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Friary Diary - Issue 31 - August 2017


SUMMER CONCERT SEASON: After a few weeks free from engagements, the last week of August saw Friary perform in Westminster and Godalming, two well known venues for the Band. College Garden, adjacent to Westminster Abbey is a delightful setting for a midweek lunchtime concert, but sadly the rain was such that the venue was moved to the nearby church – not the Abbey - instead. Luckily the weather outside did nothing to dampen the spirits of an enthusiastic audience.

In complete contrast, the following Sunday was blazing hot, with the shelter of Godalming Bandstand keeping the sun off the players. The Band unveiled some new solos – Demelza (horn), Pure Imagination (euphonium), People (cornet) and A Little Star Went Out (flugel) - as well as some items not heard for a while, including Cortege (a cheerful piece despite the title!) from Rimsky-Korsakov’s little-known opera Mlada, the beautifully soothing 'Mid All theTraffic, and the majestic Glorificio Aeternum. The informality of bandstand concerts is always popular, and gives those who might never dream of going to a formal concert the chance to enjoy brass music in a relaxed atmosphere.

STROUD CONCERT: We very much regret that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the Band’s concert at Stroud Subscription Rooms on Sunday 17th September will not now take place. However, it is being re-booked for 2018, and further details will be announced in due course.

LOOKING AHEAD: Preparations are now in full swing for Friary’s return to the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 14th October for the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain: the fifth year in succession when the Band has represented London & Southern Counties. Only eight other bands in the UK can match this record for the past five years. The test piece is Gallery, by Howard Snell. Originally commissioned for the 2015 Scottish Open contest, the title refers to six pictures - four of them by Scottish artists. Each picture has a movement, in addition to which there is a very short introduction. The idea, therefore, is similar to Mussorgsky’s popular classical work, Pictures at an Exhibition. We will be hoping to improve on last year’s 12th place.

LATEST RANKING NEWS: There was no change again in August, with the Band still placed at 29th in the world, despite a number of contests in Europe. Friary remains comfortably ahead of London & Southern Counties closest rivals Redbridge (50th) and Zone One (66th).

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