Best ever concert


Active Member
Sorry if this has been covered...
Mine was with Perth Youth Orchestra (yes, an orchestra - I hang my head in shame;) ) on our Estonia tour a couple of weeks ago. We had a rubbish first concert, so we were so determined to do well after that we brought the roof off at the next one! It was at the new concert hall in Parnu which has a fabulous acoustic, and everything was 200% better than the last concert. Especially the horn solo in the Borodine symphony - it gave me a lump in my throat ! It was the best concert I have ever done (and possibly ever will do.) I will remember it for my whole life. Any similar stories?


Active Member
Best concerts I have attended:

- Northern Highlights 2004 - I might be biased but YBS at the top of their game, playing some of the best SA music...doesn't get much better for me.

- Faireys at the RNCM this year - Classic works such as 'Comedy' and 'Walverley' Overtures. Then the UK Premiere of Heatons's 'Variations': stunning music, great playing, emotional response from family and close friends of Heaton. People like Garry Howarth, Bram Tovey and Edward Gregson giving it a standing ovation says something.

- LSO at the Barbican 1997 (?) - A night of John Williams music conducted by the man himself. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, ET all with Maurice Murphy, Rod Franks, Ian Bousfield, James Watson......hmmmm :D

- Wynton Marsalis with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at Harrogate 2002: nothing needs to be said here other than I over heard someone on the way out that night saying 'that was like a 2 hour orgasm!' Praise indeed :lol:


Active Member
Best concert I have attended was in Salford on 10th October 1999 - the day after my wedding. YBS & Canadian Brass put on a concert in aid of my brother, Eilir, who had to give up a promising playing career due to illness (was with YBS at the time). A really emotional evening for us all - particularly Eilir, and with the two ensembles playing at the top of their capabilities. A superb night!


Supporting Member
Crikey - this is difficult.

The best brass band concert I ever played in was in 1980 (I think). It was my last course with the NYBBGB at Dauntsey School in Wiltshire. Conducted by James Scott the band played my arrangement of Pictures at an Exhibition - all 25 minutes or so of it. Exhilarating sound - 70/80 of the best young brass players giving it their all. Never forget it.

Best wind band concert was at the schools prom in the Royal Albert Hall playing the xylophone part to the Candide Overture when I was 15(ish). It was on telly and I got a full frontal :!:

Can't think of the best band concert I've been to but the best orchestral concert was the LSO playing the Alpine Symphony at the Royal Festival Hall. Maurice Murphy on principal trumpet had a dental problem that night but was still note perfect. Outstanding.

Another I can think of was Buddy Rich's last UK appearance also at the Royal Festival Hall.


Active Member
Hard to say which is best concert I have attended as so many stand out for many different reasons.

As for best one I have played in it is a choice between the joint concert we did with Lexington Brass Band or the joint concert we did with Illinois Brass Band, both here in Norwich. Even better was that there was only 3 weeks between the two!


Staff member
Again, hard to select a best - memorable concerts include the Berlioz "Symphonie Funebre et Triomphale" at the Proms, with Chris Mowat playing the trombone obligato from the organ loft; a "Gurrelieder" at the Royal Festival Hall, and a "Turangalila Symphony", also at the proms. Also, a Britten "Spring Symphony" with some gorgeous tuba playing from James Gourlay.

From a band point of view, one would have to be the final concert given at the Royal Academy of Music by Dyke under James Watson - emotional evening, with a sublime Horovitz concerto by Robert Childs and a melting "Dove Descending" introduced (& conducted?) by the composer, topped off with a massive "Pines of Rome", where they were joined by the RAM students in a massive wall of sound.

Playing-wise would probably have to be the Saturday night programme Hadleigh gave at Coventry City Corps a few years ago, where everything just seemed to go right. There was also the memorable experience of broadcasting Percy Grainger's "Lincolnshire Posy" on soprano sax within weeks of joining the Coldstream.


I thought this would be difficult, because I played so many great concerts when I was in Chalford Band, (Gloucestershire).
But the most memorable was at Gloucester Cathederal with Stinchcombe Band, conducted by Ian Dickenson. We played procession to the minster to finish and it was amazing. Also Pavanne with Jim Mason on Principle Cornet.
But the highlight was Piu yessu, you see I can`t spell it.
Our sop player Trudy, and Flugel, were magnificent, I cried, And I am a BBb Bass, so it must have been good.
Oh and Playing at Pershore Midsummer Brass in the Abbey, with Lydmet Lydney conducted by Wayne Ruston. Excellent, because most of the BBb Bass parts started on a pedal b on down. :D


Active Member
One concert for me stands out as the best concert I have ever played in, just for the sheer buzz I got from it - it was with Point of Ayr a few years back in an old Monastery and we also played Procession to the Minster to finish. The accoustic was great and the bands sound was so loud at the end - it was deafening - I loved it! Anyway, the next year the concert organisers had to change the venue as the monks wouldn't have the band back for fear of them causing structural damage to the old building......class!
I might have to edit this post after having given it more thought.

Concerts I have attended (in no particular order);

Philip Jones Brass Ensemble at Proms 1978 giving first performance of Elgar Howarths' transcription of Pictures at an Exhibition, a landmark concert for brass if ever there was one.
Canadian Brass at Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1985, the first time I had heard them live.
Grimethorpe at Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1992 concluding with Alexander Owens' arrangement of Die Walkure. Fund raising and publicity concert tour after closure of colliery, just couldn't believe any band could play the 30 minute epic like that at the end of a massive concert.
BBC Symphony Orchestra at Proms (about 4 years ago?) giving a performance of Prokofievs' monumental (and that's just the title) Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution. What a noise! I swear the (huge) orchestra was drowned out by the choir sometimes!
Canadian Brass at Regent Hall, London on the Friday afternoon prior to the National Championships. Absolutely spellbound by the fact that they were in a Salvation Army hall in the first place and by the trumpet playing of Jens Lindemann.
YBS at Chatham Central Theatre in June 2003. Had to pinch myself that they were in my town and that it was me that got them there!

Concerts I have been privileged to have been part of;

Morley College Orchestra in Southwark Cathedral playing The Rite of Spring with my mate Clarence Adoo on piccolo trumpet.
Phenomenal Brass, the first joint concert with Black Dyke and ISB with James Morrison.
Eric Ball Celebration Concert in October 2003 with the same bands.
London Repertoire Orchestra concert in GSM playing Elgar Violin Concerto (I was the tuba player, not the violinist!)
Bedford Sinfonia in Bedford Corn Exchange (1999?) playing Mahler 6.


Active Member
PeterBale said:
Again, hard to select a best - memorable concerts include the Berlioz "Symphonie Funebre et Triomphale" at the Proms, with Chris Mowat playing the trombone obligato from the organ loft;

I'm glad you mentioned this one Peter. What an absolutely stupendous, exhilerating, mind blowing, emotive "First Night of the Proms", one of the best, original, thougtful programming. AND WHAT DID THE BBC DO??? NOT SHOW IT ON TV, BECAUSE IT WASN'T A $^£(£*& ORCHESTRA OR WORLD FAMOUS ^&$%)*£ SINGER!!!


Active Member
Can't list all my favourites here, but here's a few!

Listening wise, for sheer tightness and jaw dropping musicality;

Tower of Power in London,
Earth Wind and Fire at the Albert hall,
Chick Corea Elektric Band II at Leeds Town and Country,
Woody Herman orch with Frank Sinatra Jnr in Wigan,
Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (last week in Wigan!),
London Brass at Bridgewater Hall

Concerts I've played in -

Big Bands on seperate occasions with:-
Bobby Shew
James Morrison
Bill Watrous,

all for phenomenal musicianship and sheer professionalism,

Britannia BBS at South bank centre, with Maurice Murphy. Programme was Cloudcatcher Fells, Arutunian Concerto, Paganini and Pictures as far as I can remember!
Britannia again at Festival of Brass with Heatons Partita, Pageantry, Comedy etc.

Mahler 2 with Bolton Symphony Orchestra (!)
Dream of Gerontius with Scratch orch.,

Faireys at this years RNCM thing with Heatons Variations

There are loads more now I think about it, but these are the ones that stick!


Listening wise -
CBSO doing Rite of Spring a few years ago
David Daws playing the original Clear Skies at the Eric Ball concert
YBS at the Open last year

Playing wise -
Staffs at Pershore this year (especially in the Abbey)
Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony with Chandos SO at Worcester Cathedral
Worcestershire Youth Music Gala concert in 2002
Doing Journey Into Freedom at last year's Pershore with Sovereign - simply for the atmosphere at the end


Active Member
Listening wise - Faireys at Birmingham. Can't remember when.. January sometime i think. And Grimey at Demontfort Hall, last year.. has got to be the funniest I've EVER been to!

Playing wise - Last years Philip McCann Concert.. The sound was really good just enjoyed the whole evening, was sooo fun.

And we did a concert a week after the area! And we were all still on top form and really going for it.. the acoustics were amazing and we played the first piece, and it was just like wow.



Active Member
Listening:- definitely Leyland and the Royal Marines at Preston Guild Hall, it's an annual event and I've been several times, always fantastic. Particularly when I heard "The Gael" from "Last of the Mohicans" for the first time, both bands together, amazing sound.
Also YBS at the same venue last year, excellent as you would expect, but the outstanding bit for me was the Symphonic Dances from "West Side Story", the middle ppp bit "There's a Place for Us" was the best quiet playing I have ever heard, bar none.

Playing:- the two Christmas concerts in aid of Cancer Research in Southport Arts Centre were special occasions, players from 8 different bands massed together, from only two hours rehearsal too.
"Procession to the Minster" in a large church in Wigan (forget which one) with my brother on organ as well was pretty special too, he reckoned to have all the stops out and the pedal in the floor by the end!
Doing "Resurgam" with Marple and Major Parkes in Bridgewater Hall for the Festival of Brass, all those shock notes bob on.
Spirit of Fire - RAH - 2003

Playing for Band of West Yorkshire Fire Service (a military style wind band). Shared the bill with some famous names - we were introduced by Sharon Davis!

One of those rare occasions when an amateur band are treated the same as the pros.

Listening wise - I too was at the Canadian Brass concert is Salford, and that will take some beating! If you ever want a present to buy someone musical, their CDs are amazing!



Active Member
Following on from my earlier post, I should also have mentioned the annual BT charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall as one of my favourites - it's a great feeling playing to a full house in that place.


Staff member
For me it was this year - my Dad's memorial concert. It was a very poinginent occasion, and I was very worried that we wouldn't get an audience. But as it happens it was standing room only, the band played brilliantly and we raised a lot of money for a good cause.


Bass Blaster said:
...... Also Pavanne with Jim Mason on Principle Cornet......

Wow a blast from the past!!! My old mate JM from our days at Sale Brass!

If you happen to see him tell him Paul Warder was asking after him :D


I will tell Jim Mason you asked after him, he plays sop for wotton under edge now, after playing for Chalford, Stinchcombe, Winchcombe, and Lydmet Lydney, a superb player, I follow him every where, but don`t understand his funny accent OOOARRRR. on concerts we did a superb concert in a local school with wotton, which proves you do not need to be in a top band to play in a top concert, though it obviously helps.
It is more about the preperation and attitude going into the concert.
Heard Fairys play at Stroud Sub Rooms, Wow. Good Bass Section. :D

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