Review – Brass and Voices

Kings and Queens Performing Arts Centre
29 October 2011
Conductor: Peter Adams
Guests: Otago Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs

St Kilda Brass presented its final 2011 concert on Saturday evening at the Kings and Queens Performing Arts Centre.

Peter Adams conducted and Otago Girls’ High School and Otago Boys’ High School choirs (musical director Karen Knudson) were guest performers.

Liberty Fanfare made a very impressive opening number. With its great range of dynamic contrast and forward drive creating a feeling of “something exciting is about to happen”.

John Williams (arr. Philip Sparke) has composed the ideal brass recital overture. This band produces tight, mellow, unified tone and there were many moments of beautiful resonance throughout its programme, plus colourful music to challenge four busy percussionists. In addition, a considerable number of players have achieved championship status in national competitions, and works were chosen to highlight this.

Rosie Evans (flugal horn) soloed in a brass arrangement of Rodrigo’s Concerto du Arunjuez, originally for classical guitar, Erynne Scherf (tenor horn open grade champ) showed her winning style in Goff Richards’ arrangement of Over the Rainbow, and principal cornet Katie Blair created seamless legato phrasing in Pastorale, a more lyrical work by Richards.

John McAdam (baritone horn) also featured impressively as a soloist. Richards’ Armenian Fire Dance was an absolute highlight, proving champs in the ranks make the difference. Vibrancy with thrilling clarity never failed as tempo accelerated to a brilliant climactic ending.

Choir performances were disappointingly under par, no doubt due to the absence of many members, but 10 OBHS singers showed it is “cool for guys to sing”, performing their bracket with the zealous attitude and teamwork of any 1st XV, displaying vocal skills which earned a placing in Big Sing’s national finals.

Elizabeth Bouman

Review taken from the Otago Daily Times (October 31, 2011)

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