RNCM Brass Band Festival 2022

James Yelland

Well-Known Member
Just got back from the RNCM Festival. There were some super performances. The college's own band were superb, playing a piano concerto by Bill Connor (of whom I'd never heard before). Look out for the name of Justine Gormley, she's going to be a star of the future, I reckon. The new edition of Vaughan Williams' English Folk Song Suite sounded like a breath of fresh air, having been rescored in VW's original key (I had no idea the old arrangement was in something different). The RNCM Junior Band played a new work, Concert Overture by one of its members, Harry White, which sounded a remarkably assured piece of writing for one so young. The Fairey Band gave as a very fine rendition of Penlee and did fantastically well all round, considering they were late subs for Cory. And Brighouse played a remarkable concert, ending with quite astonishing performances of Wilfred Heaton's Meditation on Aberystwyth and Philip Wilby's Paganini Variations. The latter brought the house down!

Super to see the festival back after its enforced absence. Sad to see so few actual bandsmen and women at it though. But that's how it's been for as long as I've been attending it. And possibly best of all, it was all recorded by WOBPlay and at least some of it is going to be streamed on their website, by the sound of it.
 

John Brooks

Well-Known Member
Just got back from the RNCM Festival. There were some super performances. The college's own band were superb, playing a piano concerto by Bill Connor (of whom I'd never heard before). Look out for the name of Justine Gormley, she's going to be a star of the future, I reckon. The new edition of Vaughan Williams' English Folk Song Suite sounded like a breath of fresh air, having been rescored in VW's original key (I had no idea the old arrangement was in something different). The RNCM Junior Band played a new work, Concert Overture by one of its members, Harry White, which sounded a remarkably assured piece of writing for one so young. The Fairey Band gave as a very fine rendition of Penlee and did fantastically well all round, considering they were late subs for Cory. And Brighouse played a remarkable concert, ending with quite astonishing performances of Wilfred Heaton's Meditation on Aberystwyth and Philip Wilby's Paganini Variations. The latter brought the house down!

Super to see the festival back after its enforced absence. Sad to see so few actual bandsmen and women at it though. But that's how it's been for as long as I've been attending it. And possibly best of all, it was all recorded by WOBPlay and at least some of it is going to be streamed on their website, by the sound of it.
It's good to read your comments James. Thanks for taking the time. Just wish I could have traversed the Atlantic to be there.
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
I’m glad that the event was enjoyed if a little puzzled. Many of us still don’t go out much or meet in groups yet it’s OK to have a mass gathering for a weekend of music? I realise that Government guidelines have been relaxed but that’s more about politics than science; the current death rate is higher than it was before Christmas, see UK Summary | Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK .
 

James Yelland

Well-Known Member
I’m glad that the event was enjoyed if a little puzzled. Many of us still don’t go out much or meet in groups yet it’s OK to have a mass gathering for a weekend of music? I realise that Government guidelines have been relaxed but that’s more about politics than science; the current death rate is higher than it was before Christmas, see UK Summary | Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK .
Well, we all had to show our COVID passports on arrival at the college, and we all wore masks while in the auditorium. Elsewhere, plenty of bands are rehearsing together once again. Walking back up the Oxford Road after the RNCM concerts, the pubs, bars and clubs were packed with people having a night out (and considerably more densely packed than in the RNCM auditorium!)

People have been dying of influenza around this time of year for many centuries now and we have long grown to accept it as an unavoidable fact of life. I think that's how we are going to have to regard COVID-19 from now into the future. Two years ago it was a problem because we had nothing to combat it. Now, in 2022, we have effective vaccines and other antiviral drugs to mitigate its effects. We've just got to learn to take it in our stride, like all other diseases.
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
Well, we all had to show our COVID passports on arrival at the college, and we all wore masks while in the auditorium. Elsewhere, plenty of bands are rehearsing together once again. Walking back up the Oxford Road after the RNCM concerts, the pubs, bars and clubs were packed with people having a night out (and considerably more densely packed than in the RNCM auditorium!)

People have been dying of influenza around this time of year for many centuries now and we have long grown to accept it as an unavoidable fact of life. I think that's how we are going to have to regard COVID-19 from now into the future. Two years ago it was a problem because we had nothing to combat it. Now, in 2022, we have effective vaccines and other antiviral drugs to mitigate its effects. We've just got to learn to take it in our stride, like all other diseases.

I see your point and as I said in my post Government restrictions have be reduced, but that’s politics for you. However just because something isn’t illegal doesn’t mean that it’s wise or socially responsible, and neither does saying ‘I’m only doing what Johnny over there is doing’.

Thankfully CV19 is on the way out and we do now have ‘stuff’ to deal with it, but it ain’t gone yet and it’s still killing some people. In the future we’ll (hopefully) deal with Covid 19 just like any other virus such as influenza, but there will be a learning process with ‘casualties’ on-route. Death by influenza is not accepted as “an unavoidable fact of life”, folk take personal responsibility to avoid catching it and mass vaccination of the old and the vulnerable now takes place each year. Thankfully Covid 19 appears to have mutated to a less harmful form that is also the dominant form, but who really does know what it will do in the future and what variants of CV19 will remain out there ready to make folks ill again and to maybe kill?

For myself it’s still masks on whilst in shops and enclosed spaces - funnily enough virtually everyone who uses my local supermarket still wears a mask too and so do the staff. My Band is now meeting (masks on when not playing and the windows wide open) but we wouldn’t perform inside and have had members recently ill with Covid, one’s really poorly but the rest have been OK. Neighbours of mine were recently hospitalised with Covid. It’s a funny old World, you can walk into a pub or nightclub without issue but you can’t easily visit relatives in the old folks home and if your child has a temperature then they’re sent away from Nursery until you produce a clear Covid test for them.
 
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