Foden's and Matt Ford, Clonter Opera 16th December

Posted by Mark Wilkinson on 9 January 2017

Please see below review from a leading critic invited to our recent concert

matt fordMatthew Ford is one of the UKs leading Big Band singers; often found touring and performing with the John Wilson Orchestra, the BBC Big Band and the Syd Lawrence Orchestra as well as fronting Big Band and popular nights with the Halle Orchestra and other leading ensembles.

As a friend of Foden’s John Barber, Matthew has also visited Sandbach for the past 10 years as a guest of the Sandbach School Big Band — so it seems inevitable that one day a concert like the one that took place on December 16th 2016 would happen.

‘A Swinging Christmas’ was the brainchild of John Barber, the aim to combine the traditional sound of Foden’s Brass Band with Matt’s voice in a spectacular fusion sprinkled with Christmas joy!

The band kicked off with a electrifying rendition of Sing Sing Sing before treating the audience to a stunning solo from star Soprano soloist Richard Poole of ’Ice Castles’. Sticking with the winter weather theme, Matt Ford then joined the band for ‘Let It Snow’ giving the audience their first chance to hear the combination of Band and Singer.

Matt sang a selection of Christmas classics such as ’I’ll Be Home for Christmas’, ’Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, ’It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’, ’O Holy Night’ and ’Silver Bells’ as well as some Big Band favourites in ’I’ve Got You Under My Skin’, ’Feeling Good’, ’Mack The Knife’ and ’New York New York’. Many of the arrangements crafted expertly by John Barber especially for the concert. One highlight of the concert was undoubtedly Jingle Bells which featured three multi–talented ’Fodenettes’ as backing singers.

In between accompanying Matt, the band performed a few festive favourites including Troika, Sleigh Ride and Away In a Manger (featuring Melanie Whyle). Euphonium Soloist David Thornton produced a moving performance of a new arrangement of Silent Night on his last appearance with the band before taking up his new conducting position with the Brighouse & Rastrick Band.

Michael Fowles informed the 'sell out' audience that the band would be looking at recording a Christmas CD with Matt as well as plans for a number of further concerts in 2017

There is a well-known analogy that says Brass Bands cant swing; Foden’s certainly proved that to be wrong on a night that left an audience in rapturous applause excited at the prospect of repeat performances next Christmas.

Please see below review from a leading critic invited to our recent concert

 

 

Matthew Ford is one of the UKs leading Big Band singers; often found touring and performing with the John Wilson Orchestra, the BBC Big Band and the Syd Lawrence Orchestra as well as fronting Big Band and popular nights with the Halle Orchestra and other leading ensembles.

 

As a friend of Foden’s John Barber, Matthew has also visited Sandbach for the past 10 years as a guest of the Sandbach School Big Band — so it seems inevitable that one day a concert like the one that took place on December 16th 2016 would happen.

 

‘A Swinging Christmas’ was the brainchild of John Barber, the aim to combine the traditional sound of Foden’s Brass Band with Matt’s voice in a spectacular fusion sprinkled with Christmas joy!

 

The band kicked off with a electrifying rendition of Sing Sing Sing before treating the audience to a stunning solo from star Soprano soloist Richard Poole of ’Ice Castles’. Sticking with the winter weather theme, Matt Ford then joined the band for ‘Let It Snow’ giving the audience their first chance to hear the combination of Band and Singer.

 

Matt sang a selection of Christmas classics such as ’I’ll Be Home for Christmas’, ’Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, ’It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’, ’O Holy Night’ and ’Silver Bells’ as well as some Big Band favourites in ’I’ve Got You Under My Skin’, ’Feeling Good’, ’Mack The Knife’ and ’New York New York’. Many of the arrangements crafted expertly by John Barber especially for the concert. One highlight of the concert was undoubtedly Jingle Bells which featured three multi–talented ’Fodenettes’ as backing singers.

 

In between accompanying Matt, the band performed a few festive favourites including Troika, Sleigh Ride and Away In a Manger (featuring Melanie Whyle). Euphonium Soloist David Thornton produced a moving performance of a new arrangement of Silent Night on his last appearance with the band before taking up his new conducting position with the Brighouse & Rastrick Band.

 

Michael Fowles informed the 'sell out' audience that the band would be looking at recording a Christmas CD with Matt as well as plans for a number of further concerts in 2017

 

There is a well-known analogy that says Brass Bands cant swing; Foden’s certainly proved that to be wrong on a night that left an audience in rapturous applause excited at the prospect of repeat performances next Christmas.

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