Performances were given in Northern Rock Theatre and on the concourse during Saturdays Festival by Dublin Silver, Schoonhoven and Stavanger.
the 2015 US Open entertaining a small but compact audience at 11.00am. With a relaxed atmosphere in the Northern Rock Foundation Hall, Dublin Silver and conductor Tim Jameson delivered a programme of music celebrating the band’s roots. Peter Graham’s Gaelforce got the programme off to a lively start, followed by Dave Mazon on cornet in You’ve Got a Friend in Me, which was notable not only for the excellence of the soloist, but having a small group of band members wandering around and introducing themselves to the audience was also a lovely touch. Many of the players had played Ray Farr’s Bowburn March on a previous visit (as Ohio Brass Band) to the Durham Miners Gala, and it was followed by Dublin’s award-winning buskers group in Tu Romnie. The main work on the programme was Appalachian Spring (Aaron Copland arr. Joshua Tyler Jameson), which received a tasteful reading. Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline was in complete contrast, but no less enjoyable. Finally, Dublin returned to the Emerald Isle to round off a most enjoyable 45 minutes or so with The Irish Blessing, receiving warm applause from the appreciative 100-plus audience.
Brass Band Schoonhoven’s impressive weekend kicked off under Ivan Meylemans in the Northern Rock Foundation Hall with Adventures for Snare Drum, with the remarkable Niels Verbeek providing the ‘surprising’ opening for the packed audience. Other highlights included Piazzolla’s Chiquelin de Bachin, Don’t Doubt Him Now (cornet soloist: Denis Vork) and Sing, Sing, Sing. The real treat, however (as well as the Dutch biscuits the band handed out to go with the coffee!) was witnessing such a fine band so well presented.
At 5.00pm, it was down to Stavanger Brass Band and Allan Withington to round off this international celebration of 40 years of Brass in Concert, which it did in characteristic style with an animated concourse concert before an enthusiastic and attentive audience. Allan was forensic in his introduction of each of the pieces celebrating highlights of four consecutive years of winning performance at Brass in Concert’s Norwegian cousin – Siddis Brass. Stavanger always plays brilliantly and it certainly had an adventure
in store for the following day’s contest. Amidst all the dynamic playing, however, was the theme from The Railway Children, played exquisitely by principal cornet Torill Tynning – without question one of the highlights of a memorable day in the history of Brass in Concert.