Members of the school band recently spent a day with White River Brass preparing for a World War One Commemoration concert in the Empire Theatre. White River Brass provide young players with expert tuition, delivered by leading members of the Black Dyke Band. The members of White River Brass spent the day in school with the children providing tuition on the instruments and teaching them some music theory. In the afternoon, White River performed in an assembly for the whole school. Some of the children in the band commented that they hoped someday to be just as good as these players.
This year was special as the annual event enabled the children to pay tribute to those who had made the ultimate sacrifice. All pieces of music played had a war theme and some of the children read poems and letters home in between pieces. The children then watched Consett Brass and Consett Salvation Army band who also played commemoration pieces. The senior band performed a piece, commissioned specially for the event named ‘Four Nine Four’, which honoured the life of a local soldier, Private John Edgar. Private Edgar served in the 5th Battalion in Durham Light Infantry and was killed at the age of 22. He was a Sunday School teacher and lived locally in Derwent Cottages. The theme running through the piece was ‘God be with you ’til we meet again’, which was John’s favourite hymn tune. The specially commissioned piece was played alongside a multimedia presentation, which remembered his life and tragic death.
In the second half, White River Brass entertained us with their outstanding performance. Highlights included ‘Penny Lane’, ‘Libertango’ and ‘Lightwalk’.
Members of the audience spoke about how moving and emotional they had found the first half. Brett Baker, concert manager of the ensemble, said that it was one of the best concerts yet!
Many parents have had the pleasure of watching White River Brass perform in previous years and commented that these professional players never disappoint. One parent said that it was the highlight of her year.
Well done to all of the children and adults who took part in the prestigious concert on Friday night. Thank you to all of the parents and families who continue to support the band.