Heritage Brass Annual Festival

The Annual Festival of Heritage Brass (Bandmaster Ian Watkinson) was held at Oshawa Temple Corps on Saturday, 29 October 2011. Special guests were Nicholas Giles, the youthful wunderkind of the euphonium formerly of Norwich Citadel in England, and the Korean Corps Songster Brigade under the leadership of the charismatic Helen Song.

The band opened the concert with Wilfred Heaton’s great march Praise, immediately followed by From Earth’s Confusion (Trevor Davis). The two pieces back-to-back made a striking contrast from the bombastic to the simplistic.

The band has a rousing arrangement from Lt.-Col. Norman Bearcroft for the song “Come Join Our Army”, which brought the congregation into the “Army” spirit right off the top with hand-clapping and some muffled Hallelujahs.

Nicholas Giles is a young man, just into his twenties, who combines his considerable instrumental talent with a flair for showmanship. His presentations of The Song of the Brother (Erik Leidzén), Benedictus (Jenkins) and Brillante (Peter Graham) were superb.

Helen Song has a wonderful voice and professional music credentials. The songster brigade of sixteen singers held the audience in the palm of their hands. The presentation of Panis Angelicus (Cesar Franck) was delicately and tastefully rendered.

During the program, the service of retiring Executive Officer Major Ernie Reid was recognized, and the incoming Executive Officer Major Greg Simmonds was welcomed. Bandmaster Watkinson wiped the perspiration from his brow at the end of the evening and accepted congratulations from the audience on behalf of the band.

The glorious evening concluded with The Irish Blessing (Joyce Eilers Bacak).

Heritage Brass web site, original report by Clifford Cummings