Featuring the trombone sections of Black Dyke Band and the International Staff Band. The trombone sections of possibly the two top brass bands in the world
The 1997 National Brass Band Championships Gala concert was a unique and historic event. The most successful brass band in the world, the Black Dyke Band, and the celebrated premier Salvation Army Band, the International Staff Band, performed together at the Royal Albert Hall. That evening started a union that has continued with further joint concerts and recordings, notably the Wilfred Heaton collection recorded in 2002.
The Black Dyke trombone quartet, since its formation in 2004, has performed at various workshops and concerts at Salvation Army Corps. However, on each occasion the ISB trombone section have been busy with ISB or Corps band engagements.
Booking far enough in advance, a date was set to record a double quartet album in the summer of 2017. Then in March of that year, Adrian Hurst and his wife Karen were involved in a horrific, near fatal motor bike accident. Both needed major surgery. Adrian suffered multiple fractures including a broken hip, two vertebrae, most of his ribs and neck. He semi-severed his spinal cord, suffered collapsed lungs and a bleed on the brain. Plans to record an album were off.
As Adrian underwent intensive rehabilitation and physiotherapy no one knew if he would ever be able to play trombone again. However, before long he had his trombone delivered to his hospital bed and his long road to recovery started. Even though the doctors said normal service could never be resumed, Adrian was determined that the recording should go ahead with or without him.
In January 2018, the trombone sections assembled for a rehearsal, with Adam Reed taking Adrian’s place. We were delighted that Stephen Bulla expressed a wish to be involved in the recording, sponsorship was secured and Stephen flew over from the US bringing with him a new composition ‘Cross Flourishes’.
Then to our amazement and delight, Adrian arrived and took an active part in the rehearsal. The following weekend, he also managed half of the recording. His stamina may not have been 100% but his commitment to being part of the team could not be faltered. In his typical modest style Adrian said, “It was great to play with my Dyke and ISB friends. After having such an unfortunate enforced break I wasn’t too sure if I would be able to do this. I’m convinced the physical effort involved in practising my trombone has played a major part in my overall recovery – especially my lungs”.
Adrian’s accident was featured on the television programme ‘Helicopter ER’ which graphically showed just how close he came to losing his life and how without the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Adrian would not be with us today. His determination to be able to play his trombone again is an inspiration to us all. Without hesitation, both trombone sections expressed their wish to dedicate this album to Adrian and Karen for the encouragement and positive example they have given and continue to display.
- Gone My Care (Ray Steadman-Allen, arr Jones
RSA as he was affectionately known was not only a prolific composer, he was at one time a trombonist in the ISB. Gone my Care appeared in the band journals in 1984 as a cornet and trombone feature that included two songs by RSA, ‘Gone My Care’ and ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus’. We are indebted to Ian Jones, a Salvationist from Australia and former member of the Melbourne Staff Band for this arrangement that demonstrates the versatility of the two trombone sections.
- Cross Flourishes (Stephen Bulla)
Written for this album, the music provides the Dyke and ISB quartets with an upbeat musical dialog, creating an opportunity to represent their respective organisations through musical snippets with which each band is identified. These "flourishes" appear independently and sometimes mashed together across the ensembles. With all players sharing the honours, it's left to the listener to work out which tune represents which band.
- Cool Shades (Philip Wilby)
Written for the Black Dyke Trombone Junior and Youth Quartets for their tour of Singapore in 2016 and premiered in the Singapore Low Brass Festival in November of that year. The smooth relaxed style marked ‘Latino’ is a refreshing composition from Professor Wilby.
- Be Thou My Vision (Irish Traditional, arr Bulla)
Slane is an old Irish folk tune associated with the ballad ‘With my love on the road’. Later becoming a hymn tune and set to the Irish Hymn ‘Be Thou My Vision’. This arrangement started life as one movement in a suite for trombone quintet, under the title “Two Irish Ballads”. That original version was commissioned by the Red Bank (NJ) Trombone Ensemble. The sonority and richness of the trombones on this haunting melody was expanded to an octet for this recording, increasing the choir texture and counterpoint with the additional voices.
- Second Suite In F (Gustav Holst, arr Parker) First Mov. March
The Second Suite in F for Military Band (Op.28, No. 2) to give it its full title was Gustav Holst’s second and last suite for concert band, written in 1911. Holst took an interest in folk songs and this suite has seven. The Suite opens with a Morris-dance tune ‘Glorishears’ followed by a second folk tune, ‘Swansea Town. The third and last theme in this opening March is the folk tune ‘Claudy Bank.
- Second Suite In F - Second Mov. Song Without Words
Holst places the fourth folk tune, ‘I’ll Love My Love’ in stark contrast to the first movement, entitled ‘Song Without Words’.
- Second Suite In F - Third Mov. Song Of The Blacksmith
It’s followed by the third movement, which Holst contrasts with the folk song ‘A Blacksmith Courted Me’. With its many time signature changes and the emphasis on the up-beats in each bar it’s a challenging movement to play.
- Second Suite In F (IV. Fantasia On The Dargason)
The final movement is based on the last two folk songs. The first appeared in the dancing manual ‘The Dancing Master’ published in 1651, the folk tune ‘Dargason’. Holst then builds the score through several variations before introducing the final folk tune ‘Greensleeves’ which is cleverly woven across the first tune. Holst later rewrote and rescored this movement for string orchestra, as the final section of his ‘St Paul’s Suite, which he wrote for his music students at St Paul’s Girls’ School.
- Secret Prayer (Erik Leidzén, arr Jones)
This short arrangement was published in 1958 and demonstrates the unique ability of Leidzén, using a plaintive melody, to not only write for small groups but to show how every note for each instrument needs to played and balanced carefully.
- Handel’s Hornpipe (George F. Handel, arr Bulla)
The “Water Music” suites of George F. Handel were composed in 1717 in response to King George I’s request for a concert on the River Thames. The suites include minuets, hornpipes, bourrées and other dances. This hornpipe, from the second suite, has often been titled by its tempo directive “Alla danza”. Stephen Bulla’s original transcription of this tune for trombones came at the request of Willis Howell (himself a fine bass trombone player) for his daughter’s wedding. It was an abridged version for trombone quintet that provided some energy for that occasion. For this recording he expanded it not only into the larger octet, but included the rest of the movement. This is a challenging transcription for the entire ensemble, with the two lead players of each choir executing the dazzling high ornamental passages that are shared back and forth.
- Fewster (arr Leslie Condon)
The hymn tune Fewster has three different sets of words associated, however the best known are the lyrics from Catherine Baird ‘When Jesus looked o’er Galilee’. This arrangement by Leslie Condon was written for male voices and trombone quartet accompaniment. It is regularly used by the ISB during Sunday worship. For this recording it was adapted for eight trombones.
- Spirit Of Praise (George Marshall, arr Hall)
George Marshall was crippled in a mining disaster two weeks after his wedding day. He continued for over forty years to write music of courage and devotion for the ministry of Salvation Army bands throughout the world. This rousing march was one of 50 that were published in the Salvation Army journals.
- Wave (Antonio Carlos Jobim, arr Bulla)
Singer, guitarist, pianist and, above all, composer Antonio Carlos Jobim helped launch bossa nova internationally when his tune "Desafinado" became a top 10 hit for saxophonist Stan Getz. This arrangement for trombones and rhythm demonstrates the talented arranger that is Stephen Bulla.
- Twelfth Street Rag (Euday L. Bowman, arr Camarata, adapted Price/Jones)
This ragtime composition by Euday L. Bowman came about after a friend known as ‘Raggedy Ed’ opened a pawn shop on 12th Street. Its rumoured Bowman said, "If you get rich on those three balls, I'll write a piece on three notes to make myself rich.” The result was "The 12th Street Rag," one of the most famous and best-selling tunes of the ragtime era. The exciting sound of eight trombones, rhythm and bass guitar will certainly set your feet tapping on this track.
- The Nearness Of You (Hoagy Carmichael, arr Lunn)
Written around 1938 this tune was debuted in a 1940 recording by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra (another trombone player). Just weeks before the recording date we received this arrangement from Joe Lunn. A former student of the University of Salford and a Salvationist, he wrote this for Adrian Hurst as a thank you for his inspiration to others following his tragic motor cycle accident.
- Theme from Peter Gunn (Henry Mancini, arr Jones)
Peter Gunn is the theme music composed by Henry Mancini for the television show of the same name. The opening theme is notable for its combination of jazz with a straightforward rock ‘n roll beat. The piece is based on one chord throughout, and the almost sinister effect of the unison passages is broken by a super simple top line. Ian Jones has provided a great arrangement to conclude this album.
Profits from this recording will be supporting the work of the air ambulance service that saved the life of Adrian Hirst.
Adrian suffered multiple injuries in the accident near Cawood, in which his wife Karen, who was riding pillion, was also badly hurt. Suffering multiple
fractures including a broken hip, two vertebrae, most of his ribs and neck. He semi-severed his spinal cord, suffered collapsed lungs and a bleed on
Karen, a cardiac technician at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield, was catapulted over 20ft down the road and suffered pelvic fractures and snapped ligaments in her right knee.
Fortunately, an off-duty hospital consultant and a nurse stopped to help at the scene. Yorkshire Air Ambulance paramedics stabilised the couple before Adrian was airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary where he spent six weeks – four of which in intensive care.
Adrian was then transferred to the regional spinal injuries unit at Pinderfields where the he spent a further five months undergoing intensive rehabilitation and physiotherapy.
He said: “Most things have healed but my spinal injury means that I don’t have much movement in my left leg and very little control of my right leg below the knee so at the moment I need a wheelchair to get around.
“I can stand up using a frame and what movement I do have is getting stronger, but I have very little feeling in either leg and it’s about finding new
ways of doing things that I just used to take for granted.
The couple’s lives have been totally changed following the accident which happened in March. They have both undergone several operations, are still having physiotherapy and have had to move into a rented bungalow in Kirk Smeaton which is wheelchair accessible.
Karen, 54, is hoping to go back to work in the New Year. Although Adrian is unable to return to the job and motor-biking hobby he loved he is still able to follow his other passion – playing the trombone.
“I’m not sure if I will be able to get back to the standard I was but I am getting there and hope to make a couple of concerts with the bands in the near future,” he added. “I don’t think I would have made it without the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. I was at the lowest level of consciousness, both sides of my chest were deflated during the flight, and I got to hospital in the nick of time.
“It would have been at least another 20 minutes by road and I am just so grateful and glad that we have the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.”
Adrian’ and Karen’s dramatic rescue can be seen in this week’s episode of Helicopter ER – the UKTV series that follows the life-saving work of Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) serves 5million people across Yorkshire and carries out over 1,250 missions every year. The charity needs to raise £12,000 every day to keep saving lives.
Artists involved in the production
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