Foden's inspire in Abergele

Posted by Mark Wilkinson on 19 March 2020

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On Saturday 14th March a large number of players with mixed ability and ages representing ten bands from North Wales and Cheshire travelled to Abergele Community Centre.

The prestigious Foden’s Band, based in Sandbach, Cheshire and recently crowned North-West Area Champions for the fifth consecutive year, provided the tutors. All current or former players with Foden’s Mark Wilkinson (conductor and cornets), Joe Murtagh (cornets), Heather Linnell (Horns), Aled Williams (Euphoniums), Nick Birch (Trombones) and Stuart Baglin (Basses) put the players through their paces.

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It is no mean feat to choose a selection of pieces to suit an unknown group of players of very mixed ability; Mark and his team managed this admirably, thus ensuring that the less able were not overwhelmed, while the more experienced were still challenged.

After an initial blow through each of the four pieces to be studied, Castell Coch, Shine Jesus Shine, Salutation (a Cornish Hymn) and Prismatic Light, the players then split up for sectional practices, each headed by one of the tutors who advised on how to approach the more difficult passages, while offering help and encouragement to the less experienced players.

A Question and Answer session gave the delegates an opportunity to ask various questions and raise interesting topics before the tutors gave a short concert.

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Finally the workshop band with a great sense of achievement, played through the pieces they had worked on during the course of the day attended by a small group of family and friends including the host band’s two octogenarian members. The improvement was amazing!

The event proved to be a great success and was enjoyed by all who took part.

Mary Wallace, Beulah Brass.

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