Leyland nominated for Contest Performance of the Year Award – 23rd December 2009
2009 Brass in Concert performance recognised by 4brasrest.com
Brass Band’s leading website, 4barsrest.com has included Leyland’s Brass In Concert performance in its nominations for the Contest Performance of the Year Award 2009.
Focusing on the best of 100’s of competition performances throughout 2009, 4barsrest.com are looking at what in context was the outstanding performance of the year, not necessarily simply winning performances. In nominating Leyland’s performance 4barsrest commented :- “At a contest that is in danger of becoming boring through prescribed musical formulation, Leyland produced a memorable showcase performance of youthful composition talent. It was brave, innovative, inventive and very different, but it never treated the audience with the type of lazy musical disdain that others now take for granted. Here was a band and MD trying to show that there was more to brass band entertainment than a swagger march, weak humour and all guns blazing finale. It didn’t win, but it showed a glimpse of a musical future of more exciting possibilities than are currently in vogue.” The fact that the performance and program has received such attention is very encouraging to all at Leyland na to the young composers – Simon Dobson, Peter Meechan, Tom Davoren and Lucy Pankhurst – who contributed.
The program performed was :-
|Lock Horns, Rage On||Simon Dobson|
|Flight to Sparta||Peter Meechan||soloist Philippe Schwartz|
|O Magnum Mysterium||arr. Phillip Littlemore|
|Visions of Kholkis||Tom Davoren|
John Doyle joins Leyland – 17th December 2009
Leyland Band appoint John Doyle to Principal Cornet and Associate Conductor positions
Leyland Band is delighted to announce the appointment of John Doyle in the dual role of principal cornet and associate conductor of Leyland Band. John has enjoyed over a decade of glorious achievement with the Black Dyke Band, and is now ready for a new challenge with Leyland. He will join the Band with effect from 7th January 2010. John’s playing pedigree is firmly established, and he is looking forward to further success on the concert and competition platform with Leyland. In the role of associate conductor, John will work closely with the Band’s new Professional Musical Director and help drive the Band’s performances, bringing with him a wealth of experience as well as energy and personality. John says – “I am both delighted and excited about the chance to work with the Leyland Band. Being a born and bred Prestonian, Leyland has always been my “local” band. This collaboration not only gives me the opportunity to develop my conducting skills with a world class ensemble, but I also get the chance to continue playing at the very top level”. Following the announcement of the departure of the Band’s current Musical Director, Jason Katsikaris, work has been going on to establish the future structure, and John’s appointment is the first confirmed piece in what we believe will be an exciting and forward thinking combination to take the Band to the next level.
Leyland Band announce 2010 community action programme – 9th December 2009
Leyland will reach out in the new year
Leyland Band is pleased to announce that a “Community Action Programme” has been funded by “Awards for All” Big Lottery Fund. The programme will consist of a number of workshops beginning in February 2010. The workshops will target three distinct community groups within the South Ribble Borough incorporating a local band development day, a youth workshop, and a seniors day including less able bodied individuals (see events lisitings). Leyland Band Development Officer, Andrew Blackledge, says – “For many years the Band rehearsed outside the locality making community initiatives difficult to implement. Over the last three years the Band has firmly re-established its presence in Leyland and South Ribble. By reaching out to different sectors of the community we want to build lasting relationships with local bands, local schools and coomunity groups, and encourage supporters who would normally have little access “behind the scenes”. We are affirming our commitment to innovation by dedicating a session to participants from the Galloway’s Society for the Blind.”
Course Director Richard Evans will ensure a mix of music and mirth, and the Band will also extend a warm welcome to Guest Course Director, Philip Harper.
Leyland Band Chairman, Allan Littlemore comments – “The future of Leyland Band (and the banding community at large) will be largely dependent on developing partnering initiatives within our local community. This is an excellent opportunity for us to invite a wide cross section of the community to learn with one of the United Kingdom’s premier brass bands and experience the “brass band buzz!”. Leyland Band wishes to acknowledge the generous support of the Big Lottery Fund “Awards for All” for helping fund this initiative that will develop and enrich the daily lives of all the participants.
Dr Howard Evans for the Area – 24th November 2009
Dr Howard Evans (Performance Fellow, University of Salford) will be conducting Leyland Band at the 2010 North West Area (14/03/10).
With Jason Katsikaris departing to Australia after the Royal Northern College of Music Festival of Brass in January, the Band have moved quickly to ensure that a first class conductor will lead them into the first competitive event of 2010. The set test piece is “English Heritage” by George Lloyd. The Band first worked successfully with Howard at the 2008 RNCM Festival of Brass, and he will also be conducting Leyland when they accompany Brett Baker on his solo CD recording in April 2010.
Another top six finish – 20th November 2009
Competitive year ends with another prize
Leyland’s brave and progressive choice of program for Brass in Concert was rewarded with another national top six placing as the Band won over the capacity Sage audience with some splendidly energetic playing. The performance was witnessed by the four composers of original music included in the program – Simon Dobson, Lucy Pankhurst, Pete Meechan and Tom Davoren – all of whom were warmly acknowledged by the Gateshead crowd. Phillip Littlemore couldn’t be present, but his wonderfully simple arrangement of “O Magnum Mysterium” won much favour and the the award for the “Best New Composition” at Brass in Concert.
Jason Katsikaris was afforded special mention by event compere, Frank Renton, as this marked his final competition appearance with Leyland before returning to Australia. The Band’s choice of music for Brass in Concert has drawn a huge amount of positive comment. Writing on 4BarsRest, Chris Thomas concluded – “As ever the, Brass in Concert 2009 provided an eclectic mixed bag of new arrangements and compositions, but in a format that is crying out for rejuvenation and innovation, it’s going to take bands that are willing to take risks to further the cause of Brass in Concert in future years : and in that respect at least, Leyland and Jason Katsikaris are to be applauded for a genuine spirit of enterprise”.
Leyland set to innovate at Brass in Concert – 6th November 2009
New works throughout to showcase Britain’s brightest young musical talent
Leyland Band has commissioned some of Britain’s brightest talent to compose an entirely new program for the Brass in Concert Championships at The Sage, Gateshead (15th November 2009). The program will consist of new works by Leyland’s Composer in Residence Simon Dobson, Lucy Pankhurst, Pete Meechan, and Tom Davoren, as well as a brand new arrangement for the Band by Phillip Littlemore. Simon has written a high octane march pastiche for the Band entitled “Lock Horns, Rage On”, whilst Lucy’s “Wired” is a funky flashback to the eighties. The work of Tom Davoren is new to Leyland, and his heroic “Vision of Kolkhis” portrays the mythical story of Jason and the Argonauts, and Phillip Littlemore has crafted a beautiful arrangement of Morten Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium”. Phillippe Schwartz will be the Band’s featured soloist, performing a fresh adaptation of the third movement of Pete Meechans Euphonium Concerto, “Flight to Sparta”.
Musical Director, Jason Katsikaris said “I want to present a diverse program of new music by some of the most exciting compositional voices in Britain. The Band has a freshness which is enhanced by our association with these wonderful musicians. They are so good and their work deserves to be heard”.
Kristy carries the flag for Leyland – 3rd November 2009
Leyland’s Aussie baritone star claims prize at British Solo & Quartet Championships
Kristy Rowe upheld Leyland’s honour at the British Open Solo & Quartet Championships, with a superb performance which earned her an individual instrumental award for best Baritone/Euphonium in the Championships, and 3rd place in the overall competition. Joining Kristy in the final of what developed into an extremely high standard of competition was ex-Leyland tuba player Ben Thomson (named best Bass), and Harmon Vanhoorne who was awarded best soprano/cornet and second place overall. Harmon appeared with Leyland at this years North West Area competition in March, and will again perform with the Band at the Brass in Concert Championships at the Sage in Gateshead on the 15th November 2009. Kristy’s next solo appearance will be with Leyland in concert at Pudsey Civic Hall, Sunday 8th November 2009 where she will be performing Philip Harper’s beautiful “Hebridean Lullaby”. Leyland extend congratulations to all the finalists.
Simon Dobson attends recording session – 28th October 2009
Leyland’s composer in residence sees Band record his work
Leyland spent two days (24th/25th October 2009) recording works by Simon Dobson and Kenneth Hesketh at Peel Hall, Salford. The project commissioned by Faber Music, gave the Band the opportunity to record some of the challenging and innovative works by these two talented composers. Simon’s contributions include, “The Dreaded Groove and Hook” which Leyland premiered at the 2008 Brass In Concert event, and “Penlee” which has already won many admirers and Simon a nomination for Composer of the Year. His other featured works are “Clarion Alarum”, “Lyonesse” and “The Drop”. Click here to see Leyland’s Brass in Concert performance of “The Dreaded Groove & Hook“.
Kenneth Hesketh provided four works, “Elegy”, “Festive Overture”, “Whirlegig” and the fiendishly exciting “Infernal Ride”. Simon was delighted with the weekend, wholeheartedly thanking the Band for providing the opportunity to have his work recorded. The recording was produced by Paul Hindmarsh, to whom “Elegy” is dedicated. Paul is instrumental in ensuring the Royal Northen College of Music Festival of Brass features new work whilst reprising the best music from the past, and both these composers have featured regularly in the Festivals of recent years. The recording is expected to be released early in the new year.
Jason set to stand down – 23rd October 2009
After two years at the helm of one of the country’s leading bands, Jason Katsikaris is set to stand down as Musical Director of Leyland Band.
Jason is moving back to Australia after four years in Britain to resume his career as a lawyer in Sydney. After completing his conversion to practice in the United Kingdom, and recently being admitted in to the Roll of Solicitors, Jason has received a fabulous work offer in his chosen specialism, back in Sydney. In his time with Leyland, Jason has won many friends and admirers, bringing vitality and ingenuity to Leyland’s performances both on the contest and concert platforms. On the competiton front, he steered the Band back into the British Open Championship in 2008, going on to gain successive 4th places at this, the foremost competition in the world of brass bands in 2008 and 2009. In concert, Leyland and Jason have built on a tremendous pedigree to ensure the Band has a full a varied diary. Jason said – “The last two years at the Band have been incredible. When I left Australia, I never imagined I would end up in front of Leyland Band. It’s been an epic journey. Leyland are a great bunch of characters and deserve all the success coming to them. They took a chance on me for which I will always be grateful and I’m going to follow their progress with immense pride”. The 2010 Royal Northern College of Music Festival of Brass (Saturday 23rd January 2010) will be Jason’s final appearance with the Band before returning to Sydney, but he vows – “I will be back in Britain some time in the future for a “banding recharge” and to catch up with mates, that’s for sure”. Leyland are very appreciative of all that Jason has brought to the Band, and will continue to work together to forge a bright future for the Band in the remaining months before Jason’s departure, starting with this weekends CD recording sessions of Dobson and Hesketh works.
A long way from home? – 28th September 2009
Peter “Monkey” Younghusband back at Leyland
Well for one day anyway! Peter attended the 3rd concert in Leyland’s successful 2009 Matinee series whilst paying a flying visit to the UK from his home in Perth, Australia. Over a decade since he carved a first class reputation as bass trombonist with Leyland he was delighted to see some of the “old” faces still performing at the highest level with the Band. To look at him now, you wouldn’t believe he was once mobbed by fans in South Korea – being almost dragged off the stage when performing his trademark party piece, “I Wanna Be Like You”, with Leyland in concert in Seoull. Strange but true!!
Great to see you Monkey.
Classical Brass spectacular hits Chorley – 18th September 2009
Concert 3 of Leyland’s 2009 Matinee Concert series presents a classical themed program which will include guest soprano, Emma Morwood.
The program will bring some of the worlds best known classical repertoire to the Band’s Chorley audience :- Fanfare for the Common Man, La Cambiale di Matrimonio, Il Baccio, Tritch Tratch Polka, Nessun Dorma, Pineapple Poll, Toccata in D Minor, Air on a G String, Largo e Factotum, Czardas, Nimrod, and 1812 Overture. See Events for ticketing details. Four dates in Chorley Town Hall for the 2010 Matinee series have been confirmed, and a fifth will be added at a new venue.
2009 British Open prize winners – 13th September 2009
Leyland earn 4th place at Symphony Hall
Leyland followed up their 5th place at the English National Championships this year with a brilliant (for the 2nd consecutive year) 4th place at the 2009 British Open, held at the sensational Symphony Hall, Birmingham (12th September). Leyland’s back row headed by Matt Balson (soprano) with some fantastic high register playing. Performing “Titans Progress” by Hermann Pallhuber, the Band were on top form, playing with class and control. For many in the audience, MD Jason Katsikaris produced a magnificent, mature reading of the work inspired by the classical heavyweight, Mahler. Leyland were drawn to play 13th out of the 18 invited top bands which this year included Brisbane Excelsior (Australia) who featured two ex Leyland men in their line up in Steve Ridler (ex principal cornet) and Dave Barker (cornet). The “Open” is the highlight of the competition year, and this year was no exception drawing fantastic audiences for all the bands. The Birmingham venue is arguably the best of all the concert halls the Band appears at, and it’s a real joy to perform on the Symphony Hall platform, even in the heat of competition! The adjudicators were unaminous in their praise for Leyland’s performance, citing “wonderful atmosphere”, “quality sounds”, “virtuosi playing” and “great attention to dynamics”. Leyland now look forward with confidence to a full and varied concert diary starting with a “Classical Brass” concert on the 27th September in Chorley Town Hall (see Events) and to building further on the fabulous progress made in the last two years.
Bridgewater bow for summer signings – 28th August 2009
Leyland’s appearance at the magnificent Bridgewater Hall, Manchester on the 5th September will see three players making their debuts with the Band. Philippe Schwartz will lead the euphonium line for the first time on stage, just a week before the Band heads to Birmingham to compete in the British Open Championships.
Rob Johnson has taken up his seat on the front row cornet bench, having made the move from Blackburn and Darwen Band where he was Principal Cornet. Joining the percussion team at Leyland is Patrick Connolly, a Scot with a wealth of performance experience including working with Simone Rebello’s “Backbeat” percussion ensemble. Both are welcome strong additions to Leyland’s line up and looking forward to performing with the Band.
The finale to Leyland’s performance at the Bridgewater Hall, will be “Titans Progress”, the work which has been chosen for the 2009 British Open Championships. Other items featured in the program include Leyland’s Composer In Residence, Simon Dobson’s fabulous tone poem “Penlee”, soloists Katraina Marzella (Scaramouche) and Sara Burn (Singing Stones), and Phillip Littlemore’s energetic arrangement of Congestion Charge (Nigel Hess).
Philippe Schwartz appointed Principal Euphonium – 23rd July 2009
Luxembourg star takes lead role at Leyland
eyland Band are delighted to announce the appointment of Phillipe Schwartz as Principal Euphonium of the Band. He joins Leyland after a very successful four year spell at Grimethorpe Colliery Band, and studying at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Born in Luxembourg in 1985, Philippe already has a wealth of international performance experience in wind and brass bands, as well as a renowned soloist. His pedigree is first class, and all at Leyland are looking forward to working alongside Philippe
Leyland on the move – 11th July 2009
Leyland Band are relocating their rehearsal facilities during a short summer break. The existing band room at Farington Business Park is due to be demolished as part of the ongoing development of the site, and the Band are grateful to the site owner, Martin Ainscough, for helping to facilitate the Band’s move to new premises. The Band’s new postal address is : 9 Kew Gardens, Farington, Leyland, PR25 4QN Appropriately, the Band wound up the first half of the year very much on home territory, entertaining the crowds at the Leyland Transport Festival (11th July 2009), a celebration of the town’s (and the Band’s) transport heritage through Leyland Motors/Vehicles/Trucks. Leyland will return to action on the 13th August and are looking forward to a full and varied diary. Highlights will include a return to the splendid Bridgewater Hall (Manchester) in September, a third CD recording for Faber Music (London) festuring the music of the Band’s Composer in Residence, Simon Dobson, and Kenneth Hesketh. Then in the first half of 2010, debut appearances at The Crossings, Dudley Town Hall and Grimsby Central Hall.
English National Championships – 28th June 2009
Leyland claim 5th place In the annual competiton to crown the Champion Band of England, Leyland claimed a top six placing for the 3rd time in four years. The event held in the Guild Hall, Preston (Saturday 27th June) also constitutes the qualifying competition for English bands participation in the European Brass Band Championships, and our congratualtions go to the winning band yesterday who will take their place in Austria next year. The cream of Englands bands gathered in Preston to perform a new work by Paul Lovatt-Cooper – “Within Blue Empires” – one of the longest competition works of recent times. Leyland were drawn to perform last of the 14 invited bands, producing a thoroughly convincing and musical rendition of the work. Soloists delivered admirable polish, and Jason Katsikaris’s reading of the work drew much praise.
Whit Wet Weather Winners – 7th June 2009
Leyland and other bands were left at the mercy of the worst weather conditions in memory at the annual Whit Friday March Contests (5th June 2009), but still racked up two wins as well as other minor placings. Competing in the Tameside events, Leyland scored victories at Denton and at Hurst Green. Leyland’s trombones were judged the best of the night at Denton, and principle cornet Leon Renilson picked up the Best Soloist prize at the Stalybridge Celtic event wehere the Band also gained 2nd place. 3rd places were awarded to Leyland at Droylsden and Stalybridge, and a 4th place at Heyrod and 5th place at Carrbrook completed the set. All the competing bands drew praise and gratitude from the event organisers for their fortitude in continuing to compete throughout the evening in driving rain and plummeting temperatures. Moving away from “The Wizard” which has brought the Band great success over many years, Leyland’s choice of march “Knight Templar” should have been renamed “Night Tempest” to more accurately reflect the adverse conditions!
Leyland hit huge milestone in development plan – 16th May 2009
Leyland Band – Registered Charity No. 1129485 The Band is pleased to announce that it has secured charity status and is now a Registered Charity (no. 1129485). This is a significant step towards consolidating the financial status of the Band. Development Officer, Andrew Blackledge said – “This is a major milestone on our Business Plan to ensure the Band not only survices but prospers in bringing its music to future generations. Our supporters will be pleased to know that charitable donations they make may lead to increased beneifts to the Band through Gift Aid. Charitable status will also raise the visible profile of the Band, ensuring a stable platform for investigating further funding and partnership opportunities.” For further information, please contact Andrew Blackledge (see Contacts page).
Chorley or Cornwall! – 13th May 2009
Leyland welcome historic town band to join in celebrations. St Austell Town Band are the guests of the Leyland Band. Leyland are delighted to be able to host the St Austell Town Band (conducted by Gareth Pritchard) when the two bands perform a summer “PROMS in the PARK” event at the beautiful Astley Hall, Chorley on the 6th June 2009. The event is sponsored by the Chorley Building Society, and mark it’s 150th Anniversary. The celebrations begin with St Austell performing from 6.30pm in the Hall’s stunningly restored walled garden followed by Leyland taking to the stage at 7.30pm. The finale set brings both bands together for a massed effort culminating in “Jerusalem” and “Pomp & Circumstance No.1”. Click here to see the event details. The St Austell Band are in the North West to compete at the famous Whit Friday March Contests held in Tameside and Saddleworth on the previous evening, 5th June. Iani Mcknight (Eb Bass with Leyland) hails from Cornwall and has strong connections with St Austell Town Band. He has been instrumental in bringing the bands together. All at Leyland are looking forward to meeting and performing with St Austell, sharing what will be a fantastic evening of music making.
Stars of Stage and Screen – 8th May 2009
Soloists take centre stage at Matinee concert – Sunday 10th May 2.00pm, Chorley Town Hall
Leyland’s 2nd concert in the 2009 Matinee Series takes music of the stage and screen as its theme with the Band’s soloists firmly in the lead roles. The audience can judge for themselves as to who they consider to be “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” but there is undoubtedly some A-list talent on show. Percussionist Sara Burn will be demonstrating her versatility and wonderful voice, singing “I Dreamed a Dream” (Les Miserables), followed by another showstopping favourite “Memory” played by soprano soloist Matt Balson. Flugel star Nicki Longden wil perform “Concerto D’Arunjuez” made famous when it was featured in the definitive brass band movie “Brassed Off”, and Principal Horn Kate Eggleshaw will feature in the well know “Somewhere Out There”. Following the success of the first event in the 2009 Matinee Series, the Band are already looking to cement the 2010 Series. The format is proving highly popular, and the themes for the 3rd and 4th in the series are creating a great deal of interest.
Richard Evans accepts historic honour – 28th April 2009
One of the brass worlds biggest personalities is recognised by Leyland Band
The most successful conductor in Leyland’s history, and the man whose name is still synonymous with Leyland is to be formally honoured by the Band. Richard Evans has accepted the life title of “Music Director Emeritus” of the Leyland Band, cementing his relationship with the band he transformed over two decades of continous service following his appointment as Musical Director in the late 70’s. Richard will be the guest of honour at the Band’s matinee concert in Chorley Town Hall on Sunday the 10th May 2009. After driving rapid improvement in the standard of the Band from the day he arrived, and taking the Band into the Championship Secton in double quick time, Richard steered Leyland in the five major UK competitions on over 80 occasions, securing 11 wins and over 50 placing prizes. The most memorable contest performances were a complete reflection of the personality and inate musicianship Richard brought to the stand. Leyland’s arrival back in the British Open in 1981 marked the introduction of the Band’s trade mark white jackets which immediately created a recogniseable identity for the Band. The cat whistles which greeted the players as they made their way on to the Belle Vue platform were replaced 20 minutes later with resounding cheers as Leyland produced a vibrant, stunning performance of “Variations on a 9th” which earned the Band the runners up prize. In 1994, following many placings at “The Open”, Richard lead the Band to the ultimate prize of British Open Champions, drawing the music from the John McCabes work, “Salamander”. On the concert platform, Richard remained peerless. He fronted the Band in over 600 appearances on concert platforms around the UK. He took the Band to Japan in 1980 (and again in 1995), the first western brass band to perform there, and a part of the world with which Richard still has close links. Concert tours of the USA, and performances across Europe were undertaken with the style which is unique to Richard. The music was deliberately tailored to the audiences, “try to entertain, not educate” was Richard’s concert philosophy and this earned the Band a fabulous following. Players were rewarded through those times with unparralled excitement and experience. Long serving cornet player, Gary Westwood said “every performance, concert, competition or even rehearsal was approached as a chance to show how good the Band was, and Richard’s strength was to harness the music and engage audiences wherever we performed. Playing for Leyland during those days was not just a musical treat for the young players like me, it provided some of the greatest life defining experiences we could have, and Richard was the catalyst. It was an education in music and in life”. The Band is delighted to honour the work Richard has done with Leyland, the standards he set and we continue to aspire to, and the undoubted legacy he has created which with his continuing guidance will grow even further.
Richard said “The invitation from the Band gave me wonderful buzz and it was not without emotion that I took in the ramifications of this wonderful invitation. The love I still have for the Leyland Band, and the great sense of achievement we have all experienced in the on-going life of our band is evident to all who are connected; may it last forever! It’s with proud honour that I accept the offer of the title “Music Director Emeritus”.
It’s Leon for Leyland – 23rd April 2009
Leon Renilson appointed Principal Cornet of Leyland Band
Leyland Band is delighted to announce the appointment of Leon Renilson as its new Principal Cornet. Leon is no stranger to the Band, having held the principal chair at Leyland five years ago. Impressive Pedigree Leon began his banding career at Elland Silver Band before progressing to the Hebden Bridge Band. From there he made the extraordinary leap to join the cornet section at the Black Dyke Band. He became principal cornet of the Kennedy’s Swinton Band and won the British Open with them in 1989. Work took Leon away from banding for a while. He returned to play for the Sellers Engineering Band, before moving on to the Yorkshire Building Society Band, where he enjoyed numerous contest successes and and tours. In 2003, Leon joined Leyland for the first time, leading the Band to victory at the All England Masters Championships in that year. Leyland’s Musical Director Jason Katsikaris commented – “I went to the 2009 Yorkshire Area qualifiers to hear Leon perform and I was bowled over by him. Players of his calibre do not come around very often. He has that X-Factor, an exquisite sound and inate sense of style.” Leon said – “I am enjoing being back home at Leyland. There is so much young talent here and I am also strangely drawn to Australian conductors for some reason!” The Band are thrilled at Leon’s appointment, and he completes a talented line up of soloists at Leyland.
David Wilkinson – 17th April 2009
The sad news has been received that Dave Wilkinson – “Wilky” to all his friends at Leyland – passed away aged 65 on the 2nd April 2009 in Spain, where he had made his home. Dave was a long time member of the Leyland Motors Band, playing cornet with the Band before accepting the role of Band Librarian when he finally hung his instrument up. All at Leyland pass on our condolences to Dave’s family and friends. A memorial service is to be held at St Barnabas CE Church, Chapel Lane, Heapey at 3.00pm on May 2nd 2009.
Andy makes it a Leyland Double – 17th April 2009
Leyland’s talented young player claims NYBBGB Principal Horn position Andy Moore (1st horn with Leyland) has secured the Principal Horn position with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain following the NYBBGB 2009 Easter course held in Harrogate. Leyland are proud to be providing two of the leading principals to the NYBBGB in Andy and Matthew White. Andy performed exceptionally at the recent NYBBGB concerts in Manchester and Harrogate and is one of the brightest and most popular stars of Leyland’s crop of young talented musicians.
Matthew takes principal role – 10th April 2009
National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain recognise Leyland’s exciting young euphonium star Hot on the heels of his acclaimed performances in the BBC Young Brass Musician competition, Matthew White has been appointed Principal Euphonium of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. The appointment was confirmed as the NYBBGB gathered for its 2009 Easter Course at Harrogate Ladies College. Matthew will have the honour of leading the line at the NYBBGB’s concerts at the Royal Northern College of Music (Saturday 11th April) and The Royal Hall, Harrogate (Sunday 12th April) which form the climax of this year’s Easter Course.
Something old, Something borrowed, Something new! – 27th March 2009
Leyland feature on BBC Radio 2 Listen to the Band – Friday 3rd April – 9.30pm The Band’s latest Radio 2 recording will be broadcast on Friday 3rd April when Frank Renton introduces a half hour show featuring Leyland. The music chosen by conductor Jason Katsikaris brings together a variety of items including solos from two of the Band’s first class soloists, Matthew Balson and Sara Burn. Matthew stars in the Andrew Lloyd Webber favourite, “Memory” whilst Sara showcases her talent on xylophone and vibraphone with a brand new work, specially written for her by Andrew Baker, “Singin’ Stones”. Another work new to the banding repertoire is a transcription by Phillip Littlemore of “Congestion Charge” by Nigel Hess – sit back and feel the road rage! The antidote to that though is Stuart Pullin’s fabulous arrangement of the classic “Deep Harmony”. Added to that is the old march standard, “Sons of the Brave”, and Gordon Langford’s fun setting of “Sweet Gingerbread Man”.
Picture Perfect – 17th March 2009
Photographs of the band are now online in our Picture Gallery Images from some of our recent performances can be found in our Picture Gallery. Many of the shots of the band on stage are courtesy of Ian Clowes at www.goldysolutions.co.uk Ian travels to many of the brass events in the UK and, as such, more pictures of Leyland as well as many other bands can be found on his website here
Leyland on “Groove” Tube – 12th March 2009
Simon Dobson’s “Dreaded Groove and Hook” posted on YouTube Leyland’s opening piece at the 2009 Brass in Concert Championships at the Sage, Gateshead can now be viewed in full on YouTube. The Band’s Composer-in-residence, Simon Dobson penned the “Dreaded Groove and Hook” very much with a visual performance in mind, and the YouTube clip shows just how the Band can take to its feet!
Salute To Youth – 3rd March 2009
Matthew stars in the BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Soloist Final 2009 RNCM, Mancester Leyland’s 18 year old euphonium star Matthew White made it through to the 2009 Final of Radio 2’s Young Brass Soloist competition, and gave a mesmeric performance on the 21st February. Setting an exceptionally high standard, Matthew was unlucky to be pipped to the title by the very talented trombone player, Stephen Sykes, who incidentally has also been a member of the Band. Congratulations to Stephen from all at Leyland. Matthew chose challenging works, including one of his very own compositions, “Improvisation for Euphonium”, which he played with a matchless virtuosity. In contrast “A Lament of the Death of the Rev. Archie Beaton”, provided a haunting melodic quality showing that great playing is not all about impossible technique. His third item was “Two Songs from Valdres” based on Norwegian folk tunes (Halling and Badniat), which was introduced to Matthew by the great Norwegian exponent of the euphonium and friend of Leyland, Tormod Flaten. Twelve Leyland players joined the packed audience at the Royal Northern College of Music to lend the Band’s full support to Matthew, and he didn’t disappoint. Highlights of the competiton performances were broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on Friday 27th February.
Trombones to the “Four” – 23rd February 2009
Leyland section feature at BTS education day Leyland trombonists Danny Brook, Dean Jones, Adam Cooke and Kevin Wilson represented the Band when they were featured at the British Trombone Society Education Day, held at West Park Centre, Leeds on 21st February 2009. The quartet gave a world premiere of a work that was specially written for them by Marc Owen (conductor, tuba player and composer). The piece, “Zeroth”, gave all four players a chance to demonstrate their considerable talents, and conductor Jason Katsikaris explored all the facets of this challenging new work. The work and the performance was very well received. Following the performance they moved on to a forum, where Jason and the quartet were pleased to answer questions about a wide range of issues including the role of the conductor in quartet playing, the technical difficulties of the new work and the difference between sectional playing in a band and this type of quartet playing. The Leyland Trombone Quartet is now a fixture of the Band, and they are already working on expanding their repertoire. They hope to assist the BTS in other ventures, and will perform again in Rugby on the 28th March, and Durham on the 5th July.
Leyland Band 2009 Matinee Concert Series – 8th February 2009
Romantic matinee promises “smooth……” start to 2009 series Love music and Leyland Band? Then Chorley Town Hall is the place to be on Sunday 15th February at 2.00pm when the Band’s 2009 Matinee Concert Series begins with an appropriately themed Valentines concert. This new venture of four themed matinee concerts, staged througout the year, will build on the growing strength of the Band’s Patrons group and is open to patrons and non-patrons alike. All the concerts will take place in the Town Hall, Market Street, Chorley and will begin at 2.00pm :- Concert 1. 15th February 2009 Romance in Brass Concert 2. 10th May 2009 Stage and Screen Hits Concert 3. 27th September 2009 Classical Brass Concert 4. 6th December 2009 Festive Brass Concert 1. will feature music of a distinctly romantic nature, from a little known Sousa march, popular standards, to heavy duty emotion from one of the worlds greatest composers. Seven of the Band’s young soloists will feature throughout the program. Add to that a confetti of Mozart, Bernstein and Lloyd-Webber and it’s sure to be a warm and smooth start to the Matinee series. Tickets are available in advance from Andrew Blackledge – tel. 01772 613238 and Norman Clarkson – tel. 01257 267538, and on the door subject to available seats. Concert 1. Program details :- Our Flirtations (J P Sousa), Marriage of Figaro (W A Mozart), Misty (Garner), Ruby Tuesday (arr. Catherall), Flower Duet (Delibes), Tara’s Theme (Steiner), The Way We Were (Hamlisch/Bergman), Music (John Miles) – McArthur Park (arr. Catherall), Feelings (arr. Ashmore), When I’m 64 (Lennon/McCartney), Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You (arr. Siebert), Wind Beneath My Wings (Henley), Be My Love (arr. Farr), One Hand One Heart (Bernstein), Procession to the Minster (Wagner), Love Changes Everything (Lloyd-Webber)
Plaudits for Leyland’s RNCM Performance
(7th February 2009)
Leyland and Katrina shine at the 2009 Festival of Brass Saturday 30th January – A very varied selection of six serious works were thrillingly brought to life by Leyland Band when they took their place at this years Royal Northern College of Musc Festival of Brass. By invitation only, a series of concerts were performed over the weekend by some of the countries top bands. The festival this year was again expertly co-ordinated by Paul Hindmarsh, and he had chosen the works of Gilbert Vinter as the common thread throughout the weekend. Leyland began their concert with Vinter’s overture “John O’Gaunt” and it’s chiming bells on the stroke of 3.00pm. Vinter’s knack of writing fresh and vibrant music was given full justice by conductor Jason Katsikaris and the Band. The Band’s featured soloist was next up with a UK premiere of Martin Ellerby’s “Concerto for Baritone”. Katrina Marzella has already carved out a fabulous reputation as a world class soloist, and her standing was further enhanced here. The composer himself was in the audience to talk about his music and hear his work beautifully performed. The first half closed with the oldest piece in the program, “A Downland Suite” from the pen of John Ireland which was composed in 1932. The beautiful second movement, “Elegy” appears regularly on many a band program, but here Leyland presented a rare outing for the whole suite of four movements. The Band’s Composer in Residence, Simon Dobson, provided the opening work of the second half. “Penlee” is a piece inspired by and dedicated to the lifeboat disaster which occured off the coast of Cornwall in December 1981. This dramatic tone poem allowed the Band to perfectly capture the menace and power of the storm which engulfed the crews of the lifeboat and the Union Star which they had set out to rescue. John Golland’s piece “Sounds” brought a level of calm to proceedings, before the Band launched into their finale, “Lowry Sketchbook”. Composer Philip Wilby was also in the audience to hear the Band perform his exciting work. Paul Hindmarsh thanked the Band and Jason for a wonderful concert.
Leyland feature on BBC Radio 2 in January – 27th January 2009
Brass in Concert performance broadcast on Listen to the Band The Friday the 23rd January broadcast of Radio 2’s Listen to the Band featured two Andrew Duncan arrangements from Leyland’s Brass in Concert program, recorded at the Sage Centre, Gateshead on 16th November 2008. In true eclectic Leyland form the chosen items were Andrew’s fun take on the Mo-Town classic, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” complete with singing (!) and the wonderful “Elves Dance” featuring Leyland’s star Baritone solist Katrina Marzella. Katrina will also feature on the show on Friday 30th January, when music from her debut solo CD – “Katrina” – will be aired. Katrina’s recording of the exciting “Pequena Czarda” has been chosen to feature in a show highlighting some recent CD releases.
Leyland’s new website takes shape – 20th January 2009
Band back on-line Katrina Marzella has been working hard on revamping the Leyland Band official website and the first results are now available here. The fabulous rise in Leyland’s profile over the last three years demands a website that reflects the Band’s increasing status and reputation. The old website just didn’t do justice to the wealth of activities the Band are engaged in, so a complete overall was necessary. Here are the first complete pages from the new site, which we will now see grow to embrace the full aspects of the world famous Leyland Band. As well a sample of news stories from 2008, there is a confirmed engagement schedule for 2009 (keep an eye on this for new engagements), contact details for all the Band officials and a history of the Band which is now over 60 years old.