, etc. You can expect with this group of mainly professional musicians to see a number of big names, but a surprise was...
  14. Brian Bowen

    The Armed Man

    This head line caught my eye in today's "Times": What makes Karl Jenkins the Marmite man of music? Is the best-selling contemporary composer a shallow manipulator? Yes, says a critic. No, argues the head of Classic FM...
  15. Brian Bowen

    tMP very slow?

    Am I the only one finding tMP painfully slow for the past few hours? After clicking on a subject, it takes several seconds for the image to appear on screen. (I have high-speed fibre-optic broadband service.)
  16. Brian Bowen

    Famous trombonist bereaved

    Maisie Wiggins (Ringham), the world-renowned trombonist, was bereaved very suddenly yesterday, 25 November, of her husband Ray. Ray was also the brother of Bram and Robin Wiggins. Maisie has been featured in recent issues of The Brass Herald magazine.
  17. Brian Bowen

    National Final at the RAH

    I just listened to last Friday's LTTB with music recorded at the RAH a week ago. I appreciated the interview with Philip Sparke on the performances of his test piece but wasn't it an insult for the producers to let us hear only two excerpts of the piece --and by two different bands? There was...
  18. Brian Bowen

    Banding article in the Daily Telegrah

    The brass Proms concert seems to have inspired Daily Telegraph music critic Ivan Hewett to write "How Brass Bands Got Their Gleam Back". See it here: It's woefully sloppy in a number of ways, e.g., wrong spellings...
  19. Brian Bowen

    Maurice Murphy, rtd.

    Prompted by 4barsrest, I enjoyed the podcast on the LSO website paying tribute to this "legendary" trumpet/cornet player on his 2nd retirement from the orchestra. Some of the tributes are quite moving. Worth listening!
  20. Brian Bowen


    Every time I read about or hear mention of Michael Garasi (Central Band of Florida) he's invariably described as "charismatic". Predictably, Frank Renton used it yet again on LTTB this evening. It seems someone (probably Renton) used it once, thought it sounded neat, and the adjective has...