The Brass Band of Battle Creek delighted around 8000 concertgoers in downtown Chicago last night in the extraordinary Millennium Park concert arena.
This was a concert the band had been looking forward to for a long time and was the first time they performed in Chicago. Judging by the reaction of the huge audience it will not be the last time. Soloists on the night were Rex Richardson (trumpet), Wycliffe Gordon (trombone), Steven Mead (euphonium) and John Beck (xylophone).
The conductor was Sarah Ioannides, an English born orchestra conductor who is fast developing a tremendous reputation in the USA and really got the best out of the band.
The concert programme was:
Swing Low/Saints Traditional, arr. Jack Cortner
Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93 Dimitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) arr. Duncan
The Rising Sun Allen Vizzutti (b. 1952)
Rex Richardson, trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet
Americans We Henry Fillmore (1881-1956) arr. Gray
American Civil War Fantasy Jerry Bilik (b. 1933) arr. Himes/Gray
Pictures at an Exhibition Modest Mussourgsky (1839-1881) arr. Howarth/Gray
15. The Hut on Fowl’s Legs (Baba Yaga)
16. The Great Gate of Kiev
St. Louis Blues W.C. Handy (1873-1958) arr. Gordon
Wycliffe Gordon, trombone
Tonight from “Westside Story” Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) arr. Freeh
Xylophonia G.H. Green (1892-1939) arr. Maldonado
John Beck, xylophone
Euphonium Concerto No. 1 Philip Sparke (b. 1951)
Steven Mead, euphonium
Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36 Piotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) arr. Ashmore
IV. Finale – Allegro con Fuoco
At the end of the concert the audience were demanding more, and following a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace , with arranger Bill Himes in the audience, the band delivered its famous encore Sing Sing Sing, with yet another standing ovation for this incredible group of musicians.
Several members of the brass section of the famous Chicago symphony orchestra were also in attendance,. It was a night to remember for all involved and another landmark in the history of the sensational Brass band of Battle Creek. It is hoped that the entire concert will be shown on the musicpage.com shortly.
Sarah Ioannides, Conductor
John Doyle (UK)
Eb Tenor Horn
Martin Armstrong (UK)
Jim Fletcher (UK)
Mark Frost (UK)
Steve Mead (UK)
Les Niesh (UK)