THEY were back on home soil and it was a night of triumph.
Brighouse and Rastrick Band performed at their traditional Christmas concerts at Central Methodists Church, Brighouse, and both events attracted sell-out crowds.
For the matinee performance the band were joined on stage by Halifax Young Singers, at the evening concert however they took to the stage alone.
The band was conducted by their associate musical director Garry Cutt who, despite suffering from what Paul Beaumont, band president, described as “severe man-flu” directed the band in a wonderful program of music which had a distinctly Christmas flavour to it.
The audience were encouraged to join in singing a number of popular carols.
The Halifax Young Singers Choir, which numbered around 45 of the “older” members on this occasion, performed seven Christmas items in the afternoon concert including the traditional song Gaudeamus, Nowell For The Merry Citie, Pine Cones And Holy Berries and the old favourite O Holy Night.
They were conducted by their musical director Lynn Hudson and accompanied by Craig Cockerill on the piano.
B&R were on top form and clearly enjoyed performing on their ‘home turf’. Displaying their usual remarkable capability and rich luxurious sound they romped through a number of Christmas favourites including Leroy Anderson’s A Christmas Festival and Sleighride, Prokofiev’s Midnight Sleighride and Philip Spark’s arrangement of The Snowman.
Flugel player Lucy Murphy played a hauntingly melodic version of the popular carol Away In A Manger which had been specially arranged for her by Peter Graham who has been working extensively with the band recently.
Principal Horn player Leah Williams played the Disney favourite Over The Rainbow and the band’s principal euphonium player David Thornton showed his technical dexterity in a highly complex variation on We Three Kings which was again arranged personally for him.
The concerts concluded with a spectacular rendition of Kingdom Triumphant a hugely emotional and rousing piece written by Eric Ball who was the professional conductor of B&R in the middle of the last century.
During the evening concert the president of the band made a presentation to Mr David Howe, who held the position of B&R’s concert secretary for 12 years before his retirement earlier this year.