Lt-Col Ray Steadman-Allen

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Red Elvis

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Just hearing word tonight that Lt Col Ray Steadman-Allen has been Promoted to Glory. A sad loss to those of us from an SA background, although he was a good age . A true giant of SA brass banding.
 

James Yelland

Active Member
I'm very sorry to hear it (assuming that by 'promoted to glory' you mean 'dead', of course). A truly original voice.

After Arthur Butterworth died recently extensive obituaries were carried by national newspapers. In contrast BBW magazine produced a short column which amounted to little more than a news item; 4BR managed only four brief paragraphs. It seemed an ungrateful way for the brass band press to treat someone who had contributed so much to the brass band medium and continued to show an interest in it - I saw him as recently as last January at the RNCM Festival where he was enjoying the music. Let's hope RS-A gets better treatment - although I won't hold my breath.
 

MoominDave

Well-Known Member
Sad news. As with Jim Y., parallels with Arthur Butterworth spring to mind. Both were a similar age, and both wrote intriguing music for band that didn't tend to pander to the tonal blandness desired of brass band music, though coming from different places to do so. Because of that, the works of neither have been given the performance opportunities that they richly deserve. Both are musical voices that are sadly missed and not easily replaced. Brass bands as a whole have shamefully neglected both RSA and AB, preferring to stick to the unthreatening tonalities of those composers that have seen favour in recent years.

The basic truth is that both were writing quality music for band 30-40 years ago that bands still reflexively shy away from today in the main. And this is not 'difficult' music to listen to - to pick an example, Seascapes is excellent music that is broadly tonal, very underplayed, and as always with RSA, requires everyone around the stand to think a bit in order to bring off a good performance. It would be a great tonic to have a year's area pieces selected from the works of either composer, in tribute. For RSA, I would suggest: Ch: Seascapes; 1: The Beacons; 2: The Holy War; 3: [not sure as don't know the candidates - how about Amaranth? Or Chorale?] ; 4: Stantonbury Festival. I'm sure there are plenty around here with a more extensive knowledge of his works who could point to other good candidates.
 

AndyCat

Active Member
Sad news. As with Jim Y., parallels with Arthur Butterworth spring to mind. Both were a similar age, and both wrote intriguing music for band that didn't tend to pander to the tonal blandness desired of brass band music, though coming from different places to do so. Because of that, the works of neither have been given the performance opportunities that they richly deserve. Both are musical voices that are sadly missed and not easily replaced. Brass bands as a whole have shamefully neglected both RSA and AB, preferring to stick to the unthreatening tonalities of those composers that have seen favour in recent years.

The basic truth is that both were writing quality music for band 30-40 years ago that bands still reflexively shy away from today in the main. And this is not 'difficult' music to listen to - to pick an example, Seascapes is excellent music that is broadly tonal, very underplayed, and as always with RSA, requires everyone around the stand to think a bit in order to bring off a good performance. It would be a great tonic to have a year's area pieces selected from the works of either composer, in tribute. For RSA, I would suggest: Ch: Seascapes; 1: The Beacons; 2: The Holy War; 3: [not sure as don't know the candidates - how about Amaranth? Or Chorale?] ; 4: Stantonbury Festival. I'm sure there are plenty around here with a more extensive knowledge of his works who could point to other good candidates.

Hymn at Sunrise, Beacons and Seascapes are three of my favourite ever "test" pieces. He also wrote a march for Freckleton Band when I was there, a true gent, cheap price and a belter, all handwritten. Wonder how many other gems there are that the general band world will never hear like this one?
 

Puritan

Member
Such a great man not just a composer. My favourite piece that he wrote for Brass Band is The Holy War,but with so many compositions written for different occasions and ensembles His music will be played for many years to come.
 

John Brooks

Well-Known Member
Where does one begin? He was a scholar, a true Christian gentleman and was very humble. I played under his leadership a few times and he was always encouraging. As for his music, I can only add a few more to the growing list: The Lord Is King!; The Edge of Time; Daystar; Romans 8; his arrangement of the Battle Hymn of the Republic; marches such as Crown of Conquest; The Scarlet Jersey and Silver Star. These are all S.A. pieces but I think another non-SA piece of significance was The Journeyman. Thank you RSA and my consolences to his family.
 

Anno Draconis

Well-Known Member
Favorite pieces anyone? On ratcliffe highway for me

Seascapes and Chorale. Played the latter at one of the early first section Nationals (about 20 years ago?) and really enjoyed it, but it's never been seen since as far as I know. Such a shame.

A sad loss, although as Elvis says, a fine innings and a great legacy of music left.
 

Euphonium Lite

Active Member
Seascapes and Chorale. Played the latter at one of the early first section Nationals (about 20 years ago?) and really enjoyed it, but it's never been seen since as far as I know. Such a shame.

A sad loss, although as Elvis says, a fine innings and a great legacy of music left.

Chorale - a cracking variation arrangement of A Great and Mighty Wonder...very much an under-rated Carol

I played at the same Finals - although I think it was actually one of the last 2nd section finals (perhaps THE last?) before the 1st section came in.
Parts of the music made the hairs on your neck stand up, very atmospheric

Did look for it on YouTube a while back, dont think anyone ever plays it though
 
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