Yorkshire Wind Orchestra

2010 Events

The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace

29th October, 7th and 12th November 2010

Yorkshire Wind Orchestra joined forces with SingLive UK to perform the symphonic band version of Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace in three very special venues.

World premiere of the symphonic band version of Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man, A Mass for Peace, performed by Yorkshire Wind Orchestra in York Minster

Yorkshire Wind Orchestra rehearsing the world premiere of The Armed Man, symphonic band version

The world premiere of this version of the mass, arranged by Martin Ellerby, took place in the beautiful surroundings of York Minster on Friday 29th October 2010 to a packed nave. The wonderful cannon effect on timpani even woke the church mice who fled away down the aisle! The performance was electrifying and emotional for all taking part, resulting in a standing ovation and highly appreciative audience comments.

Yorkshire Wind Orchestra perform the symphonic band version of Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man, A Mass for Peace at Leeds Royal Armouries

Yorkshire Wind Orchestra bring The Armed Man home to the Royal Armouries in Leeds

Sell out performance of Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man, A Mass for Peace at Leeds Royal Armouries

Sell out performance

A week later, the performance was repeated, this time at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds to a sell-out audience. The original mass was commissioned in 2000 by Classic FM and the Royal Armouries, but had never been performed at this venue before so we truly brought the Armed Man home. The poignant story was introduced by a narrator in full suit of armour who marched down through the audience to take his place in the proceedings.

The final concert of the Armed Man series took place in Coventry Cathedral to open the remembrance weekend of events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Blitz. Another highly charged and emotional performance moved the audience and performers to tears and brought the poignant message of peace to all.

A magnificent and deeply moving performance, with a well-deserved standing ovation from an enthralled audience.
Nick Chavasse, Director of Tourism, Heritage and Events, Coventry Cathedral

Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man, A Mass for Peace performed by Yorkshire Wind Orchestra at Coventry Cathedral

Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man, A Mass for Peace at Coventry Cathedral

The Spooktacular!

30th October 2010

Promoting The Spooktacular!

Clarinets promoting The Spooktacular!

Halloween came early to the Leeds City Museum when Keiron Anderson and the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra brought the successful Spooktacular family concert to town. In the weeks running up to the spooky event, players from the orchestra came together to promote the concert with smaller ensembles from the clarinet, flute and French horn sections.

The audience were taken on a ghostly tour of well known spooky music including a version of Danse Macabre known to some as the theme tune used by Jonathan Creek, the Sorceror's Apprentice used in Fantasia and the film music from Harry Potter.

The Spooktacular! Leeds City Museum

The Spooktacular! at Leeds City Museum

Eric Whitacre's original composition for symphonic band Ghost Train entertained listeners with a frightfully realistic musical impersonation of a driverless freight train bound for nowhere! The Phantom of the Opera also made an appearance this year with a spine-chilling scream that resounded around the auditorium and up into the balcony above.

During the interval, the French horn section judged the extremely popular scariest fancy dress competition with winners picked from various age categories.

Prizes were awarded to the winners of the fancy dress and the concert raffle courtesy of Leeds City Museum, Leeds Live It Love It, the Carriageworks, Nandos and Hallmark with all participants receiving goody bags and sweets.

The ghastly horns!

The ghastly horn section judges!

Sheffield Community Flute Day 2010

23rd October 2010

The Yorkshire Wind Orchestra were proud to host the first Sheffield Community Flute Day at Birkdale School, Sheffield in October 2010. It was hoped that the day would include a general Playday for all band instrumentalists but with insufficient support and sign-ups, the Playday had to be cancelled with only the flute sessions able to go ahead.

Sheffield Community Flute Day 2010

Sheffield Community Flute Day participants

However, the Flute Day was a great success and gave participants experience playing in a large flute-only ensemble and a number of smaller ensembles and quartets, under the expert direction of the orchestra's principal flautists.

Sheffield Community Flute Day 2010

Smaller flute ensemble

Windstruments trade stall

Windstruments trade stall

Connie the Contrabass Flute

'Connie' the contrabass flute

We were very fortunate to be supported by Windstruments music shop who were on hand to provide an opportunity for participants to try a range of piccolos and flutes (including alto and bass flutes and the mighty contrabass flute) as well as browse through a selection of sheet music and accessories.

"I really liked that it was a small adult group. Younger players have a lot more opportunities than us adult amateurs through schools etc, so thank you for doing something for us. The tutors were great and very encouraging, and very free with positive feedback."

We are grateful to the first ever Sheffield Telegraph Community Cash Giveaway in association with the South Yorkshire Community Foundation, funded by the Grassroots Grants Sheffield programme, for contributing towards the Flute Day.

Grassroots Grants

Triumphant Return to feva

15st August 2010

Knaresborough feva concert © Tracey MacLean

© Tracey MacLean

At last year's FEVA, the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra gave a concert of film music, which was very well received. On Sunday 15th August, in Holy Trinity Church, they returned with a programme of "Music from the Stage".

The technical prowess of the orchestra is very high, coupled with great attack, fine tuning and, most-importantly, extremely musical phrasing. Keiron Anderson, the conductor, is a well-known figure and he brought out the inherent qualities of the various stage works. He clearly has an affinity with this type of music, as the passion, sadness and tenderness of Les Miserables showed. A man in the audience was observed to be in tears near the end of this selection of music from the show. Another highlight was the section from My Fair Lady, a personal favourite of mine. Most bands can manage loud and fast, but the expressivity lavished on On the street where you live, and the tender ache of I've grown accustomed to her face brought a lump to the throat.

The concert began with Sir Charles Mackerras' coupling together of tunes from Gilbert and Sullivan operas, Pineapple Poll. Mackerras died recently, and this ballet score had all the the joy one always associated with his music-making. The rythmical attack was superb here and set the tone for the rest of the concert. Some of the music made acute musical demands on the players, especially the music from West Side Story, by Bernstein. There was a hint of tension in the rhythms just occasionally, but this stirred the soul, everybody clearly enjoying themselves.

A special mention must go to the Principal Clarinet, whose virtuosity shone out in the Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor, by Borodin. At a strapping tempo, he produced a solo of clarity and cossack fire, very impressive!

The other works performed were a selection from Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera and Porgy and Bess. All gripped the attention and the enthusiastic response from the near-capacity audience was generous and obviously-heartfelt. British people don't often shout out "Bravo" after a piece, but there were a few "Bravos" shouted out today.

The concert was made more personal and friendly by the hilarious introductions from Keiron Anderson, who had the audience in stitches with his wit. One came away from the concert with a warm and satisfied glow, a couple of hours to treasure!

Review by Janet Bellamy

Symphony for Yorkshire

1st August 2010

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© BBC Yorkshire 2010, reproduced with permission

Craig Brown performing the Symphony for Yorkshire

Players from the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra have taken part in a recent BBC project, A Symphony for Yorkshire.

It involved the making of a short musical film by over 200 musicians from around the county following open auditions and a competition to write the lyrics to a new Yorkshire Anthem.

Composer and director, Benjamin Till, requested a small wind ensemble to feature in the symphony so the Yorkshire Wind Ensemble was formed from players of the orchestra.

The ensemble's contribution was recorded in Leeds and subsequently filmed at a wind farm on Ovenden Moor, Halifax. Yorkshire Wind Orchestra players who are also involved in other Yorkshire-based groups such as the Yorkshire Saxophone Choir, Shepherd Group Brass Band and Stannington Brass Band made an appearance in the film.

Interview on BBC Breakfast News

News of the symphony went national prior to its premiere broadcast on regional radio stations, with our players appearing on BBC Breakfast News both playing and being interviewed about our involvement in the project.

You can read more about the symphony on the BBC News website or view it in full on YouTube.

Great British Band Music

21st March 2010

Raising money for Martin House Children's Hospice

The Yorkshire Wind Orchestra proudly presented a Sunday afternoon concert at The Riley Smith Hall in Tadcaster on Sunday 21st March at 4pm, in aid of Martin House Children's Hospice.

The orchestra delighted the audience with a magical musical journey across Britain. Vaughan Williams' English Folk Song Suite and Malcolm Arnold's Four Scottish Dances introduced the concert goers to a selection of traditional folk melodies from north and south of the border.

Finnegan's Wake, an Irish street ballad, followed and told the tale of the lovable rogue, Tim Finnegan, who, fond of a drop of whisky, falls off a ladder at work. While laid out before the funeral, a brawl breaks out during which whisky spills on the body of Finnegan, who rises up from the dead and joins in the brawl with his forceful Irish language!

After a reflective rendition of Irish Tune from County Derry, commonly known as Danny Boy, the musical tour continued into Lincolnshire with Percy Grainger's Lincolnshire Posy, a beautiful set of folk songs scored for wind band directly by the composer. His "bunch of musical wildflowers" is a dedication to the old folk singers who sang so sweetly to Grainger and forms one of the most important pieces in the wind band repertoire.

To make tribute to all the brave children that benefit from the important support that Martin House brings, the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra performed another of Grainger's works, Children's March. This carefree and delightful composition is entirely original, with a hearty, infectious melody and lively rhythms to match.

The concert came to a close with Cry of the Celts by Ronan Hardiman, best known for his music written for Michael Flatley's dance shows. This suite of movements featured music from Lord of The Dance and brought a rousing Celtic finish to what was an enjoyable way of spending a Sunday afternoon while raising 263.90 for an extremely important local charity.

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