Not many bands can boast of an involvement with a member of Procol Harum but even though this wasn’t “our piece” we are still proud of the connection.
Gary Brooker of Procol Harum, was asked to produce a piece of brass music for a band in Gyron, Switzerland. This was not within Gary’s field of expertise, so he approached David Wright, asking for help regarding instrumentation and scoring. Between them, an excellent piece was produced on manuscript and using his charm, and perhaps by way of a fee, David was given permission to perform the piece with Godalming Band.
The World Premiere of “Le Bourdon des Alpes”, was performed at Charterhouse Hall, on 5th July, 1998.
In 1999 we approached Ray Steadman-Allen, a composer of great repute who between 1967 and 1980 was head of the Salvation Army’s International Music Editorial department. We requested an arrangement of carols for band and choir to perform at our Christmas concert. He produced a piece called “A Boy Is Born” a terrific arrangement which we premiered at our Christmas 1999 concert with the Godalming Choral Society and have played many times since.
We met Patrick Rivers in 2006 at the Addlestone Entertainment Contest; he has become an enthusiastic supporter and a good friend of our Band as well as being a distinguished composer, We hoped to commission him to write a newpiece of music, again an arrangement of Christmas Carols for band and choir. He is amazingly supportive of the band and willingly agreed; the resulting piece is in a symphonic style with four short movements incorporating themes from well known Christmas carols as well as some new and innovative music.
The piece is called “A Christmas Tapestry” and the first public performance was at Charterhouse Chapel, 2009. The band invited the local choral society to perform this piece with us, under the direction of David Wright and in the presence of our friend, the composer.
A musical celebration of Christmas for brass band and choir, Patrick Rivers 2009.
This work for brass band and choir has been composed in a symphonic style, being put together in four movements, performed as one continuous work:- ANNUNCIATION, ADORATION, J UBILATION, EXULTATION
The music, both traditional and contemporary, includes snatches from eleven different carols—the spiritual climax being found in the Adoration section - a plainchant style, woven around the words “What can I give him?”
Commissioned by Godalming Band, this work was first performed by the band in Charterhouse Chapel in December 2009 with Godalming Choral Society invited to perform the vocal parts.