The organisers of the Brass in Concert Festival, to be staged in association with Yamaha, Banks Group and British Bandsman at Sage Gateshead on the weekend of 18-19 November, have announced that the defending champion and world’s number one band, Cory, will present this year’s World of Brass in Concert event along with award-winning male vocal ensemble Only Men Aloud.
The concert, which will be the culmination of the Saturday events that Brass in Concert Chairman John Woods promises will be “absolutely spectacular”, will have a movie theme and will be the culmination of a collaboration between Cory’s Musical Director Philip Harper and the members of Only Men Aloud.
John Woods commented: “For some years we have been planning to bring a very different flavour to the Saturday gala event at Brass in Concert and we are delighted that this ‘Welsh extravaganza’ has come together with two groups right at the pinnacle of musical achievement in the ‘Land of Song’. We are certain that the Sage Gateshead audience will be in for an absolutely spectacular and unforgettable prelude to the following day’s Brass in Concert Championships.”
Only Men Aloud was formed in 2000, with the aim of injecting new blood into the Welsh choir tradition. September 2013 saw a complete reinvention of the group, as the choir became a honed and toned vocal ensemble.
The men bring both a new sound and a more varied and eclectic repertoire to the mix, from Welsh folksongs and hymns to music theatre and opera, barbershop and swing to pop.
Following their shake-up, the Classical Brit Award winners who came to prominence as BBC One’s Last Choir Standing have embarked on many extensive tours, all around the world. They now have worldwide record sales of over 300,000.
Over the years, the hugely popular group has built up a strong fan base across the country and were honoured to be asked to sing in the London 2012 Opening Ceremony at the very moment the Olympic Flame was lit.
OMA have given many memorable performances, with numerous appearances at outdoor festivals and proms. In 2014, they undertook a highly successful tour of the USA including performances at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival and the North American Festival of Wales in Minneapolis.
OMA have now recorded five studio albums and plans are afoot for a sixth, later this year. They continue their busy touring and concert schedule, right across the UK and beyond. Recent engagements have included performing at The UEFA Champions League Final Celebrations in Cardiff, and a trip to Mumbai, India for the group’s first appearance in Asia
Philip Harper commented: “We are very excited at the prospect of working with Only Men Aloud and adding another strand to Cory’s unique brand of brass band entertainment. We at Cory are not only passionate about bringing the genre of brass bands into the 21st century, but also committed, in equal measure with Only Men Aloud, to reinvigorating the genre of brass and voices which has so much untapped potential in today’s musical world. As the world’s leading brass entertainment festival, Brass in Concert has been instrumental in recent years in bringing a new level of professionalism to the presentation of brass bands and we are delighted to be at the forefront as the event moves in a new direction.”
John Woods concluded: “Due to the venue becoming unavailable it has unfortunately been necessary to postpone until 14th April 2018 the Grimethorpe Colliery Band concert originally scheduled at Durham Cathedral on 22 April. Further details will be announced in due course and we apologise to anyone who has tried unsuccessfully to obtain tickets for this event. The 2017 Brass in Concert Festival, however, is already shaping up to be the best ever and we expect to have some very exciting announcements about our international participants in the weeks ahead.”
Tickets for the Brass in Concert Championship on Sunday 19 November (priced £30.00, £22.00 and £12.00) and World of Brass in Concert (Saturday 18 November – £27.00, £18.00 and £10.00) are available at www.sagegateshead.com or by telephone on 0191 443 4661.