Saturday, 17 March 2018

Atlantic Rhapsody - 24th March 2018 - Full Programme

Programme Overview
  • Overture "Candide" 
  • East Coast Pictures 
    1. Shelter Island, 
    2. The Catskills,
    3. New York
  • At Dawn They Slept
  • An Ellington Festival 
  • NMPAT Community Choir
  • The Stars and Stripes Forever
  • Head Rush 
  • Incantation and Dance
7:30pm Saturday 24th March 2018
Christ Church, Northampton
Conducted by Graham Tear
with NMPAT Community Choir

Overture to Candide
Leonard Bernstien
arr. Walter Beeler

Bernstein’s Operetta “Candide” opened on Broadway on December 1, 1956 and it closed after just seventy-three performances. Bernstein was less concerned over the loss of money than the failure of a work he cared about deeply. He is quoted to have said, “there’s more of me in that piece than anything else I’ve done.” Indeed, with each revival, Candide won bigger audiences However, the overture was well received from the start, and it promptly became a very popular curtain-raiser. Brilliantly scored, it has a certain type of vitality that is not easy to match.

East Coast Pictures
Nigel Hess

Nigel Hess’ East Coast Pictures were inspired by several visits to a small part of the American East Coast, an area that provides great extremes in the geography and the people.
  • Shelter Island
    Shelter Island is a small island situated near the end of Long Island, a few hours drive east of New York. In the summer it becomes a crowded tourist trap; but in the winter, it is gloriously deserted and bravely faces the onslaught of the turbulent Atlantic, shrouded in sea mists and driving rain. This ‘picture’ is a fond memory of a winter weekend on Shelter Island.
  • The Catskills
    In upstate New York lie the Catskills Mountains—an extraordinary combination of tranquillity and power, peace and majesty. Once seen, they call you back again and again.

  • New York
    New York - or to be more precise, Manhattan. For anyone who is familiar with this bizarre and wonderful city, here is a ‘picture’ that needs no explanation. For those not yet hooked, this is a foretaste of things to come!

At Dawn, They Slept.
Jay Bocook

Jay Bocook is a prolific composer and arranger of concert band music. This musical remembrance pays tribute to fallen heroes of that fateful day at Pearl Harbour that launched the USA into World War II. Opening with a peaceful, flowing woodwind melody, the day is heralded in by a lone bugler. Ominous undertones, powerful scoring, dissonant themes and bombastic percussion capture musically the chaos that followed. It's a powerful musical statement that concludes ultimately on an optimistic note that looks to a brighter future.

An Ellington Festival
Billy Strayhorn & Duke Ellington
Arr. Sammy Nestico

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and bandleader of a jazz orchestra, which he led from 1923 until his death in a career spanning over fifty years.
This selection includes 3 pieces written by Ellington’s musical collaborator, Billy Strayhorn; Satin Doll, Chelsea Bridge and Take the A train. The latter referring to the then-new ‘A’ subway service that runs through New York City, going at that time from eastern Brooklyn up into Harlem and northern Manhattan. Composed in 1939, after Ellington offered Strayhorn a job in his organisation and gave him money to travel from Pittsburgh to New York City. Ellington wrote directions for Strayhorn to get to his house by subway, directions that began, "Take the A Train".
Satin Doll | Chelsea Bridge | Take the “A” Train


The NMPAT Community Choir

Cantilena by Karl Jenkins - Some of Karl's work has been used for some very successful advertising campaigns including this piece by Cheltenham & Gloucester in their 1990 advert featuring a pearl fisher.

Christ Be With Me with words ascribed to St. Patrick, music by Pachelbel arr. Stephen Chilvers.

When I Grow Up by Tim Minchin from his Broadway show Matilda, based on Roald Dhal's story of the same name.

Money, Money, Money by ABBA's Benny Andersson and Bjorn Alvaeus

The Best of Bond - giving you exactly what it says. A selection featuring the James Bond Theme, Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice, Live and Let Die, For Your Eyes Only, and Diamonds Are Forever!

The Stars and Stripes Forever
Jon Phillip Sousa
edited by Mark H. Hindsley

Considered to be Sousa’s greatest march, The Stars and Stripes Forever the official National March of the United States of America in 1987.
Sousa wrote that he composed the march on Christmas Day, 1896. He was on an ocean liner on his way home from a vacation with his wife in Europe and had just learned of the recent death of David Blakely, the manager of the Sousa Band. He composed the march in his head and committed the notes to paper on arrival in the United States. Sousa also wrote lyrics to the piece. The last section being.:

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavour
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Head Rush
Jay Bocook

This masterful work by Jay Bocook was composed for fellow South Carolinian and highly regarded educator Scott Rush, known for his accomplishments with the nationally acclaimed Wando High School band program. Employing a minimalistic approach, this dynamic piece uses layers of constantly evolving textures and rhythmic devices, while propelled throughout by an energetic underlying pulse. Sprinkled with surprises and dramatic effects, and culminating with the full force of the entire ensemble.

Incantation and Dance
John Barnes Chance

This composition, which was the first published piece of John Barnes Chance, has become one of his most popular works. He wrote it while serving in the North Carolina public schools under a grant from the Ford Foundation's Young Composers Project. It consists of two contrasting sections. The Incantation is a short, mournful melody, full of mystery, which gradually builds to a ferocious conclusion. The Dance also begins quietly, moving to a complex rhythmic pattern in the percussion, and culminating in a frenzied dance.
A native of Texas, Chance played timpani with the Austin Symphony and taught at the University of Kentucky before he was accidentally electrocuted while working in the backyard of his home in Lexington, Kentucky in 1972 at the age of 39.
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Sunday, 18 February 2018

February Update

We've had a busy few weeks at rehearsals since Christmas, including a full day of rehearsing new pieces. This was a first for the band and enabled us to focus on mastering challenging new works and allow band members time to socialise with each other during the longer rest breaks. A few family members of the band also joined us for the last hour to listen to the music we had been rehearsing.
Which now brings me to news of our Spring concert! 

Entitled 'Atlantic Rhapsody', the evening will include music from both British and American composers. Graham Tear will be finalising the program and we'll be sharing that with you all soon. 

NMPAT Community Choir will also be joining us for this concert. NMPAT Community Choir were formed in the Autumn of 2015 and gave their first public performance with NCB at our Christmas Concert 2015 to a sell out audience. This choir, formed of adults of all ages and abilities, is also directed by Graham Tear. 

Be the first to get your tickets. 
Book online or call 07561 390099 
Tickets: £10 Adults | £5 Students/Children 
7:30pm Saturday 24th March 2018 
Christ Church, Christchurch Road, Northampton NN1 5LN
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Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Christmas Concert 2017 - Full Programme

Programme Overview

The Cowboys
Children's March - Over the Hills and Far Away
Tubby the Tuba
Indiana Jones Selection


Let the Bells Ring
Ding-Dong Merrily on High
Minor Alterations 2 : Carols from the Dark Side
I Am The Doctor
The First Noel
The Christmas Song
A Christmas Overture

Saturday 2nd December 2017
Abington Avenue United Reformed Church
Conducted by Graham Tear

Northampton Concert Band  

The Cowboys - John Williams
arr. Jim Curnow
John Williams is probably best known for his music for the Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter franchises. While his film composing career started in the late 1950’s the music from the opening titles of The Cowboys (1972), starring John Wayne, shows the then 40 year old Williams already at the top of this game. The music paints a picture of Stetson wearing cowboys, riding spirited horses, rounding up and driving cattle over a vast dry plain.

Children’s March : Over the Hills and Far Away - Percy Grainger
arr. Frank Erickson George
Percy Aldridge Grainger (8 July 1882 – 20 February 1961) was an Australian-born composer, arranger and pianist. In the course of a long and innovative career, he played a prominent role in the revival of interest in British folk music in the early years of the 20th century. He also made many adaptations of other composers' works. Although much of his work was experimental and unusual, the piece with which he is most generally associated is his piano arrangement of the folk-dance tune "Country Gardens".

Tubby the Tuba - Paul Tripp and George Kleinsinger
arr.George F Roach
Soloist: Robert Chadwick
Narrated by Mark Woodham
Made famous by the 1975 animated feature, and also recorded by Danny Kaye, the inspiration for Tubby the Tuba came following the attack on Pearl Harbour. Tripp and Kleinsinger had been performing with a band and after the first piece the tuba player quipped, "You know, tubas can sing, too." With this in mind, Tripp wrote the tale of a tuba who found a melody to play, and the pair then made a song out of it.

Indiana Jones Selection - John Williams
arr. H. van der Heide
We return to John Williams to close our first half of tonight’s concert. This selection features many of Williams’ most memorable themes from the first three Indiana Jones films.

Raiders March | Slave Children’s Crusade | Short Round’s Theme | Love Theme | The Keeper of the Grail | Raiders March reprise


Let the Bells Ring - Robert Buckley
Based on the familiar Ukrainian Bell Carol, Robert Buckley has taken a rhapsodic approach mixing original ideas along with this well-known melody. Originally composed by Mykola Dmytrovich Leontovych, the Ukrainian Bell Carol is part of a large choral work entitled Shchedryk. It was first performed by students of Kiev University in December 1916. The tune is an adaptation of an old ‘shchedrivka’, a song traditionally sung on Ukrainian New Year’s Eve.

Audience Carol 
Ding-dong Merrily on High

Troika - Sergei Prokofiev
arr. Harold C Walters
Prokofiev's Troika is a movement from the orchestral suite; 'Lieutenant Kije'. It was originally composed for the 1934 Russian film of the same name. A Troika is a horse-drawn sledge and the music accompanied a sequence in the film where a ride is taken following a fictional wedding. Invoking the imagery of a short, fast, ride through the snow the piece has become a popular seasonal favourite. Interestingly, this music does not feature any sleigh bells, though a similar effect is created by the percussion accompaniment.

Minor Alterations 2 : Carols from the Dark Side - David Lovrien
Here's a game of holiday music hide-and-seek! Minor Alterations 2: Carols from the Dark Side is a medley of favourite Christmas tunes, transposed from major to minor keys then disguised, layered and morphed even more. From the ominous ‘I Saw Three Ships’ to ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’. How many do you recognise?

I Am The Doctor - Murry Gold
arr. Robert Buckley
This theme from the long running BBC drama series Doctor Who was introduced during Matt Smith’s tenure as the 11th Doctor. It is usually heard when the Doctor is being heroic or solving a complex problem and has featured heavily during trailers for the program.

Audience Carol 
The First Noel

The Christmas Song  - Mel Tormé & Robert Wells
arr. Jerry Nowak
According to Tormé, the song was written during a blistering hot summer in 1945. In an effort to "stay cool by thinking cool". I saw a spiral pad on Wells' piano with four lines written in pencil", Tormé recalled. "They started, 'Chestnuts roasting..., Jack Frost nipping..., Yuletide carols..., Folks dressed up like Eskimos.' Bob didn't think he was writing a song lyric. He said he thought if he could immerse himself in winter he could cool off. Forty minutes later that song was written. I wrote all the music and some of the lyrics."

A Christmas Overture - Nigel Hess
This vivacious and colourful Christmas Overture, originally commissioned as an orchestral work by John Rutter for his 2007 Christmas Festival, proved an instant success with audience and orchestra alike. Traditional carols, skilfully juxtaposed and interwoven, provide the thematic material.
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Monday, 20 November 2017

Story of Tubby the Tuba brought to life this Christmas

From Left to Right
Tubby, with Robert Chadwick and Mark Woodham
Tubby the Tuba will be making a rare appearance as part of this year's Christmas Concert.

This musical story, of how a lowly Tuba finds his voice and then gets to sing, will be narrated by popular local actor, Mark Woodham.

Mark, who is no stranger to the stage, having recently performed the role of the wizard in The Wizard of Oz at Northampton's Royal and Derngate Theatre, said; "I was delighted to be invited by the band to tell Tubby's tale and help bring the story to life."

Robert Chadwick, a long-time member of the band, who will be playing the role of Tubby, said; “It’s not very often the Tuba gets a chance to step into the limelight and this theme is reflected in Tubby’s story. Of course, the story can only be told with support from the rest of the band who will do an excellent job, as always.”

You can hear Tubby the Tuba performed, as well as many festive favourites, carols, and music by joining Northampton Concert Band on Saturday 2nd. December at Abington Avenue United Reformed Church, NN1 4QA at 7pm. Call 07561 390099 or buy online
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Monday, 3 July 2017

Stage & Screen Full Programme - 8th July 2017

Programme Overview

633 Squadron
Three Dances from “West Side Story”
Jurassic Park
Another Op’nin’of Another Show
Medley from “Beauty and the Beast”
Lullaby of Broadway
Medley from “Oliver”


Chattanooga Choo-Choo
Medley from Jekyll and Hyde
Over the Rainbow from “The Wizard of Oz”
Soul Bossa Nova
Miss Saigon
Singin’ in the Rain
The Incredibles

Saturday 8th July 2017
Abington Avenue United Reformed Church
Conducted by Graham Tear

Northampton Concert Band (NCB) with
Northampton Musical Theatre Company - Concert Group (NMTC)

633 Squadron - 
Ron Goodwin
arr. Goff Baldwin
This British film depicts the exploits of a fictional WW2 British fighter-bomber squadron. While critics derided the wooden acting and hackneyed plot, the aerial scenes were considered spectacular, and with Ron Goodwin's music, remained the main attraction.

Aladdin - Alan Menken
arr. John Moss
Composer Alan Menken and songwriters Howard Ashman and Tim Rice were praised for creating a soundtrack that is "consistently good, rivaling the best of Disney's other animated musicals from the '90s." Menken and Ashman began work on the film together, with Rice taking over as the lyricist after Ashman died in early 1991. Although fourteen songs were written for Aladdin, only six are featured in the movie, three by each lyricist. Arabian Nights | One Jump Ahead | Wedding Announcement | A Whole New World | Jafar’s Hour | Prince Ali | On A Dark Night | Friend Like Me | Happy Ending

West Side Story - Leonard Bernstein
arr. Ian Polster
Debuting on Broadway in 1957, West Side Story was inspired by William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. The score for West Side Story was orchestrated by Sid Ramin and Irwin Kostal following detailed instructions from Bernstein, who then wrote revisions on their manuscript. Ramin, Kostal, and Bernstein are billed as orchestrators for the show. The orchestra consisted of 31 players: a large Broadway pit orchestra enhanced to include 5 percussionists, a guitarist and a piano/celesta player.In 1961, Bernstein prepared a suite of orchestral music from the show, titled Symphonic Dances from West Side Story:
We will be performing three of these: 1. Scherzo, 2. Mambo, 3. Cha-Cha

Jurassic Park - John Williams
arr. Paul Lavender
This early 90s science fiction film based on the novel by Michael Crichton was a big-budget blockbuster by Steven Spielberg. Composer John Williams began scoring the film at the end of February 1993, and it was recorded a month later.Similar to another Spielberg film he scored, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Williams felt he needed to write "pieces that would convey a sense of 'awe' and fascination" given it dealt with the "overwhelming happiness and excitement" that would emerge from seeing live dinosaurs.
The music lost out to the Academy Award for best Original Score which was awarded for Schindler's List, also composed by Williams.
  Northampton Musical Theatre Concert Group

Another Op’nin’of Another Show - Cole Porter
"Another Op'nin', Another Show" is the opening number of Cole Porter's 1948 musical Kiss Me, Kate.
The story involves the production of a musical version of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and the conflict on and off-stage between the show's director, producer, and star, and his leading lady and his ex-wife.
Kiss Me, Kate was Porter's response to Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! and other integrated musicals; it was the first show he wrote in which the music and lyrics were firmly connected to the script, and it proved to be his biggest hit and the only one of his shows to run for more than 1,000 performances on Broadway. The song was dropped from the 1953 film version of the musical.

Beauty and the Beast Medley - Howard Ashman and Alan Menken
arr. Roger Emerson.
Walt Disney first attempted unsuccessfully to adapt Beauty and the Beast, based on the French fairy tale of the same name by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, into an animated film during the 1930s and 1950s. Following the success of The Little Mermaid (1989), Walt Disney Pictures decided to adapt the fairy tale and in 1991 the film was released.
3 years later in 1994 a Broadway version of the musical was produced using the original eight songs from the film with an additional six songs composed by Menken and lyricist Tim Rice, replacing Howard Ashman who has passed away.
In the 2017 live action film version, the original songs were used and 4 new songs were composed by Menken and Rice.

Lullaby of Broadway - Al Dubin and Harry Warren
arr. Dave Wolpe
"Lullaby of Broadway" is a popular song with music written by Harry Warren and lyrics by Al Dubin, published in 1935. The lyrics salute the nightlife of Broadway and its denizens, who "don't sleep tight until the dawn."
Used in the stage production, 42nd Street, the show focuses on the efforts of famed dictatorial Great White Way director Julian Marsh to mount a successful stage production of a musical extravaganza at the height of the Great Depression.

Oliver! Medley - Lionel Bart
arr. Norman Leyden
Based upon the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, Oliver! (including the exclamation mark) premiered in the West End in 1960.
As well as writing British pop songs, including ‘Living Doll’ for Cliff Richard, Lionel Bart’s third musical ‘Oliver!’ was an instant success. Becoming the first British musical to be transferred to Broadway successfully.



Chattanooga Choo-Choo - Mack Gordon and Harry Warren
arr. Mike Carubia.
Sun Valley Serenade is a 1941 musical film starring Sonja Henie, John Payne, Glenn Miller, Milton Berle, and Lynn Bari. It features the Glenn Miller Orchestra as well as dancing by the Nicholas Brothers and Dorothy Dandridge, performing "Chattanooga Choo Choo", which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1996, and was awarded the first Gold Record for sales of 1.2 million.

Medley from Jekyll and Hyde - Leslie Bricusse and Frank Wildhorn
arr. Ed Lojeski
Jekyll and Hyde is a musical horror-drama loosely based on the novella The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. 
In an attempt to cure his ailing father’s mental illness by separating “good” from “evil” in the human personality, talented physician Dr. Jekyll inadvertently creates an alternate personality of pure evil, dubbed Mr. Hyde, who wreaks murderous havoc on the city of London. Struggling to control Hyde before he takes over for good, Jekyll must race to find a cure for the demon he has created in his own mind.

Over the Rainbow from “The Wizard of Oz” - E.Y.Harburg and Harold Arlen
Written for the movie The Wizard of Oz, Over the Rainbow was sung by actress Judy Garland in her starring role as Dorothy Gale. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and became Garland's signature song, as well as one of the most enduring standards of the 20th century.
Today the song is seen as a song of hope, meaning many different things to many people and still has relevance today. Ariana Grande sang the song at the closing of the One Love Manchester benefit concert following the Manchester bombings that took place on the 22nd May 2017.

Northampton Concert Band

Chicago - John Kander
arr. Ted Ricketts
Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, the musical is based on a 1926 play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins about actual criminals and crimes she reported on. The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the "celebrity criminal."
Watkins moved to Chicago and in early 1924 worked as a reporter with the Chicago Tribune. There she covered the murders and the subsequent trials of Belva Gaertner, a twice-divorced cabaret singer, and Beulah Sheriff Annan. Both women, after months of press coverage in Chicago's seven daily
papers, were found not guilty at trial. Watkins believed they were guilty.
Songs include: And All that Jazz | Cell Block Tango | Roxie | They Both Reached for the Gun

Soul Bossa Nova - Quincy Jones
arr. Denis Burton
Quincy Delight Jones, Jr. , also known as "Q", came to prominence in the 1950s as a jazz arranger and conductor, before moving on to work prolifically in pop music and film scores.
Quincy Jones claimed it took him only twenty minutes to compose the Soul Bossa Nova and it appeared on his 1962 Big Band Bossa Nova album.
The track was used in the opening sequence of Mike Myer's James Bond spoof film 'Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery'. Myers starred as both the title character Austin Powers and main antagonist Dr. Evil.

Miss Saigon - Claude-Micel Schonberg
arr. Warren Barker
Based on Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, Miss Saigon similarly tells the tragic tale of a doomed romance involving an Asian woman abandoned by her American lover. The setting of the plot is relocated to the 1970s Saigon during the Vietnam War, and Madame Butterfly's story of marriage between an American lieutenant and Japanese girl is replaced by a romance between an American GI and a Vietnamese bar girl. The musical was premièred at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, on 20 September 1989, closing after over four thousand performances, on 30 October 1999. The show was revived this year on the West End in May (2014). The Heat Is On In Saigon, Sun And Moon, Morning Of The Dragon, The Last Night Of The World, The American Dream, I Still Believe.

Singin’ in the Rain - Nacio Herb Brown
arr. Allan Fernie
The film 'Singin' in the Rain' was originally conceived by MGM producer Arthur Freed, the head of the "Freed Unit" responsible for turning out MGM's lavish musicals, as a vehicle for his catalog of songs written with Nacio Herb Brown for previous MGM musical films of the 1929–39 period.
In the famous dance sequence in which Gene Kelly sings the title song while spinning an umbrella, splashing through puddles and getting soaked to the skin, Kelly was sick with a 103 °F (39 °C) fever. Filmed over a period of 3 days, the rain in the scene caused Kelly's wool suit to shrink during filming.

The Incredibles - Michael Giacchino
arr Jay Bocook
The Incredibles is the first Pixar film to be scored by Michael Giacchino and Giacchino's first big feature film. Brad Bird was looking for a specific sound as inspired by the film's design – the future as seen from the 1960s. John Barry was the first choice to do the film's score. However, Barry did not wish to duplicate the sound of some of his earlier soundtracks; the assignment was instead given to Giacchino.
The upbeat jazz orchestral sound was a departure in style not only for Giacchino but for Pixar, which had previously relied on Randy and Thomas Newman for all of its films.Giacchino was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2005 for The Incredibles: Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media and Best Instrumental Composition.

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