Russell Gray with Capricornia Silver Band - 11 July '04

Okiedokie of Oz

Active Member
Recently, in a lone bandroom in Central Queensland, someone dared to utter that noone is this part of the country, in this day and age, would EVER pay to hear classical music.

Yet, members of this band were part of an amazing audience that travelled from near and far when they heard that cornet virtuoso, Mr Russell Gray, along with his wife and Mr Arban's beloved Courtois cornet were coming to town.

The Capricornia Silver Band, under the direction of Mr Dennis Ilott accompanied Russell as the two took the audience to France in the late 1800's, the African plains, Wales, Broadway, the Opera House, and the zoo.

The first half of the program was used to feature the works of Jean Baptiste Arban. In between Russell's solos, the band played classical french works, such as the Suite from Carmen by Bizet, Funeral March of a Marionette by Gounod, Can Can by Offenbach and Carnival of the Animals and French Military March, both by Camille Saint-Saens.

While Russell's playing was nearly flawless, the band did their best to keep up. A few slips from players, including a bad day for the soprano cornet player. In the intermission, a bandsman remarked that all music purchased for this concert will probably have to be burnt upon Mr Gray's departure as noone could play it.

The second half was a slightly more contemporary program, with pieces such as Breezin' Down Broadway, Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone, Can You Feel The Love Tonight, and When the Saints Go Marching In conducted by the guest artist himself. Also played was Delibes' Flower Duet featuring Russell and Principal Cornet Lorelle McCabe.

Throughout the concert, the partaking of a french 1870's host role by compere Susan Yates, and the sharp wit of Russell Gray, kept the audiences amused long enough that they did not even realise that the music they were enjoying, was of the same style that was so rudely rejected weeks earlier.

I personally enjoyed the entire afternoon. The music played was widely entertaining, and besides.....when stuck out in the middle of nowhere, you do NOT turn down the chance to see a talented musician like Russell!!!

Product tMP members are discussing