Sunday Bandstand weekly brass band programme 10 June 2018 - The music of Darrol Barry...


Hello Brass Banders

This week's show is different from the usual Sunday Bandstand.
Our music choices this week are all by Darrol Barry, one of our most gifted and popular brass band composers and arrangers, who sadly passed away last week.
We would usually play one or two tracks from the composers catalogue on these occasions. But over the last 30 years Darrol has produced a phenomenal output of music and to choose just two would be impossible. It is likely that every brass band in the world will have sets of music written by Darrol in its library.
We have decided to dedicate the complete two hour show to a wide and diverse range from his 30 year catalogue.
I hope you enjoy the next two hours. You may just remember some of these works either as a playing member of a band or heard some of them in a concert you attended as a member of the audience.

Darrol passed away on 3rd June in The Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Muscat, Oman.

Born in Salford in 1956, Darrol Barry joined the local school brass band aged 14 on tuba — a surprise to both his parents and himself, as he wanted to play cornet.

Whilst I never actually met Darrol I am pleased to know that we exchanged and shared a few emails together. I would often play many of his compositions on my weekly Sunday Bandstand radio show. Sometimes I would be preparing a show and occasionally the title of a piece would be a little bit of a mystery. I would email him to ask for the story behind his chosen title for that particular piece. He always replied and would explain the story from the thread to the needle which would be then be part of my programme commentary about the piece.

For a little over a year we were trying to arrange when his busy schedule would allow him to have time for me to put together his musical life for one of my brass band stories. Sadly, owing to his busy schedule and various projects of my own we never actually managed to fit the time in to do it.

Musical talent
His talent for music soon became apparent however (he also went on to play baritone and euphonium) and his interest in composition and arranging was encouraged by the conductor of Windsor Band, Jack Clayton, and his school music teacher.

He left school to become an apprentice joiner but continued arranging for brass bands, teaching himself harmony and counterpoint.

In 1978 he enrolled at Salford University on the pioneering LTCL course in Band Musicianship under Roy Newsome, Goff Richards and Geoff Whitham, before moving to London to study at the Royal College of Music in London with Joseph Horowitz, where he gained his Certificate in Advanced Study in Musical Composition.

Professional career
His professional career soon took off as a respected freelance composer and arranger working for many of the major publishing houses such as Studio Music, Wright & Round, Bernaerts Music and Obrasso.

He returned to teach degree courses at Salford University, Barnsley College and Accrington & Rossendale College before taking up the role as Composer & Arranger in Residence for The Royal Guard of Oman in 2002.

It was a role (and country) he loved; writing for wide variety of different mediums (including two symphonies). He joked that he could find himself composing for bagpipes one minute and a full symphony orchestra the next.

Brass band world
His compositional output meant that he never lost his connection to the brass band world, although he also conducted a number of North West bands such as Radcliffe, Tyldesley, Gorton, Walkden and Longridge, winning titles at Pontins (Southport), Burtonwood and Preston before he left for Oman.

He also adjudicated at the Third Section National Finals, Regional Championships, National Youth Championships and the French Open.

His fine array of compositions included works for all levels — from youth to Championship Section, both test-pieces and concert repertoire. 'Gemini' was used at the All England Masters International Championship in 2011, whilst his popular 'A Salford Sinfonietta' was used as a set-work for the 1994 Second Section Regional Championships.

Five works of his works were used as the test-pieces at the National Finals in the Second, Third and Fourth Sections, whilst in 2011 the Butlins Mineworkers Championship choose five of his works for their Championship Festival.

His dry sense of humour and warm personality made him a very popular and highly regarded musician and friend. His music touched thousands of listeners and performers across the world and he will be sadly missed by all who knew him and had the good fortune to be in his company.

A family spokesperson told 4BR: "Darrol's wife Rachael would like to thank everyone for the good wishes they have received from all corners of the musical globe whilst he has been ill and also on his passing. The family are incredibly humbled by the love shown for him."

Details of his funeral will be announced in due course.

(Courtesy of

Darrol's passing is a great loss to his family and close friends. He will be a great loss to brass banding around the world, I doubt if there is a brass band anywhere in the world that does not have any music in its library written by Darrol Barry.

Darrol has left a musical legacy that will continue to be enjoyed both by brass band musicians and audiences alike for many years. My programme this Sunday will feature many examples of Darrol's wonderful music.

RIP Darrol

Playlist 10 June 2018

Rhythm and Blues – Philip Sparke Opening for weekly show Foden's Band MD: Michael Fowles - 2010
Meridian - Darrol Barry William Davis Construction Group Band MD: Dr. Keith Wilkinson - 1987
A Salford Sinfonietta - 1 - Intrada 2 - Threnody (In memory of Colin Rice) 3 - Danza - Darrol Barry BNFL Band MD: Richard Evans - 1993
The Lord's My Shepherd - Jessie Irvine arr: Darrol Barry Black Dyke Band MD: Dr. Nicholas Childs - 2010
Magic Trombones - Darrol Barry Brighouse & Rastrick Band MD: Gavin Lindsay - 2007
Impromptu For Tuba - Darrol Barry Eb Bass Soloist Ken Ferguson with the Desford Colliery Caterpillar Band MD: James Watson - 1990
Main Theme from Air Force One - Jerry Goldsmith arr: Darrol Barry Oberaarguaer Band (Austria) MD: Manfred Obrecht - 2005
Tuesday Blues - Darrol Barry Flugel Horn Solo Simon Stonehouse with the Williams Fairey Engineering Band MD: Major Peter Parkes - 1994
Portrait of a City - Darrol Barry Christie-Tyler Cory Band MD: Brian Howard - 1989
Star Trek- The Voyage Home - Leonard Rosenmann arr: Darrol Barry Brass Band Burgermusik Lucerne (Switzerland) MD: Ludwig Wicki- 2002
Bohemian Rhapsody Freddie Mercury arr: Darrol Barry North Carolina Brass Band (USA) MD: Brian Meixner - 2014
Toccata, Elegy and Scherzo - Darrol Barry Newbridge (Celynen) Band MD: Paul Holland - 2007
Brass Attack - Darrol Barry Cory Band MD: Dr. Robert Childs - 2008
Euphology - Darrol Barry Euphonium Soloists Dr. Robert and David Childs with the Cory Band MD: Dr. Nicholas Childs - 2006
Dracula - Darrol Barry Brighouse and Rastrick Band MD: Alan Morrison - 2009
Misty - Errol Garner arr: Darrol Barry Flugel Horn Soloist Maurice Murphy with the Leyland DAF Band MD: Richard Evans - 2007
The Lass of Richmond Hill - arr: Darrol Barry Williams Fairey Band MD: Alan Lawton - 1988
The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore - Bob Gaudio / Bob Crew arr: Darrol Barry Duet Maurice Murphy Trumpet & Don Lusher Trombone with Hammonds Sauce Works Band MD: Geoffrey Whitham - 1993
Samba Symphonique - Darrol Barry Cory Band MD: Dr. Robert Childs - 2007
Way out West - Darrol Barry Brass Band Willebroek (Belgium) MD: Frans Violet - 2004
Rhythm and Blues – Philip Sparke Closing for weekly show Foden's Band MD: Michael Fowles - 2010



Thanks Matthew - Glad you enjoyed the show. I see you are a fellow bass player and play 'Virtuosic' sometime. I played Eb Bass for over 40 years and just wish I could have play 'Virtuosic sometimes'... What is your favourite bass solo and I will play it on the show for you...

Best Wishes


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