Last Night of the Proms, Nelson City Brass, musical director Nigel Weeks, with special guest Allison Cormack.
Theatre Royal, Sunday (September 4).
Reviewed by Judith Paviell.
“Polished” best describes last night’s performance by Nelson’s champion band, along with their gleaming instruments and table groaning with silverware from recent national awards.
Other words like good fun, entertaining and absolutely fantastic also come to mind.
An early impression that the previous night’s performance had sapped musicians’ energy was soon dispelled, thanks to an excellent programme and conductor Nigel Weeks’ hard work and humour.
While all the hooters, whistles, streamers, union jack flags, funny hats and balloons increasingly played their raucous role, it was that polish and well-executed professionalism of the bandsmen that shone through.
After opening with a stirring national anthem in both Maori and English, the band swung into James Curnow’sBlenheim Flourishes. The sections of melody and fine detail reminded me of their versatility, the sheer variety of sound combinations and orchestral feel accomplished. Peter Graham’s Gaelforce was another fine example of this.
Among the usual patriotic numbers such as a rousing Jerusalem and Pomp and Circumstance No , cornetist Steve Rudhall performed a hauntingly beautiful solo of My Love is Like a Red Red Rose, backed so sensitively by the band.
Later a masterful solo by Zane Maxwell showcased the soulful tone and capacity of the euphonium in Blaydon Races, but it was Ryan Peni’s talent, technique and showmanship in the tuba solo of Czardas that brought down the house.
Polished describes guest soloist Allison Cormack’s performance, too. She has great stage presence along with her stunning soprano voice and humour and enchanted with her version of You’ll Never Walk Alone.
This rite of devotion to the “home” country is just an excuse to let your hair down and have a jolly good time, so good that after the last strains of Land of Hope and Glory faded the audience didn’t want to go home.
Article written by STUFF from Nelson Mail.
Nelson City Brass achieved an impressive win over the weekend at the National Brass Band Championships held in Napier. The band emerged as the Champion C grade brass band in New Zealand, beating the other competing bands by a significant margin. The band received a first placing in the hymn, test and own choice making them the clear overall winners. They received the NZBBA Challenge Cup for the Champion C Grade band and Nigel Weeks, the band’s musical director, received the RNZAF Wigram Band Trophy for the Conductor of the Champion C Grade band.
In addition to this, the band and their drum major, Andrew Clark, achieved a third placing in the C grade for the street march event. Logan Ford, one of the band’s solo cornet players, was first place in the junior cornet solos and an impressive second place in the junior “champion of champions”, an event which showcases some of the top under 19 year old brass musicians in New Zealand.
This has been a long awaited win for Nelson City Brass, with their last overall win at a National Contest occurring in 2000. This is also the first time the band has taken out all three events and adds to the impressive clean sweep victory that they achieved in the regional contest this year.
The band has flourished under the baton of new musical director Weeks who took over conducting the band earlier this year. Contest adjudicator Associate Professor Peter Adams commented that the standard of all the competing bands was impressive but “one band stood out as a clear winner”. He praised the balance of the sound Nelson City Brass produced, the quality of their soloist players and treatment of the music they played.
The band will now prepare for their upcoming “Last Night of the Proms” concert on Saturday 3 rd and Sunday 4 th September at the Theatre Royal Nelson. Featuring high quality music from Nelson City Brass and special guest artists this will be a great opportunity for people in Nelson to come along and hear their brass band. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students. Available from the Theatre Royal Nelson.
For further information please contact us through our contact page.
Nelson City Brass took an unexpected win at the Nelson-Marlborough West Coast regional brass competition over the weekend.
The C grade band won the overall competition with three first place wins, one second and one third in various sections.
Band secretary Wayne Jennens said the band had put in a lot of work but did not expect to place as highly as they did.
“Marlborough is always the top band, they are an A-grade band, Timaru are a B-grade band, we’re a C-grade band and so for us to actually beat Marlborough is quite an accomplishment,” he said.
“We were quite ecstatic. It certainly made all the hard work that we put in worthwhile.”
Jennens said the band’s overall score was 30 points ahead of some other bands, which was “unheard of”.
“We wanted to use it as a platform for the nationals, just to gauge where we were at so we certainly exceeded all expectations,” he said.
“It’s just a matter of keeping our feet on the ground, not getting too big headed over it. We’ve got to build from what we’ve achieved and go to the next level.”
Jennens said the band have been under new conductor Nigel Weeks who helped them to victory.
“Nigel’s been there since the beginning of this year and he’s made a huge difference.”
Competition adjudicator Kevin Dell said he was impressed by the “technical ability of the band, the quality of the sound they produced and the musicianship displayed”.
The band were excited to take the unexpected win but it seems beating Marlborough was the best part of the weekend.
“It was certainly quite an achievement, we’ve never beaten Marlborough in the competition, they’re two grades ahead of us,” Jennens said.
“Everyone’s come home on a high.”
Nelson City Brass now look to the national competition at Napier in July.
Article written by TASHA LEOV from Nelson Mail.