Reviews - Concerts

The Roy Newsome – All Star Brass Band Memorial Concert

This concert was to celebrate the life of Roy featuring the Wingates Band and special guest soloists with conductors John Berryman and Richard Evans and was held at The Victoria Hall Bolton.

The Wingates Band, conducteRoy Newsomed by John Berryman, had the honour of presenting the first part of the Memorial Concert. Commencing with a brisk performance of the appropriately titled march Wingates, which was written for the band in 1906 by J.A.Greenwood and was then followed by the pop group Queen’s piece Innuendo arranged by Peter Meechan.

First produced in Vienna in 1791, Mozart’s two act opera The Magic Flute is a mixture of allegory, fantasy and pantomime. The overture to the opera is a well known brass band repertoire item which received a committed performance.

The first of the evenings star soloists, Joe Cook, stepped up to give a scintillating performance of Roy Newsome’s best selling composition Bass in the Ballroom and was ably supported by Wingates.

Schubert’s quintet in A Major, The Trout has been a popular item for string players plus piano. Roy Newsome adapted the music to feature the baritones and euphoniums and gave the arrangement a ‘tongue in cheek’ title A Fishy Tale. It was an enjoyable item, performed well.

During the journey on a country road between Huddersfield and Manchester, well known composer Andre Baker who is a cornet player in Wingates Band, experienced a number of weather changes. The differing colours he saw inspired him to write a flowing melody entitles ...and the winter moon rises.

In 1974, Gilbert Vinter’s James Cook Circumnavigator, was chosen as the set test piece for the September Belle Vue Championship contest (now known as the British Open and was won by Black Dyke, conducted by Roy Newsome. This descriptive work subsequently became Roy’s favourite test piece and to complete part one of the programme Wingates performed this well known music.

Part two featured the all star brass band, comprising of guest musicians representing some ten brass bands, resplendent in their respective bands uniform. Directed by the doyen of conductors, Richard Evans, they made an immediate impact with a sparkling performance of the overture Light Cavalry

Share My Yoke, by Joy Webb, was written whilst a member of the Salvation Army’s musical group The Joy Strings. Rob Westacott, who as principal cornet led the band superbly, treated the audience to an impressive performance of this lovely song.

Roy Newsome’s arrangement of Entry of the Huntresses from Delibes ballet preceded Sheona White’s gorgeous tenor horn sound in a beautiful performance of the Hugh Nash classic Demelza.

Ernest Tomlinson was born in Rawtenstall, Lancashire, in 1924 and subsequently studied music at Manchester University. His Little Serenade a favourite item on a band concert programmes was as delicate as one could wish.

Peter Moore was the youngest person ever when he was named as the BBC Young Musician of the Year. He chose the solo Blessed Assurance by Phoebe Knapp, in which his fine lyrical style was pure silk.

Eric Ball’s Resurgam (I shall rise again) arguably produced the finest playing of the evening. The drama, emotion, dynamic contrast, excellent solos and the richness of sound that Richard Evans coaxed from the band was exemplary.

The violin solo Hot Canary is difficult enough to play on that instrument but when transferred to the euphonium it is almost impossible. But not for David Childs who displayed amazing virtuosic technique and produced a splendid rendition.

For the last two items Wingates joined the guest band to play in Roy Newsome’s fine setting of the hymn There is a Green Hill Far Away and Denis Wright’s arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s 1812. This excellent performance of the final item which was clearly enjoyed by everyone received prolonged applause. The National Anthem brought the Memorial Concert to a fitting close.

Neil Newsome gave a vote of thanks to everybody taking part in the evening’s concert, to the sponsors The Black Dyke Band, The Stanshawe Trust, Brass in Concert and the North West Area Brass Band Association, and Malcolm Brownbill the knowledgeable compere. All the guest musicians gave their services free and Wingates Band considerably reduced their fee. All proceeds from the concert will be donated to the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain of which Roy Newsome was the musical director for seventeen years. 

Sydney Swancott