Tickets & Times
This concert is part of Leeds Best of Brass 2023/24.
Philip Chalk – conductor
Camille Saint-Saëns/Walter Hargreaves French Military March Listen
Franz von Suppé/Gordon Langford Beautiful Galatea Listen
John Golland Meiso Listen
Featuring horn soloist Emma Conway and baritone soloist Ciaran Young
Leroy Anderson/Sandy Smith Fiddle Faddle Listen
Wilfred Heaton Just as I am Listen
Andrew Lloyd Webber/Bill Geldard As If We Never Said Goodbye
Featuring trombone soloist Rebecca Lundberg
Hamish MacCunn/Glynn Bragg Land of the Mountain and the Flood Listen
Chuck Mangione/Jim Fieldhouse Land of Make Believe
Featuring French horn soloist Victoria Lundberg and cornet soloist Martin Davies
Anders Edenroth & Matti Kallio/Philip Harper Nordic Polska Listen
Peter Graham Rainforest Listen
Peter Graham Call of the Cossacks Listen
Philip Harper In Gardens of Peace Listen
Featuring euphonium soloist Peter McDonough
Antonio Vivaldi/Philip Harper The Four Seasons Listen
Jim Webb/Alan Fernie MacArthur Park Listen
Founded in 1937 by a group of employees at the Fairey Aviation Works in Stockport, WFEL Fairey Band is in constant demand both at home and abroad. Fairey’s versatility is demonstrated in its wide array of performances which include traditional style brass band concerts, high-profile media events and accompanying professional theatre productions such as Rambert and the Gary Clarke Company. Fairey’s unparalleled Acid Brass engagements have received critical acclaim from varied audiences across the UK and Europe since they began in 1998. The band recently qualified for the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, to be held in October 2023.
|Sat 11 Nov||7.30 pm||£12.00/£10.00/£14.00||Book|
About the Leeds Best of Brass 2023/24 series
The series features some of the UK’s best Championship brass bands including perhaps the most famous brass band in the world, Black Dyke Band, with Musical Director Nicholas Childs at the helm and renowned musicians in its ranks. The line-up also features Brighouse & Rastrick Band who have attracted a formidable reputation for notable triumphs in the highly competitive contesting field and its famous 1977 hit The Floral Dance which won silver and gold discs for massive record sales. Not to mention the world-famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band who received two gold discs as well as a BAFTA nomination for its contributions to the global hit movie Brassed Off. The versatile WFEL Fairey Band, Hammonds Band, Flowers Band, GUS Band, and Leeds’ very own Rothwell Temperance Band complete the series.
Leeds Best of Brass takes place at Morley Town Hall, a beautiful Grade I listed building with a traditional Victorian concert hall. Seating in this venue is unreserved. Found out all about Morley Town Hall.
We caught up with Matthew Hall, soprano cornet player of the WFEL Fairey Band, ahead of the band’s performance at Morley Town Hall on Saturday 11 November as part of the Leeds Best of Brass 2023/24 series.
How long have you played with the WFEL Fairey Band and what position do you currently hold?
I joined Fairey’s in 2021 during lockdown and I play the soprano cornet.
What’s the best thing about playing in a brass band?
My favourite thing about playing in a brass band is the sense of community. As well as making good music, performing and travelling, the best thing is spending time with good people and good musicians.
What’s your highlight so far with the WFEL Fairey Band?
So far my highlights with the Fairey Band have been my first nationals in 2021 and performing at the AO arena for the Queen’s Jubilee.
How did you get involved with playing a brass instrument?
I got involved with brass playing through my brother and sister who were taught through Rochdale music service. After always believing I never wanted to play an instrument to play football, I soon realised I wasn’t very good at football so I decided to learn the cornet and haven’t looked back since.
What was your earliest musical experience?
My earliest musical experience was playing at the Symphony Hall with my local junior band at Music for Youth. But the most memorable experience was playing Share My Yoke at a school talent show when I was nine years old.
Who has been your biggest influence?
I have been luckily enough to be involved with organisations such as the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, the National Youth Band of Switzerland and the European Youth Band. I’ve met some of the best musicians from all around the world with some amazing guest soloists. My biggest influences for playing soprano cornet are Peter Roberts and Alan Wycherley. The power of Peter Roberts makes every soprano player jealous but there’s nothing more impressive than Alan Wycherley’s slow playing.
Do you enjoy practising or find it a chore?
I don’t find practicing a chore due to wanting to become the best. It gets difficult to find motivation on some days and I might not feel great about my playing, but it’s important to find the end goal and push myself as much as I can.
Were your parents musical?
My parents aren’t musical but my Grandpa played drums for a jazz band and my Grandad played the organ at his local church. Although my mum was always the “taxi”, she’s started learning the baritone at our local training band.
What piece of music do you most enjoy playing?
I’ve been very fortunate to play a wide range of repertoire. My favourite test piece has to be Sand and Stars from the 2023 British Open, but as a concert piece it would be the Astor Piazzolla’s set from Brighouse and Rastrick’s 2022 Brass In Concert program. I was lucky enough to play this with the National Youth Band of Switzerland.
What’s the best and worst things about performing?
The best thing about performing is the reward at the end of it. Because we spend so long preparing and working hard for pieces, the reward of being able to perform it and hear the audiences reaction is always worthwhile. The worst thing about performing is my nerves. Due to being on soprano, it’s one of the hardest and worst exposed instruments. I feel the pressure more playing soprano because the mistakes are more noticeable. The way I combat my performance anxiety is just by working harder.
What can the audience expect from a performance by the WFEL Fairey Band?
The audience can expect a fantastic program with some of the best soloists in the country.
Concession: £12 (over 60s, full-time students, unwaged, and LeedsCard Extra holders)
Under 26s: £10
Book 4 or more concerts and receive a 10% discount
Please note, you will be redirected to Leeds Ticket Hub to make your purchase.
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