Foden's in the Isle of Man

Posted by Mark Wilkinson on 21 July 2017

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On Friday 14th July Darren Lea, Luke Pallister, Ryan O'Grady, Shaun Farrington, Gary Curtin and Jonny Bates travelled to the Isle of Man to lead a workshop with members of Manx Concert Brass and their Youth Band.

As well as leading the class on the 14th the same tutors under the direction of Michael Fowles led another workshop during Saturday which was attended by over 40 musicians from a number of bands on the Island.

Later in the day the remaining members of Foden's arrived. Foden's were invited to perform in an evening concert by Manx Concert Brass due to a friendship that has built up over the years resulting in a number of trips to the Island. The concert was attended by over 700 people resulting in a standing ovation.

Foden's would like to thank Manx Concert Brass for the invitation and their hospitality during the weekend.

The concert was subsequently reviewed by James Davies from Manx Radio

‘Simply world class’!

Just one of the many descriptions to be heard from audience members who departed the Villa Marina on Saturday night on a high.

That was after being blown away by the world famous Foden’s Band which received a standing ovation from a delighted and appreciative large crowd in the Royal Hall.

The band produced a wonderful spectacle under the baton of charismatic musical director Michael Fowles, impressing from the moment the first note of D’Adonna’s Grand Fanfare opened proceedings.

From that moment, Foden’s moved stylishly through numbers including music by Lionel Ritchie, Dmitri Shostakovich, Faure and Leonard Bernstein, concluding the opening half in sonorous fashion with Eric Ball’s timeless masterpiece The Kingdom Triumphant.

In between that came expertly delivered solos by the ever-impressive principal cornet Mark Wilkinson (Charivari,) and solo baritone Sarah Lenton (Film by Andy Scott)

The influential Howard Snell said Foden’s continually takes the listener to places few other ensembles rarely even approach and the second half proved just that with a fabulous Flamenco start.

The vibrant showmanship of the band was at its absolute best in an arrangement of Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona’s Malaguena.
After the Andalusian music, the pace changed dramatically with flugel horn soloist Melanie Whyle’s rendition of The Seal Lullaby before solo horn Jonathan Bates superbly performed Mangione’s The Children of Sanchez.
With versatile trombonist John Barber (Someone Like You, from the musical Jekyll n’ Hyde) also soaring the heights, it was left to solo euphonium Gary Curtin to perform the sixth and final solo of the evening with Eire Time, weaving together three traditional Irish folk tunes in a lively and virtuosic celebration of all things Irish.

As a truly enjoyable evening reached a climax with 'Farewell to Arms' it was easy to reflect on 24 hours in which a number of world class musicians gave up their time free of charge to lead workshops and provide tuition to Island players of all ages.

If events such as these can’t inspire and introduce audiences to a new musical language, then nothing ever will.

Thank you Foden’s!

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