Brass band enthusiasts all over the world are aware of the name Handel Parker and, perhaps, his most famous hymn tune ‘Deep Harmony’. He was born in 1854 in Oxenhope and at the age of fourteen became the organist at Oxenhope Parish Church.
Although he was originally a flautist he became an accomplished professional musician and added the violin and trombone to his repertoire of instruments. He assisted many brass bands in the West Yorkshire area and was for over fifty years the conductor at Howarth Band.
Following his death in 1928 his family gave Joshua Duckworth, a local printer in Colne, a number of his manuscripts from which was published ‘The Deep Harmony Hymnary‘, a collection of some sixteen of his hymn tunes. ‘Deep Harmony’ was played regularly by the Black Dyke Mills Band and many more of the hymn tunes were recorded by a number of brass bands in the 1930s.
Having acquired a rare copy of the original hymnary we have recorded all of them recently with Geoffrey Proffitt as part of the celebration of the installation of the new organ at the beautiful Shore St Barnabas Church in Littleborough.
The Clifton and Lightcliffe Band have, over the past twelve years, undertaken ‘band tours’ throughout Europe and in the United States of America.
During August of this year the band took a party in excess of fifty to Stresa on the shores of Lake Maggiore in northern Italy close to the Swiss border where they undertook a number of concert engagements. The final concert of the tour took place at the Hotel Regina Palace in Stresa where they played to a capacity audience in the hotel’s 400 seat theatre.
We have just completed the work mastering and producing a CD of the concert recording which contains some fine concert performance items and solos.
You can learn more about the band and where to obtain a copy of this latest CD at the Clifton and Lightcliffe Band website.
We have spent the weekend with the members of the Middleton Band recording their latest CD.
Featured in the recording is a substantial new work, “Perseverance”, by Andrew Baker, a good friend and former player with the band which recounts their musical history in celebration of the organisation’s forthcoming 140th anniversary.
As a part of the forthcoming celebrations there is also a fine contribution from their thirty strong enthusiastic Youth Band.
The CD will be issued later in the year and you can learn more about them by visiting the Middleton Band website.
We have had a number of enquiries to our website in the last few days about the march “General Mitchell’. The march was used in the annual Whit Friday March Contest in the Saddleworth and Tameside areas by the Band of the King’s Division to display their talented playing and marching skills. A number of social media sites have shown excerpts of the band’s performances and these have prompted great interest about the origins of the march and its availability.
It was written by Robert Browne Hall, (1858-1907), better known as R.B.Hall who was a leading American composer of marching music in addition to his capabilities as a fine cornet player, conductor and teacher who seldom left his native state of Maine during his lifetime. He is perhaps better known in this country for his marches, “Death or Glory”, “Officer of the Day”and“New Colonial”.
We were fortunate to spend three days as guests of the Band last month celebrating the first anniversary of their re-role to a brass band and we were privileged to work with them to discuss microphone and recording techniques as well as capture some recent repertoire for their training and archives.
With their permission we have uploaded below their performance of the march which we recorded at that time and hope you will enjoy it.
Copies of the march parts for brass band (priced at £19.99) are available from Safe Music or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the Band of the King’s Division please visit their website.
We have spent the last three days as guests of ‘The Band of the King’s Division’, based near Preston and one of the three professional Army Brass Bands in the UK.
The Band has recently celebrated the first anniversary of their re-role to a brass band and we were privileged to work with them to discuss microphone and recording techniques as well as capture some recent repertoire for their training and archives.
You can learn more about the Band by visiting their website and establish where they will be performing public concerts by visiting their Facebook page.
We have finalised the work on the recording which we undertook in the summer featuring two original works by Captain Craig Hallatt, the former Director of Music of the the Royal Artillery Band who were based at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, London.
The Band has now relocated to Tidworth Garrison in Wiltshire as part of the restructuring of Army Music and the CD commemorates the Royal Artillery Orchestra and Band’s 252 years of history in its spiritual home of Woolwich.
Whilst Captain Hallatt and the Band were spending last Christmas in Afghanistan he composed “Alpha and Omega” for full orchestra and piano in recognition of the Band’s farewell to Woolwich. The song, ‘I Am with You’ based on the emotive words of Hannah Carpernter’s poem features the combined Woolwich and Marham Military Wives Choirs.
Copies of the CD can be purchased from our online shop.
We have received a most favourable review from the brass band website 4barsrest in respect of our recording of the Marsden Band with their latest recording, ‘Revolution’ , which celebrates the 125th Anniversary of the Yorkshire Band.
It provides some quality comments about the repertoire and the soloists and concludes, “It’s stirring stuff to bring this anniversary recording to a close for a band that will surely enjoy further success to add to its own history books in the years to come.”
The CD has also been featured in the last two weekly programmes on Manx Radio’s “Time for Brass”.
You can read the review by following this link and you may download the latest radio programme on Manx Radio.
Should you wish to buy the CD please visit our on-line shop.