I was so pleased to be invited to perform by the Bowdon Music Festival at their Christmas Spectacular held at St Mary’s Church in Bowdon on the 30th November. It was the first opportunity that I have had to perform with a brass band and I was excited about what to expect. I knew that I needed to learn my cues and understand how the piece was to be performed with the band but due to the distance between Milnrow, where the band are from and Glasgow, where I study, there was no opportunity to rehearse together.
I arrived at 4pm on the Saturday to run through my songs and try and grab some time with the Milnrow Brass Band, at the beginning of this year the band qualified for the 2013 National Finals for the first time in its long history you can read more on their website here. They set up their playing positions in the space available and along with the Tideswell Male Voice Choir, very dapper in their lovely gold suits, worked through the evenings running order.
Kevin Gibbs, the Resident Conductor of the Milnrow Brass Band put me at ease and sensed that this was to be a new experience for me. We had about 15 to 20 minutes together, there were some timing issues to overcome as I got to grips with the new score. I have sung ‘Rusalka’s Song To The Moon’ and ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ before with piano accompaniment but never with a brass band.
Feeling the excitement grow as the time of the performance approached I went to get changed and focus on what was to come. I sat in the little changing room and went through new timing in my head. Just before the start I went through to the Church and sat next to Madeline Osborne who was to sing “Castle On a Cloud” from the role of young Cosette in Les Miserables.
Edwina Currie who was hosting the event introduced the programme and was wonderful at setting the mood for the evening.
The moment approached, I rose to my feet walked over to the side of Kevin; he smiled at me and I relaxed and he signalled to the band, the music started …
This is the recording of my first attempt and I hope that you enjoy it 🙂 I know I did, my parents said it was my best rendition of their favourite song and they loved the atmosphere that the band added to the song
The evening ended with a duet of “O Holy Night” that I performed with my first singing teacher, Miss Jayne Wilson.
I was so pleased that my Nan brought this gorgeous shrug to wear as it kept me lovely and warm all night.