Armagh February 2008

Posted by Mark Wilkinson on 21 August 2008

As part of an ongoing partnership between the Fodens band and the Armagh Old Boys brass band, Fodens once again descended on the Northern Irish town during the weekend of Friday 8th - Sunday 10th February.

 

The weekend started with tutorial sessions where brass players (and some non-brass players!) were put through their paces by members of the Fodens team that had flown over that morning.

 

The remaining Fodens team flew out to Belfast from Liverpool later that day for what was to be the first of 3 concerts that weekend. Over the two gala concerts (Friday and Saturday) Fodens dazzled audiences with a vastly varied programme of music directed by Mike Fowles. Music ranged from ‘Hora Staccato’ and ‘The Little Russia’ to ‘Laudate Dominum’, ‘Procession to the Minster’ and ‘Life Divine’. Soloist included Les Neish, Mark Wilkinson, Helen Fox, Mark Landon, Alan Wycherley, and Glyn Williams showcasing his immense talent in the recent commission ‘Grandfarthers Clock’ (performed at BIC last year). The concerts were virtual sell-outs both nights and were received wonderfully by the fantastic Market Place Theatre audience.

However in between the two gala concerts, on Saturday afternoon, the Fodens band played an altogether different role in accompanying over 30 young soloists and ensembles. After a three-hour rehearsal with the young people, the afternoon concert started at 2pm and featured a huge range of abilities, styles and ages with some soloists not even into their teens! The young people were fantastic and despite the concert lasting 2 ½ hours (uninterrupted), the audience and band gave every soloist the encouragement and plaudits they deserved.

‘These young people were a truly outstanding credit to their band and their parents. Throughout the rehearsal and the concert soloist performed with confidence and supported their friends and colleagues every step of the way.’

 

Mark Wilkinson

We now look forward to the August’s summer school where 8 of the Fodens team will be travelling, once more to Armagh for a week of tutoring and music making with musicians young and old.

 

Gareth Westwood

Fodens Band

For any conductor and every audience, Foden’s Band is a musical Magic Carpet. It continually takes the listener to places that few other ensembles rarely even approach Howard Snell