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05 June 2019 -
A Successful Tour to Poland
Lydbrook Band have returned from a successful tour to Poland, forging new links with the UNESCO city of music, Katowice. The brass banding movement is in its infancy in Poland and Lydbrook Band were invited to perform and give masterclasses to showcase and enthuse musicians and councillors to the genre of brass bands as part of the ‘Move Your Brass’ festival. Lydbrook Band arrived in Poland on the friday afternoon with their guest conductor from Norway, Tom Brevik, and went straight into rehearsal for their diverse range of concerts and masterclasses. The first concert that evening was in the local Mariacki church where they performed such classics as Trumpet Tune and Air, A Time for Peace with tenor horn soloist Tom Goodman, Nimrod, Rusalka’s Song to the Moon with cornet soloist Phil Storer, Suite Gothique and Procession to the Minster in the beautiful church acoustic to a standing ovation.
Saturday morning saw the band accompany Tom Brevik and their composer in residence, Liz Lane, discussing the process of composing and arranging for brass band formation and how the instrument sounds can be used and combined to create different styles and emotions. In the afternoon the band visited a local school with a program to enthuse the younger generation by playing interactive pieces such as Under the Boardwalk with flugel soloist Tracey Moss and Post Horn Galop with soloist Phil Turner. This event introduced the teachers and students to the multitude of benefits of learning music and being part of a musical group.
Sunday morning was packed full of masterclasses with local musicians, conductors and composers. Principal cornet Phil Storer hosted a trumpet master class while Solo Euphonium Joanna Ainsworth led the saxhorn masterclass, teaching and sharing the differences between playing in brass bands in the UK and wind bands in Poland. The trumpeters and saxhorn-ists then joined the band in rehearsal to experience playing in a UK brass band. In parallel, composer in residence Liz Lane hosted a composition workshop and the band and Tom Brevik worked with conductors on a specially arranged Polish love song. The Sunday evening saw Lydbrook Band perform as part of the Gala Concert at Katowices Concert Hall with a mix of traditional and modern brass band arrangements such as Nimrod, Procession to the Minster and Demelza by Soprano soloist Glen Carroll and later pieces such as The Greatest Show, The World’s Greatest Storyteller with Euphonium solo by Joanna Ainsworth and Enter the Galaxies.
Master Class with Joanna Ainsworth and Ben Stratford
Master Class with Phil Storer
The band visited Auschwitz on their day off on Monday which was a very moving and poignant experience. They then returned to Katowice for a team meal as Lydbrook is very much a family band and enjoy spending time together.
Tuesday was their last day and after a visit to Krakow in the morning the band performed their last concert in the House of Culture in the Giszowiec district, after which they shared a lovely meal with the festival hosts. The Move Your Brass festival organisers (Marlena Hermanowicz and Adam Kowalski and team) were fantastic hosts and the whole tour ran smoothly and was very well received, with multiple standing ovations in all their concerts and great feedback from those attending the masterclasses. Lydbrook Band have now formed close connections with Katowice and the festival organisers and hope to continue to support the blossoming brass band movement in Poland.