Extremely Disappointing Brighouse an Rastrick Concert!!!


New Member
What a waste of a night! Not only for every single member of the audience but also for every single member of the band - :oops: ! It is such a waste for 30 top class musicians wasting their time playing discordant rubbish in which no-one was listening to :? ! Also the night resulted in more and more people leaving the gala theature in durham with only about 40% left at the end ! :!: !
At the end of the night there were no positive comments from the audience about the choice of programme and obviously the members of this outstanding band were extremely embarassed. People coming to the concert were expecting to hear an engaging, inspiring and superb yorkshire brass band only to find a group of musicians sounding like they were just waqrming up. *DONT GET ME WRONG I KNOW HOW GOOD THE BAND ARE AND THE QUALITY OF THE PLAYING TONIGHT WAS EXCELLENT ITS JUST THE CHOICE OF PROGRAMME PEOPLE WERE OBJECTING TO !!!*
Also i know how inspiring friendly and vey talented Ray Farr is but if he thought the programme tonight was "wonderful" there is something wrong! :? >>> i think i might call for his job tomorrow!!! :D

SO ... did anyone else go to the concert ???



New Member
right >>> *goes and gets programme!*

contest music - john wilfred heaton
sinfonia concertante - john wilfred heaton (alans solo)

INTEVAL (in which half the audience left!) :D

aubade - torstein aagaard-nilsen
ascendit in coeli - elgar howarth
masquerade - phillip whillby (best 3mins of the night!)

sounds amazing doesnt it ? !

Jo x


Supporting Member
Actually, I think it does sound pretty amazing - Imho B&R should be applauded for having the guts to put on a programme that didn't depend on easy listening or comfy familiar tunes - but I can see why it would be a bit of a shock if you were expecting a "normal" brass band concert! Not exactly The Floral Dance? :wink: :lol:

To be fair, it does seem like a very heavy programme, but to label it all discordant rubbish is a bit harsh. Contest Music and Masquerade both have absolutely beautiful passages, and they were both right near the top of the recent "best testpieces" list on tMP, so it can't have been all bad.

Brian Bowen

Active Member
I believe B&R and Ray Farr are to be commended for presenting a concert of such quality music*. Surely it was it highly appropriate for a concert at a distinguished university of academic learning to contain music that challenges the intellect and warms the soul. There are plenty of occasions when bands can play lightweight music (not to mention drivel) to satisfy lowbrow tastes.

It's exasperating when one hears of so many bandspeople wanting the brass band movement to be taken seriously (e.g., by the BBC) only to be criticized in such an ignorant fashion. Let's hope the band and organizer's (who, incidentally, published the programme in advance — you were warned!) are not discouraged by such intemperate remarks. However, maybe there were many others present who felt it worthwhile.

*If a bit on the heavy side.


Being a student at Durham university and the President of the Brass Band I would have attended the concert tonight had it not been that my band had a concert in Barnard Castle.

Having worked with Ray over the last year and a half, he is a musician who wants to take bands forward and challenge both the audience and the player, this is perhaps why the programme was chosen. The programme was also advertised before hand as far as I am aware from posters around the music dept and perhaps in the Musicon and Gala Theatre booklets as the programme had been decided for I think at least 10 months.

I understand that people who go to concerts want to be entertained but for me a concert like this one wold have been inspiring and perhaps not as entertaining as many people would have hoped for.

Jo x


Active Member
Sounds a bit heavy... maybe one or two of those pieces in a programme could be justified, but a whole set of them was always likely to drive people away... in my opinion, a badly thought out plan...


New Member
In reply to your comments, even though the programme was somewhat heavy, B&R only played what they were asked and commissioned to play. As for the playing the standard was outstanding. The performances of Contest Music and Masquerade could have won any contest and in Heaton's Sinfonia Concertante, Alan Morrison displayed how he is one of the finest cornet players around with a magnificent performance.

As for the person who started this discussion, you failed to notice that firstly Howarth's Ascendit in Coelli was not played and also that the march Ravenswood was added to the programme.

Even though I am not a fan of contemporary music there was playing of the highest order. Well done B&R-a thoroughly professional job!

Finally the programme has been published in the Musicon booklet for well over a year! Next year's programme (Somewhat lighter I may add) is also already published.


I have just got back from the concert (having gtot lost on the way home lol) and the playing was incredible!!! The program was good as I enjoy that sort of music as it challenges the listener and while it was extremely heavy it was advertised as an extremely serious concert. I think the way the audience treated it was extremely poor! The mass walkouts in the middle of aubade were horrendous!

Ok so you don't like the music slip out at half time or even slip out quietly but to have people muttering constantly through the music for me was in bad taste!

Id like to congratulate the Brighouse and Rastrick band for an incredible evening of music of the highest order! They really have got a top band together and congratulations for many magical moments in some of the most challenging pieces that sounded extremely easy.


New Member
I conduct the University band and had planned to go tonight but couldn't make it in the end. As soon as I saw the programme, I remember thinking that it was a bit demanding but was actually quite refreshed to see such a concert being presented.

The Musicon series is presented by the University, and as befits the Music Department here (who are hopefully granting me a degree on Monday) , likes nothing more than a challenging concert which die-hards can really get their teeth into. Ray Farr in particular is very keen on putting on concerts of a similar vein, and sometimes it can indeed backfire in playing terms (in particular I've noticed he's been keen on the more orchestral overture-concerto-symphony/major work concert format recently, which has wored reasonably well)

He is also a hard task master, and even if i hadn't spoken to him about it I would have known that he'd have worked B & R immensely hard to put on a good show this evening, and its so disheartening to see such walk-outs.

As advance warning, B & R shall be playing again next year, on June 25 '05 playing:

Howells: Pageantry
Tomlinson: Cornet Concerto
Elgar: Severn Suite


Benjamin; Altitude
Wilby: Euphonium Concerto
Heaton: Partita

Also, a fortnight before that, Grimethorpe are at the Gala, conducted by Elgar Howarth, performing:

Beethoven: Sonata
Howarth: Euphonium Concerto
Mussorgsky; Songs & Dances of Death
Delius: On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring
Wilby: Jazz

This info, as for tonight's concert, will be put on posters nearer the time. So no complaints!

Okiedokie of Oz

Active Member
I honestly feel that the intense music needs to sprinkled on like a garnish, and not slopped in like gravy.

Hooray for trying, it was just too extreme for the audience. It happens!


stickandbone said:
As advance warning, B & R shall be playing again next year, on June 25 '05 playing:

Howells: Pageantry
Tomlinson: Cornet Concerto
Elgar: Severn Suite


Benjamin; Altitude
Wilby: Euphonium Concerto
Heaton: Partita
This still seems a bit heavy to me. Could I suggest that the inclusion of such mighty staples of the brass band movement as Amparita Roca or a good rip roaring march would be desirable. Considering the skill of this fine band maybe they should have included the Floral Dance (or maybe Blaydon Races). That would have wowed them!! [/sarcastic]
Jodilou considers the concert a waste of a night. How must B&R feel after many hours of painstaking preparation to have their efforts wasted upon the ears of so called bandspeople who pay lip service only to the notion a Brass Band and its repertoire could possibly be real music. Anybody who wonders why we're not taken seriously by the wider music establishment need look no further than this thread!! :evil:


If the programme was advertised then what were you expecting to hear? :?
In the words of a very annoying advert they did "exactlly what it said on the tin" :wink:


Supporting Member
Obviously (based on my location) I did not see the concert, but I think it is great for bands to have performances like this every once in a while.

The only fault I can find with it is an ignorant audience. Whether that is because the concert program was poorly publicised or they just have no appreciation for good music, I do not know for sure (but based on some of the previous posts, it sounds more like the latter)

If anybody is interested in some more heavy hitting concerts like the B&R concert, the RNCM brass festival (late Jsnuary) usually has a couple mixed in with the 7 weekend concerts.

Last Year Fairey's played Overture: Waverly/Berlioz-Snell, These are our Footsteps/Bingham, Festival Music/Ball (interval), Overture: Comedy/Ireland and Variations/ Heaton

Fodens played Overture: Le Corsaire/Berlioz-Brand, The Triumph of Peace/ Ball, Coventry Variations/Tovey, Canadian Folk Song Suite/Calvert (Interval), Prelude to the Dream of Gerontius/Elgar-Ball and Requiem for a Charred Skull/Tovey

BAYV Cory played Overture:Les Francs Juges/Berlioz-Wright, Euphonium Concerto/M.Ball, Tournament for Brass/E.Ball (Interval), A Welsh Festival Overture/E.Ball, Aurora/Pickard and King of Elfland's Daughter/Newton (A test Piece for something this fall I believe)

My point is true musicians enjoyed these concerts because the music was played brillantly (as I'm sure the B&R concert was). It does help being prepared for it, but there is always room for a concert or two like this from the top bands every year.

One thing that did help was when some of the composers talked about their piece before it was played so you could understand any symbolism or light motifs.


New Member
Yep tim I thoroughly agree with everything you say!!! >>> (you were the one I was talking to in the interval! :lol: )
It was a brilliant concert, and I wish id only heard the comments from tim at the concert instead of all of the rest of the ignorant people. Yes as someone said it must be so disheartening when you see half of the audience walking out of a concert which had obviously been practiced and prepared for a long time just because it is not typical ‘brass band music!’ the masses of people who in the middle of the second half were shouting ‘its terrible’ should have just been shot! As a bandswoman
myself i would never dream of walking out in the middle of a concert just because 'it wasnt to my taste' and i would also like to congratulate all the people who stayed.
Id like to congratulate the Brighouse and Rastrick band for an incredible evening of music of the highest order! They really have got a top band together and congratulations for many magical moments in some of the most challenging pieces that sounded extremely easy.
^^^^^^^^^^ I couldn’t have said this better in my own words
I also saw all of the publications and advetisments located around Durham City and that is why i attended the concert - if only the others saw this.
After cutting out one of the final pieces, Ray Farr turned around to speak to the audince his face just dropped and he looked so distraught and quite angry at the end. :?
I myslef love to hear challenging, imaginative and interesting test pieces as they are such a contrast to out 4th section ***** ! It was such a shame that others were not in the same frame of mind as my family and I. As someone said it is only true musicians who appreciate the talent of these players and this type of music. :wink:

Joanna xxx

*My sister was thouroughly inspired by the excellent percussion section and it actually made her want to do some practice when she got home :D !


New Member
and also most of the audience were over the age of 65 so ar not likely to read the musicon booklet and many travelled from afar to see the world famous Brighouse and Rastick band so therefore will not have seen the posters and information in the thature booklet ! :?


When I saw the topic I thought you were going to complain about a night of lolly pops with not musical content but it appears to be the opposite.

3 test pieces do sound a bit much, but when you take into account that Aubade is quite extraordinary as far as brass band music goes, surely it has it's value in the concert scene.

While Contest Music was not written to be played at a concert, Masquerade can be quite interesting for those who are familiar with the story behind the piece so the audience should be briefed beforehand.

Personally I wouldn't mind going to a concert and hearing these pieces. As much as I like being entertained I also appriciate good brass playing. It's actually quite a feat to play all of those pieces in one concert, I was suprised that the band lasted longer than the audiences' attention span.

Just as I won't go to a school band concert expecting to hear Masquerade, I wouldn't expect to go to a B&R concert to hear Instant Concert either.



I'm saddened that some people considered the concert to be a waste of time!

The band were simply playing a programme that we were asked to play by Ray Farr and the University. We worked extremely hard to get the programme up to standard and in my biased opinion produced absolutely top notch performances.

To keep the concentration in Aubade when a number of people were talking and walking out shouting various ignorant comments was also no mean feat!

Do people not have the decency to stay in their seats until a break between pieces if they object that much to what they are hearing?

Personally I was left feeling angry and dejected to have to sit there and take that kind of behaviour. Also, in the audience my Mother and my girlfriend found it quite upsetting.

Whether I agree with playing this type of music is beside the point.


The infamous concert .....AS A PLAYER!

As someone who was there playing on the stage in the concert I would like just to air a few of my observations on the evening:-

1) Audience walking out:- It is totally rude to walk out of a performance of any kind. I have sat through a few Hudds Contemporary Music Festival concets which have given me migranes, but I've sat there till the end of the piece or half time before making an exit. The section or 3 rows of people who stood up on mass obviously have no respect for the formal behaviour expected at a classical music concert, whether that involves the Floral Dance or Masquarade. I would think that had this been an orchestral or operatic evening none of those would have left hall. Again, it shows disrespect.

2) The constant mumbling and talking through the whole performance:-
Granted, this music is probably not the music that people expected from the name of the B+R band, but surely the moral of this tale is, if the programme is on the posters then I think you should take notice. It may well be that the concert might also have been explained a bnit better in the advert, especially that in the Gala Theatre brouchure, however a concert associated with a contemporary music festival surely would not have the traditional format used in concerts or pieces such as the afforementioned Floral Dance.

3) What was said at the end of the concert:- I had the pleasure of hearing both camps of audience at the end of the concert. There were those who absolutely enjoyed the choice of programme and also those who distinctly did not enjoy the concert :shock: . I sat with one old man (sorry if he's a member on here, didnt catch ur name!) and he didn't like any of the pieces...didn't go in for the second half and sat there looking like he'd been cattle pronged! To be fair, I can sympathise that the musical language of the pieces didn't really communicate with him (although I'm not stating that age has anything to do with the situation!). He explained that he remembered B+R playing "Oliver Cromwell" in 1946 and it was a magical performance and a tune you could hum on the way out of the hall. He continued and said that all the pieces for the National contest over the last 8 years have been disappointing and that it seems banding has lost its musical soul. Hmm....maybe....but I tried to explain to him that should bands always play the same type of music all the time and how healthy would the movement be if we still played music by Henry Geehl in the 21st century, his response to that was, "you'd probably get a full house!". If my next statement is wrong then correct me. I have heard that a concert of music by Elgar Howarth and Grimey has been cancelled in Hudds Town Hall because a lack of public interest. This maybe a demonstration of what the public want i.e Orange Juice, a few Waltzes, and 1812 to finish in every concert. Well we'll have to see!

4) Mr Ray Farr:- I have respect for putting on a programme like that and then facing a rather disrespectful audience getting up in the middle of pieces and muttering etc. He has a vision of introducing original band music to an audience who shouldn't just turn up to hear jingles played for three hours, which may well be played in the next concert by another band. We will never get any serious exposure to any other audience except fellow former or current banders if we play arrangements of pop songs and normal dross in ever concert. This was to be fair probably THE hardest programme of music we have played in a concert and I admit that some of the band were not particular fans of the music we did perform them to a professional standard and expected the audience perhaps to at least appreciate this! Elgar Howarth is an inspiration to everyone who wants to develop brass band music, not all pieces are going to be liked but they all broaden the banding repertoire and if programmes of music, like that of Mr Ray Farr are not played then all people will ever want is jingles and stereotyped music which could be played by any band in any concert!

I do sympathise with those expecting a traditional concert and perhaps further exposure of the programme may have alerted people to the reason behind the concert. As a person who champions contemporary music not only in banding but in other musics I do like old style music and appreciate its value but its a shame people cannot give up a small amount of their time to appreciate music that isnt all harmonically nice and has a big tune that runs through it and doesnt invole playing "Cheese" for 3 hours. Perhaps if this concert was not a part of a contemporary music festival then a more balanced programme like a test piece and then lighter stuff would be a better approach but as someone said on here the concert did "what it said on the tin!". If a tune (like a hymn tune) is split between ten instruments playing one crotchet immediately after each other is that not still a tune ? If the same happens with rhythm in the accompaniment, is that still not an accompaniment ?

It doesn't ask for much for a person to sit down and open their mind to a new style of music for three hours is it ? You may hate the music, but you've heard it and you can definitely say that you've experienced a concert of this "modern discordant rubbish". Sometimes I get the feeling that what audiences really want is music they don't have to think about, tunes that make them whistle along, but you can do that in 99% of our concerts and I'm sure many other bands concerts throughout the year.

To appreciate music is not to close you're ears to new music but to embrace it and appreciate it even if its not you're particular favourite music. I don't like Hip Hop music but I'll put up with it when I'm out. Imagine if I would only confine my evenings out to a jazz cafe because thats the only music I like (which isn't true!)

Again, you pay that amount of money and I suppose you'd want something that you like but on the other hand if you paid that much you might as well wait till the finish and get you're monies worth! People after the concert mentioned that this would put a black mark against the band for playing hard test pieces etc so be it. I suppose the band in the past has perpetuated a stereotypical image of traditionalism in its programming and its a shock for those who have been to B+R concerts before to hear that kind of music. I think that it shows that we can play a diverse repertoire of music and that such repertoires exist and don't stop with the stylistic niceties of the 1812 overture! I would dearly hope that those who stayed to the end enjoyed in some way the performance of the band, the music and the message that was trying to be conveyed.

I felt sorry for Mr Farr most of all, for having the courage and conviction to organise a concert such as this and hope this does not stop him from promoting original music in many different ways, both academically and through concert performance.

As a performer, ignoring the ignorance of some of the public, I enjoyed the experience of playing music that rarely appears outside of the contest arena. It challanges the players, not only technically, but also musically. Musicality is not just about being able to play a tune, but to understand the many variations of style related to performance. Although a concert is orientated at entertaining the audience on the whole, it does have to entertain those who play the music, after all we are amateurs who decide to play in a band for enjoyment and not for a full time job.

Many thanx....

P.S Don't build up the percussion section too much you'll get Mr Wagstaff all high and mighty!

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