Greetings everyone! Sorry it’s been such a long time but there has been so much going on. My full-time job as Principal of Bromley Youth Music Trust (www.bymt.co.uk), which is the best British (I say modestly) music service for children based in south east London, has been taking much of my time and energy and we have just had a series of four huge Schools Prom Concerts at Fairfield in Croydon involving 3000 children! On Sunday 7th March at 6.00 pm, I’m in St John’s Smith Square, London conducting the fabulous Bromley Youth Concert Band (you can buy our CDs via the BYMT website) in a world premiere of Adam Gorb’s ‘War of the World) and music by Percy Grainger and Alfred Reed. We share the programme with our equally talented Chamber Orchestra who will perform Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ Concerto with the distinguished pianist Philip Fowke – please come and join us! Last week I was in Gran Canaria conducting a 90 piece wind band in a concert of British music with Music students from the Gran Canaria and Tenerife Conservatoires, plus professionals from the Las Palmas Banda Municipal. A fantastic sound, in the square in front of Las Palmas Cathedral in perfect evening weather. And For SRC, I was down in Berkshire recently, recording the fabulous REME Band at Bearwood College, an Independent School originally founded for children of Merchant Seamen. This is going to be a ‘Bandstand’ style CD with a lovely varied programme. I was very impressed with the musicianship of this Band and of the very helpful attitude displayed by these very versatile musicians. We want to release by 1st May so watch out! On 13/14th March in the superb acoustics of Henry Wood Hall, London we record the Band and Bugles of The Rifles in another ‘Bandstand’ programme. The CD will include the two tracks ‘Love Farewell’ and ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’.
My flurry of activity continues on 16/17th March in the Dockyard Chapel, The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, with the Band of the Royal Engineers in our third upcoming ‘Bandstand’ recording. I’m really looking forward to these recordings but am working meanwhile editing the HAC Great War CD (which has been delayed as we need to record some more tracks) and on Philip Sparke Volume 2 with the Grenadier Guards. I’m always amazed when some military band fans seem to think of Philip’s music as avant-garde, it is highly attractive and listenable music and this CD contains at least two fantastic concert marches. We are hoping to have audio clips on this website in the near future so you can hear what I mean! Hot off the press, we have a recording scheduled for September with the combined AAC and Prince of Wales Bands, so I think that’s me up to date, but I must go now, I’ll be in touch soon.