The Brighouse & Rastrick Band, conducted by its professional conductor David King, hosted an evening of soloists at Brighouse Central Methodist Church on Saturday 16th May.

The programme featured guest soloist and Geneva cornet and trumpet artist, James Fountain. James is the recently-appointed Principal Trumpet of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the tender age of 22, who is currently still at university. He treated the audience to a whirlwind rendition of ‘Jubilance’ that demonstrated his unbelievable technical ability along with lyrical playing that made everyone sit up and listen. He then joined some of the B&R cornet section to play 2 trio’s, ‘Gallop for Three’ and ‘The Bells of St. Mary’s’. In the second half, on trumpet, James played the theme to ‘Born on the Fourth of July’ that featured a warming band accompaniment.

The evening was organised by B&R’s lead sponsor, Geneva Instruments, who’s Artists within the Band also contributed to the programme. Tenor Horn artist Sheona White entertained on ‘The Piper of Dundee’, then flugel horn soloist Lucy Cutt on ‘Follow the Flame’ and finally Ryan Watkins bluesy rendition on trombone of ‘Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair’ completed the soloist slots.

Geneva Artists Ryan Watkins, Sheona White, James Fountain  and Lucy Cutt with Conductor Prof David King

Geneva Artists Ryan Watkins, Sheona White, James Fountain and Lucy Cutt with Conductor Prof David King

Professor David King rarely misses an opportunity to put the band in purple through its paces and so selected a number of large-scale works for the Band. Last year’s National Finals test piece ‘Of Distant Memories’ finished the first half and featured wonderful contributions from the Band’s principal cornet, euphonium, baritone and tuba. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony ‘The Little Russian’ opened the 2nd half with aplomb, the Spanish fantasy ‘El Camino Real’ amazed and to close the evening Lovatt-Coopers sparkling ‘Vitae Aeternum’ sent the audience home with a definite feeling of money-well-spent.

This really was a unique concert that was dedicated to the family and memory of Kenneth Billington. Ken’s father Edgar played with the Band from 1951-59 when Ken was a hard-working non-player for the Band from 1955-59. The family, who were special guests, are the driving force behind the Elland Silver band, so dedicating the concert to Ken was the least B&R could do to show appreciation and respect for a great man.