THIS was a mini world tour of music and dance which took in the more genteel offerings from the Elizabethan Court to the splendid splashing about by Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain.
There were one or two others which I felt were a little more obscure to the theme, like the final item, two movements from Checkmate.
The guest conductor, Frank Renton, linked the whole evening in his own inimitable style.
The evening opened with the popular music of Offenbach`s Orpheus in the Underworld, and with Desford playing centre band it wasn’t the best of starts for them, with hints of uncertainty, in particular their soprano cornetist, but the Midlanders had a real winner in their percussionist Emily Cumby who received prolonged applause for her dashing xylophone solo, Robbin Harry.
With such a theme it was inevitable that music from America would feature prominently, and so it was with Slaughter on 10th Avenue and Let’s Face the Music and Dance, while extracts from the ballet Swan Lake gave a complete change of mood.
After the interval the customary change of seating took place with B & R moving to centre band, and this brought an immediate much sharper presentation. Two of the band’s soloists were featured here, the first being principal cornet Stephen Wilkinson (Song and Dance) and then tenor horn soloist Daniel Powell (The Piper of Dundee).
This wasn’t among the best in the 60-years plus of these massed bands concerts.