2010 Archived Leyland News

Leyland sign year off in style – 17th December 2010

The annual home turf Christmas concert in aid of the Mayor of South Ribble Charities brings the curtain down on 2010.

 

Associate conductor, John Doyle marks his first year anniversary with Leyland by conducting the bands traditional annual sign off concert. The program is packed full of festive favourites, presented in relaxed mood as the band signs off 2010 in front of its home crowd.

2010 has been a very busy and rewarding year with some stand out events and projects. In the first quarter, the band made its first forays into specialist workshops, working with young and old musicians, as well as non players through its Community Action Program supported by Awards for All.

Three brand new CD recordings have been made, two of which are already on general sale and the third which is eagerly awaited as the first under the baton of Philip Harper who became the bands musical director in the summer.

 

The matinee concert series which began in 2009 has gone from strength to strength in 2010, and next year will see the series expanded into new venues building on the groundwork started in Chorley.

On the competiton front, Philip has guided the band to three top six finishes out of four nationally based contests, record we aim to build on in the new year.

The year has also seen Leyland cement two exciting and significant partnerships with the Universisty of Central Lancashire and Yamaha.

 

2011 will see both partnerships growand further recording projects for the band, a swell as more concert appearances around the country. Philip will next direct the band at the annual RNCM Festival of Brass in January where Leyland will present more work by its Composer in Residence, Simon Dobson.

Best wishes to all from the band – looking forward to another fantastic year of music in 2011.

Leyland forge “Age of Chilvalry” – 1st December 2010

Latest concept recording project is completed, bringing to life the central characters of a mythical chilvalrous past.

 

Kings, Queens, Princesses and Wizards are all musically represented on Leyland Band’s latest CD recording, which was completed over the weekend 27th/28th November.

Conductor Philip Harper realised a long held concept with this recording, choosing a diverse range of music to portray the nobility and legend of times gone by.

Among the featured music is the Derek Bourgeois arrangement of “The Scorcer’s Apprentice” and a three piece selection of rock group Queen’s output.

The recording is produced by Brian Hilson (World of Brass) ensuring a quality product. Release date to be announced.

Simon Dobson nominated for British Composer Awards – 25th November 2010

Leyland’s Composer in Residence, Simon Dobson, has been nominated for the British Composer Award for his work “Torsion”.

 

Excerpts of that performance will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s programme “Performance on 3” – Tuesday 30th November 2010 from 7.00pm.

Leyland performed Simon’s “Torsion” to great acclaim at this year’s Royal Northern College of Music Festival of Brass adding to a long list of collaborations including the standout CD recording “Penlee“.

Hatrick of Awards at Brass in Concert – 23rd November 2010

Leyland’s star principals scoop major awards to add to the band’s success at Brass in Concert

 

Leyland secured another order of merit award, being placed 5th at the 2010 Brass in Concert Championships held at the Sage, Gateshead (21/11/10).

And to add to that, the band and principals were awarded three other special awards for their performance. The program opened with the traditional Whit Friday march “The Wizard“, the performance gaining the “Best March” trophy. Philippe Schwartz performed Lucy Pankhurst’s innovative “Midnight” complete with a magical disappearing trick, as the chosen solo in Leyland’s program.

Philip Harper’s arrangement of “The Witch of the Westmerlands” provided the opportunity for both John Doyle and Kristy Rowe to excel, and undoubtedly went a long way to each gaining individual awards – John named as “Best Cornet”, and Kristy “Best Horn/Baritone” at the event.

 

More Magic in the Air – 20th November 2010

In the month which sees the release of Harry Potter’s latest movie (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), Leyland set to bring a bit of wizardry to Brass in Concert.

 

Conductor Philip Harper has chosen a magical theme to the Leyland’s program contribution to this year’s Brass in Concert Championships (The Sage, Gateshead, 21st November 2010).

 

Opening the show is George Allen’s march “The Wizard“, the march synominous with Leyland’s appearances at the annual Whit Friday March Festivals on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border.

The follows three new works to the brass band repertoire, one original and two new arrangements.

Lucy Pankhurst has penned a brand new piece for euphonium virtuoso, Philippe Schwartz titled “Midnight” evoking all the mystique of the 12th hour.

Next up is Leyland’s baritone queen, Kristy Rowe who features heavily in Philips own arrangement of “The Witch of the Westmerlands“.

Harold Arlen’s classic “That Old Black Magic” also gets the Harper arrangemen treatment and features four trumpets lead by John Doyle.

The chosen finale is Paul Dukas’ fantasia “The Scorcerer’s Apprentice” in an ambitious arrangement for band by Derek Bourgeois.

Leyland will commit much of this program to their next CD recording, “Age of Chivalry” next weekend, which expands the theme to Kings, Queens and Princesess.

Thinking out of the Box – 14th November 2010

Two of the band’s musicians have recently been taking their first steps into the world of contest adjudication.

 

Principal cornet and associate musical director, John Doyle, took part in a training activity organised by the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators (ABBA) at the Pontins Championships, Prestatyn last month.

The assignment, which involved judging the second section at the contest separately from the official contest adjudicators and receiving feedback on his critiques, is the first of several such tasks which John has been set to allow him to become an associate member of ABBA.

Meanwhile, Iain McKnight (Eb Bass) was invited to adjudicate Macclesfield Youth Brass Band’s slow melody contest last Sunday, 7th November. Iain was part of a team of tutors who visited the band in April this year to help them prepare for the National Youth Championships.

“I was delighted to be asked to adjudicate the band’s slow melody contest,” Iain commented. “I had a great day and heard some fantastic music making. It was highly encouraging to hear the standard of the players that MYBB is training; it really does bode well for the future of banding!”

 

Latest Recordings Released – 31st October 2010

Leyland’s latest CD recordings, “Matinee Magic” and “Summon the Rhythm” get October releases.

 

The band’s latest two recordings have been released. “Matinee Magic”, and collection of popular music as featured in the band’s highly successful “Matinee Concert Series” is complimented by Brett Baker’s (trombone virtuoso) solo recording, “Summon the Rhythm”.

Both were recorded at the Michell Kenyon Theatre, University of Central Lancashire in the first half of 2010.

Leyland will be back in the recording studio over the weekend of the 27th/28th November conducted by Philip Harper, working on its latest recording project, “The Age of Chivalry”.

National Championships – 5th place – 10th October 2010

Leyland hit top six order of merit at the 2010 National Championships of Great Britain with a fabulous performance of Martin Ellerby’s “Terra Australis”.

 

Following the disappointing showing at the British Open Championships in September, Leyland rallied to produce an excellent performance at the National Finals, which was richly rewarded with 5th place.

Having travelled to London on Friday and rehearsed in the capital, the band were presented with a real predicament due to a mix up in rehearsal venues which threatened to wipe out the chance of a final rehearsal on the morning of the contest. Thankfully, MD Philip Harper’s connections with Tongwynlais Temperance saw the Welsh outfit offer the use of their early morning rehearsal venue after they had put the final touches to their preparations before their early number 4 draw at the contest. Leyland are very thankful for the support of Tongwynlais.

Drawn to play 16th, Leyland set about an exciting and energetic performance from the outset, complimented by some fine solo playing across the band, drawing strong praise from all three adjudicators and a very warm reception from the large audience.

 

Leyland Open Up For London – 3rd October 2010

Leyland band are opening the doors to the public next Thursday 7 October, for their final northern based rehearsal, ahead of the finals of the National Championships on Saturday 9 October.

 

The rehearsal will take place at Lostock Hall Community High School & Arts College (www.lostockhallhigh.lancs.sch.uk), commencing 8pm and will feature a short concert as well as an opportunity to hear the band prepare and perform the National Final’s Test Piece ‘Terra Australis’ by Martin Ellerby.

The band will travel to the capital the on Friday (8th October) to complete its preparations with a final rehearsals in London.

The event, part of the band’s Community Action Participation Programme, is free of charge, and provides a window into the hard work and effort that goes on behind the scenes in preaparing for major events such as the National Championships.

Come along and enjoy a close up view of the band at work.

New signings for Leyland’s Albert Hall challenge – 1st October 2010

Leyland’s cornet section gets further boost following the recent arrival of Lucien Rey, as trio of new players sign on.

Laura Hirst is filling the Repiano seat, whilst Richard Walker has been signed on 2nd Cornet.  Leyland are delighted to have Laura with them in London after her recent high profile departure from Fairey’s where she earned plaudits for her work on Principal Cornet. Richard returns to Leyland after a 14 year break, having recently helping Freckleton to an impressive 2nd place at the 1st Section Finals in Harrogate.

In welcoming Laura and Richard, Leyland wishes to place on record their thanks to Damian O’Reilley (Dj) and Grant Taylor, who both fulfilled their final engagement with the band, the 2010 British Open (Symphony Hall, Birmingham) after a considerable amount of dedication and commitment over the years.  They both leave with the band with thanks and best wishes.

Bass Trombone

Meanwhile, Leyland also announces the signing of Jonathan Hooper on Bass Trombone.   A freelance musician / teacher, John brings incredible talent and experience to the Band, having played with many of the country’s leading Brass Bands and Orchestra’s, including the Halle and the BBC Philharmonic.

Jon replaces longstanding Bass Trombone player Kevin Wilson, who leaves Leyland with everyone’s best wishes and sincere thanks for his efforts over many years with the Band.

Swiss add to international line up – 30th September 2010

Swiss player Lucien Rey claims seat in Leyland’s cornet section.

 

Lucien has joined Leyland in time to make his debut at the Royal Albert Hall when the band competes in the finals of the National Championships of Great Britain on the 9th October.

Arriving in Manchester to study Business Economics at the Manchester Metropolitan University, Lucien was recommended to Leyland by his current cornet tutor, Roger Webster. The band is delighted to welcome another international player to its ranks, which already includes players from Norway, Luxemburg and Australia.

Leyland tame Lions Youth Brass – 19th September 2010

On Sunday 19th September, Leyland Band’s team of tutors were in action again recently as they teamed up with Lion’s Youth Brass to take the players through a rewarding day of teaching and playing at he Maxwell Davies Centre, Sandbach.

 

The day started with workshop leader Philippe Schwartz taking the whole band through some breathing and warm up exercises before working on the march “Imperial Echoes”. Philippe was supported by Leyland players – Anita Milde (horn), Ben Thomas (percussion), Chris Doran (tuba), Ben Knowles (trombone), Breian Heyes and Elaine Skupham (cornet) in association with the University of Central Lancashire and Yamaha. The band split into sections, each tutor working on a selected feature piece for each section. A short master class gave the young band members a chance to listen to the tutor’s advice on playing and ask any questions. The day finished off with a performance of all the feature pieces with the whole band together, rounding off a hard, but rewarding day’s work for the players and tutors.

 

Leyland’s Community Participation Programme continues – 21st July 2010

Leyland Band continue its community participation programme with a joint concert featuring the band and the Galloway’s Society for the Blind Choir.

 

In addition to members of the society performing with the choir, the concert will feature the ‘Samba band’. The ‘Samba Band’ was a product of the community workshop held earlier this year, beginning a unique relationship between one of the top brass bands in the country and the blind society.

 

Richard Evans, the workshop Course Director said,

‘We had a wonderful day in the company of members of the Society. It was a humbling experience to witness the reaction of the course participants experiencing brass music making, trying to play a brass instrument and conduct the band. The appreciation of the music was so much deeper being denied sight. The participants didn’t let this get in the way and the day culminated in a joyful mass samba band. At the concert we will be recreating the Samba band and the infectious smiles should abound. We look forward to welcoming friends old and new in what promises to be a special afternoon of music making.’

 

Yamaha and Leyland strike up creative partnership – 6th July 2010

Yamaha Music Europe GmbH and Leyland Band have announced an exciting and innovative collaboration that will see the two organisations working together on a range of music-making initiatives and events throughout Europe.

 

Yamaha have long prided themselves on long term relationships with world-class artists and organisations, and the Leyland Band partnership takes this philosophy to an international level. Yamaha’s international support via its European subsidiaries will help promote the Leyland Band concert and performance schedule to new audiences.  Yamaha will also be providing Leyland Band with a range of student instruments for educational events and will be promoting have-a-go sessions at selected concerts.

 

Ian Frankland is Yamaha’s Brass & Woodwind Manager and was key to forging the partnership.  He comments “This is not a standard sponsorship arrangement as has traditionally been the case between industry and banding; it’s much more creative.  At it’s heart is a is a joint desire to reach out beyond the current brass band audiences and to introduce more people to the genre and to the joy of playing brass instruments.”

 

Allan Littlemore, Leyland Band’s Chairman, says, “We already enjoy a strong relationship with Yamaha on the instrument side of things and it seemed a logical step to develop this into a more dynamic international arrangement to promote brass banding in general.  It also means we will have access to Yamaha’s specialist technical team and will be able to integrate Yamaha into our successful and growing Community Action Participation Programme, a series of events which focus on young people and the disadvantaged”.

 

The announcement follows the recent partnership agreement between Leyland Band and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), the UK’s fourth largest university.

New Website launched – 25th June 2010

Leyland Band website redesigned

 

With the significant help of the University of Central Lancashire, Leyland’s website has been completely remodelled, and has been launched today. The team at the univeristy’s ‘Design Lab’ have updated all aspects of the site to present a fresh and more flexible interface.

Some pages remain in development and the population of the site will be completed over the summer. This is one of the first fruits of Leyland Band’s new and exciting partnership with UCLAN, and the band is truly delighted at the results.

Thanks to Mike and Fred (Design Lab) for their work, and to UCLAN for its support.

This Time, We’ll Get It Right! – 9th June 2010

When Leyland was England’s 12th man

 

With the 2010 Football World Cup upon us, it’s time to remember the significant (!) part Leyland Band played in the 1982 England World Cup campaign.

Yes, in 1982, footballers sported long frizzy hair and had a liking for attacking the pop charts. So it was that the official England team album was released, taking its title from the the chart single, “This Time” (you remember – This time, more than any other time, this time etc…..).The enitre squad under manager Ron Greenwood, belted out the classic song, which had it been entered for the Eurovision Song Contest, would surely have won on penalties. The production was a real team effort – Keegan, Clemence, Brooking, Watson, Wilkins, Coppell, Francis, Osman, Hoddle, Anderson, Sansom, Corrigan, Foster, Regis, Thompson, Morley and of course the Leyland Vehicles Band!

The band played on the backing track for the single, and also featured on the album, chipping in with solo efforts, the BBC’s “Match of the Day” and “Grandstand” themes, followed by second half strikes of the “World of Sport” theme (from ITV) and an instrumental version of “This Time“.

 

Whit Friday March results 2010 – 3rd June 2010

Leyland’s consistency at the annual Whit Friday March Contests was again evident and rewarded with a clutch of prizes.

 

Competing on the Tameside circuit in what was thankfully a much more pleasant evening than the previous years washout, Leyland performed at 10 out of the 11 village contests, gaining prizes at half of those and a top six placing at another.

Richard Evans directed the band to 1st prize in the Droylsdon event. Leyland were runners up at Audenshaw and Stalybridge. 3rd places were awarded at Broadoak, Heyrod and Hurst Cross, and the haul propelled Leyland to third overall in Tameside. A top six placing was awarded at Carrbrook.

It was a welcome return to G Allen’s classic contest march the “Wizard” for the band.

Click below to see pictures by Ian Clowes, of Leyland’s 2009 Whit Friday campaign (conducted by Jason Katsikaris) :

 

Penlee – CD of the Month – 28th May 2010

Leyland’s latest release sets the mark

 

‘Brass Band World’ magazine have chosen Leyland’s Penlee recording as their CD of the Month for May 2010, awarding it five out of five for programme, recording and performance.

BBW Reviewer Christopher Thomas concludes this is “a disc not to be missed”. He’s not alone, as Penlee was also cited as the ‘Recommended CD Recording’ in the ‘Listening Post’ calling it a “cracking album”. Tim Mutum states “With Excellent booklet notes and a production team of Paul Hindmarsh, Phillip Littlemore and Mike Skeet (ex BBC) and a band on fine form this really is a CD to treasure”.

Wizard return to Whit Friday – 28th May 2010

The march king himself, Richard Evans will steer Leyland Band through the world famous annual Whitsuntide march festivals.

 

This year the band will be returning to the march with which it is synominous – “The Wizard” (G. Allen).

The band will compete on Friday 28th May around the Tameside circuit of villages from 4.00pm.

Leyland and Amy Bridgewater Bound – 8th May 2010

American trumpet star and university professor, Amy Gilreath will team up with Leyland Band at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester on Sunday 9th May 2010, to celebrate the Great Northern Spring Brass Arts Festival.

 

Amy holds the position of Principal Trumpet with the Illinois Symphony Orhestra, the Sugar Creek Symphony, the Preoria Symphony Orchestra amongst others, and in bras band terms her connections with the “Brass Band of Battle Creek” will strike an impressive chord.  Leyland are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Amy, and accompany two of her solo’s on the Band’s varied program for the event. Her first offering is “Konzertstuck No.2” by the Russian composer (and fellow trumpet player) Vassily Brandt. Brandt wrote no less than 34 orchestral etudes for trumpet, as well as two well known concert pieces which continue to be widely programmed. Amy has chosen the second of these to play at this years festival. Her second item, “Ballad” is a more personal affair, as it was composed by R Bernard Fitzgerald reputedly for Amy’s old trumpet tutor. Either side of Amy’s solos, Leyland present two contrasting sets. The program will open with Montiverdi’s classic “Fanfare from Orfeo” before instantly travelling in time from the 17th century to the 1970’s and one of Stevie Wonder’s greatest hits, “Superstition” (arranged by Iain McKnight). Leyland’s first soloist is Kristy Rowe, fresh from her debut appearance at the European Solo Championships, with the beautiful John Golland composition, “Peace”. Leyland’s second set is a modern affair, beginning with Simon Dobson’s ground breaking march “Lock Horns, Rage On” before moving on to Derek Bourgeois’s rarely heard work “Euphoria” featuring the Band’s principal euphonium Philippe Schwartz. A new arrangement of the traditional Irish folk tune by Paul Pavey, “May Morning Dew” features next, then Tom Davoren’s “Vision of Kholkis” brings the show to a close.

Matinee Magic in the can – 28th April 2010

Over the weekend of 24th/25th April 2010, Leyland recorded their second CD of the year. Working title “Matinee Magic”, has taken its inspiration from Leyland’s highly successful matinee concert series which began in 2009.

The repertoire is unashamedly easy listening, yet the recording is produced by one of the country’s most progressive young composers, Dr Peter Meechan. Keith Johnson of KMJ Recordings is the production engineer on his second collaboration with Leyland (previous project being “Serenade in Brass”).

The Band is conducted by Russell Gray, and five of the Band’s top solists feaure – John Doyle (Blessed Assurance), Philippe Schwartz (Brillante), Matt Balson (Memory), Kristy Rowe (Peace), and Danny Brooks (My Funny Valentine).

Arrivals and Ash Cloud Delays – 20th April 2010

Volcano can’t stop new faces at Leyland. The Icelandic volcano has hit Leyland in the run up to the Band’s latest CD recording session (24th/25th April 2010) with a trio of top players stuck abroad, as well as conductor Russell Gray.

 

Russell was struggling to return from France over the weekend, and is hopeful of joining up with the band for the final rehearsal before the recording. The situation for Principal trombone, Danny Brooks and percussionist Sarah Burn, looks less hopeful as they are trying to make their way back from the United States of America, reporting in last from Atlanta with no sign of a speedy flight home. Second cornet player Damien O’Reilly though has been more fortunate in suffering only minor delays in returning from Barcelona. Despite the ash cloud disruption, there have been a welcome trio of arrivals at Leyland. Cornet player Doug Elkin, who is currently studying at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, has taken his seat on the solo cornet bench. The rose in the trio of new talent is Eve Moulsdale who joins Leyland from the Fairey Band, on tuned percussion. Finally the band welcomes Tom Hughs to the 2nd Baritone position, where he will complete a formidable line up on the euphonium/baritone line of Philippe Schwartz, Nick Giles and Kristy Rowe. All three are exceptional young players who add great strength to the Band.

Music for Heroes – 5th April 2010

2010 Matinee Series – concert 2. Sunday 11th April is the date for the second in this years Matinee Series of concerts. The theme is Music for Heroes.

Russell Gray will conduct the Band in a musical tribute to the armed forces who have proudly served this country through the ages, and the Band will evoke the spirit of the country with Songs of Pride (Run Rabbit, White Cliffs of Dover, There”ll Always be an England, We’ll Meet Again), ans present a set in tribute to the Big Band Era. Program :- Yeoman of the Guard, Our Boys Will Shine Tonight, A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square, Army of the Nile, RAF March Past, Life on the Ocean Wave, Songs of Pride, Peace, Spitfire Fugue – St Louis Blues, In a Sentimental Mood, Cute, Sing, Sing, Sing, In Memorium (from Royal Parks), 633 Squadron, Sunset & Last Post, Britannic Salute.

Brett summon’s the rhythm – 29th March 2010

Leyland complete new Brett Baker recording

 

Ace trombonist, Brett Baker recorded his latest solo CD offering accompanied by Leyland Band over the weekend of 27th/28th MArch 2010.

The recording is a varied mix of brand new works and seasoned standards. Tom Davoren (composer of Visions of Kholkis) provides a new work and the title track – “Summon the Rhythm”, and another young composer who contributed to Leyland’s acclaimed Brass in Concert program last year is Pete Meechan, here he has provided another work, “Scene from the Silver Plate”. The major work on the recording is by ex-Leyland bass player, Marc Owen – “Excurisons” (for Trombone), a series of related sketches, including “Chase”, “Flippancy” and “Dance Macabre”. Bill Geldard’s big band arrangement of the “Song of India” and Ray Woodfield’s setting of “Evergreen” offered a chance for Brett to demonstrate his amazing versitility. Following his success is guiding Leyland to the finals of the National Championships of Great Britain, conductor Howard Evans masterfully steered the Band and Brett through a demanding couple of days. Release date to be confirmed.

Leyland training tour stops off in Stockport! – 25th March 2010

Following on from their successful training day with Macclesfield Youth Band, six players from Leyland Band visited Stockport Schools Brass Band (Saturday 20th March 2010).

 

Nick Walkley (cornets), Andy Moore (horns), Philippe Schwartz (euphoniums and baritones), Danny Brooks (trombones), Iain McKnight (basses), and Sarah Burn (percussion) spent the day with the Senior and Intermediate bands, taking sectional rehearsals in preparation for the bands participation in the National Youth Championships at the Royal Northern College of Music in April. Iain McKnight said – “we really enjoyed the day and were delighted by the talent and enthusiasm on display. The progress made during the day was testament to the hard work and dedication of these young musicians. We are looking forward to hearing the finisihed article next month”. Terry Partridge, Stockport Schools Brass Band Administrator commented – “I would like to pass on my thanks to all the tutors from Leyland on behalf of the musicians and parents at SSBB. We are extremely grateful for their time and input, and wish them every success for the coming year. We are already anticipating next years visit”.

Leyland on the Airwaves – 17th March 2010

Leyland’s latest radio session will be broadcast on BBC national Radio 2’s Listen to the Band show, Friday 19th March 2010 at 9.30pm.

 

The Band, conducted by John Doyle present seven pieces in the half hour show :- Rolling Thunder  (Henry Fillmore) – March When the Stars Began to Fall  (arr. Iain McKnight) – Traditional spiritual Pure Imagination  (arr. Phillip Littlemore) – Trombone solo Whirlegigg  (Keneth Hesketh) – Transcription Those Endearing Young Charms  (arr. Hunsberger) – Euphonium solo Melita (arr. Bulla) – Hymn Pineapple Poll  (Arthur Sullivan) – Finale

 

The featured solists on the program are Philippe Schwartz (Euphonium) and Danny Brooks (Trombone).

Leyland London Bound – 15th March 2010

Leyland Band will once again represent Lancashire and the North West in the National finals at the Royal Albert Hall this October, after successfully negotiating the ever tricky qualifying round held at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool (14th March 2010).

 

Drawn to play early at number 4, conductor Howard Evans steered the Band through the set work, “English Heritage” by George Lloyd, earning 3rd place and deserved qualification for the finals. Howard was delighted with the Band’s performance – “the players did everything that was asked of them, and produced a performance of great control and musicality”.

On the 27th March, Howard wil be back in front of the Band in recording sessions for Brett Baker’s latest solo CD.

F.A.B. reception for Community work – 10th March 2010

Leyland Band’s first “Awards for All” workshop (28th February 2010) produced a fabulous day of music making and discussion for all concerned. The event was lead brilliantly by Leyland’s Principal Conductor, Philip Harper.

The day began with general introductions before a massed rehearsal of Leyland Band and the workshop guests who ranged from 9 year old Jamie to more than a couple of seventy year olds.

Philip chose four contrasting and well known pieces to work on, “Thunderbirds”, “Singing In The Rain”, Arnold’s “Little Suite for Brass No.1” and “Pastime with Good Company”. The massed bands were then broken down into sectionals lead by Leyland soloists and players, to continue working on the pieces which would be included in the mini concert at the conclusion of the course. After a hearty lunch for all, the afternoon began with a question and answer session, giving guests an opportunity to ask Leyland’s lead players about playing and performance techniques. Principal Cornet, John Doyle talked about warm up techniques, whilst Philippe Schwartz (Principal Euphonium) demonstrated fingering excercises and multiphonics. Chris Doran (Principal Eb Tuba) discussed the importance of correct breathing, with Kristy Rowe (Principal Baritone) mesmerising the audience with an extraordinary show of circular breathing. The event was funded by “Awards for All” and hosted by Leyland Band in association with the University of Central Lancashire. The second workshop of the series will take place on the 21st March 2010, lead by Richard Evans in the Harrington Building, UCLAN, Preston The day was concluded with a mini concert. Leyland began proceedings with three solo items – “Semper Fidelis”, “Peace” (soloist Kristy Rowe) and “McArthur Park” – before being joined by all the participants to perform the four items that had been worked throughout the day. “Pastime with Good Company” was the very apt finale to highly successful and enjoyable day for all. Macclesfield Youth Band course

One week later and Leyland Band members were playing a leading role, taking workshops as part of the Macclesfield Youth Band course held in Bollington, Cheshire. Percussionist Ben Thomas, cornets Nick Walkley and Elaine Skupham, Kristy Rowe, Philippe Schwartz and Chris Doran and Ian McKnight (Eb bass) lead sectionals before Ian took the baton to conduct the full band. Organiser Louise Renshaw passed on thanks for a very successful day – “Just to say that the sectionals with your team went very well on Saturday and all the kids enjoyed working with them.”

Leyland Band and UCLAN unite – 2nd March 2010

Leyland form historical partnership with the University of Central Lancashire

 

Leyland Band is pleased to announce that it is entering into a formal Partnership Agreement with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), the UK’s fourth largest University, which is based in Preston, Lancashire.

The University and Leyland Band represent the very best that Lancashire has to offer in their respective fields and share a strong desire to raise the profile of the County and what it can achieve. The public announcement was made at a special concert in the University’s Mitchell & Kenyon Theatre (Thursday 25th February 2010), in aid of the Harris Bursary Fund. The host for the evening was Brian R Harris, the Chairman of the Trustees, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the University Board. The proceeds of the concert, close to £3000.00 will be used by the Bursary Fund to support disadvantaged students. The Band’s Musical Director Emeritus, Richard Evans, lead the Band through a varied program, including appropriately, Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture”, drawing a standing ovation at the close of the event. Brian Harris told the audience – “This concert will be first of many associations with the Leyland Band since the University, as a commitment to the local commuinty, is pleased to be forging a formal partnership with the Band”.

Matinee Series adds Youth opportunity – 14th February 2010

2010 Matinee series opens Leyland Band Schools Project. Building on the very successfull inaugural Leyland Band Matinee Series in 2009, the 2010 season began with a repeat of last seasons “Romance in Brass” concert for Valentines Day.

 

This year the series wil be the primary vehicle for the Leyland Band Schools Project, where young players will be given the opportunity to rehearse and perform with Leyland, one of the finest brass ensembles around. The first two players to be given the opportunity were 14 year old Ryan Broad (cornet) and 15 year old Charlie Parkinson (bass trombone). Both are students at the Lostock Hall Community High School. Both boys were invited to join two Leyland rehearsals in the week leading up to the concert, and took to the Chorley Town Hall stage with the Band for the Valentines concert. Principal Cornet John Doyle said – “This is a rare opportunity for talented young people to experience music making of the highest order. Preparing and performing with a world class band like Leyland will give them the encouragement and confidence to take their playing to new heights”. Each of the Matinee Series concerts this year will feature 2 more young players, and add another dimension to the youth development undertaken by the Band.

Leyland welcome TV crew – 12th February 2010

Granada Reports (TV) feature South Ribble

 

Regional news program, Granada Reports filmed the Band in rehearsal (Thursday 11th February 2010), for inclusion in feature on the South Ribble parliamentary constituency in the run up to this years general election. The Band was chosen as one of the foremost ambassadors for Leyland and South Ribble.

Penlee launched – 3rd February 2010

Leyland Band’s exciting new CD recording has just been released, after being officially launched at the Royal Northen College of Music Festival of Brass 2010.

 

The recording features works by the combined talents of Kenneth Hesketh, and the Band’s Composer in Residence, Simon Dobson.

The title track, “Penlee” has received much critical acclaim and earned Simon a nomination for British Composer of the Year, taking as its inspiration the tragic loss of the Penlee Lifeboat and its crew on the 19th December 1981. The music is both challenging, innovative and accesible. Playlist :-

  1. Clarion Alarum (Dobson)
  2. Festive Overture (Hesketh)
  3. The Drop : Remixed (Dobson)
  4. Infernal Ride (Hesketh)
  5. Lyonesse (Dobson)
  6. Elegy (Hesketh)
  7. The Dreaded Groove and Hook (Dobson)
  8. Whirlegigg (Hesketh)

9 Penlee (Dobson)  This much anticipated recording also includes a bonus track – not listed on the cover – the beautiful “O Magnum Mysterium”, winner of the 2009 best new arrangement prize at Brass in Concert.

High emotion at RNCM Festival of Brass – 25th January 2010

Jason (Katsikaris) bids farewell to Leyland

 

Jason’s final appearance with Leyland before returning to Australia was marked by some stunning playing and high emotion as his two year association with the Band came to a close. Presenting a typically eclectic program of works, Jason and Leyland were on top form in their third successive appearance at the prestigious Royal Northern Colege of Music Festival of Brass. The Festival also witnessed the release of the Band’s latest CD recording – “Penlee” – and included two of tracks from that in the program – “Whirlegigg” (Hesketh) and “Lyonesse” (Dobson). Jason delivered his trademerk vitality throughout the program, engaging the audience in some challenging music. The composers of four of the items featured were present in the audience. The Band’s Coomposer In Residence, Simon Dobson contributed his latest work, the mesmeric “Torsion“; another young British composer, Gavin Higgins saw his “Fanfares and Love Songs” premiered in full; and Norwegian maestro Torsein Aargad-Neilson was extremeley complimentary about the Band’s performance of his atmospheric work, “The Binding of the Wolf“.  The Band’s encore proved to be stunningly emotional for all concerned. Phillip Littlemore’s fabulous arrangement of “O Magnum Mysterium” was the ideal choice for the occasion, beautifully simple and exceptionally haunting, it brought tears to Jason’s eyes and more than a few in the Band, as the curtain came down on his Leyland career. Over the two years he led the Band, Jason has created a legacy of energy and innovation, quality and entertainment which has stood the Band apart from the crowd. All at Leyland are extremely grateful for the experience of working under such a committed musician and he leaves many a friend in the heart of Lancashire. Jason – We wish you good luck for the future and look forward to seeing you again soon.

Harper to pull strings for Leyland – 6th January 2010

Philip Harper to become Principal Conductor of Leyland Band

 

Following on from the recent announcements that John Doyle has joined Leyland as Principal Cornet/Associate Conductor, and that Howard Evans will be taking the Band to the North West Area in March, Leyland is delighted to announce that negotiations are currently being finalised with Philip Harper to become Principal Conductor of Leyland with effect from June 2010.

Philip’s first engagement will be to direct the Band at the English National Championships in June, and it anticipated that this will be the beginning of an exciting new relationship, that both the Band and Philip are relishing. Existing diary commitments mean that the collaboration can’t begin immediately, and in the meantime, Leyland will continue to work closely with Musical Director Emeritus Richard Evans, Russell Gray, Howard Evans and of course John Doyle in a number of exciting CD, Educational and Concert projects during the first half of 2010. Philip commented “I’m very much looking forward to leading Leyland, continuing the super work begun by Jason Katsikaris in re-establishing the Band as a major player in the contest arena, and particularly as a trailblazer for new and innovative ways in which to present brass band music to the general public”. These are exciting times for Leyland and the Band is eager to continue to build on the success of the last couple of years under the direction of Jason, which has seen a successful return to the British Open and consistent podium finishes at all the major contests. The appointment of John Doyle and the collaboration with Philip Harper are two massive steps in achieving this goal.