On a balmy summer’s evening in August, two brass bands joined forces, to provide an evening’s entertainment in St Petroc’s Church.
Bodmin Town Band and St Breward Silver Band performed separately and together, delighting an expectant audience.
Music ranged from Bach to Abba, giving a variety of upbeat and gentle pieces, to suit everyone. Whatever the score, both bands made a stupendous sound with each polished piece.
Simon Badge, musical director of Bodmin Town Band, spoke about the special bond that has been forged between the bands over the last few years and how this concert is a sign of their collaboration and friendship.
St Breward Silver Band has a custom of giving certain instruments a feature at performances. It was the turn of three cornet players to take the spotlight with ‘Bugler’s Holiday’ by Leroy Anderson.
A second feature performance was by cornet soloist Loveday Davies, who has played with the band for all her playing career. Loveday, pictured here with her grandma, also called Loveday, has a place at Cardiff University to read medicine. She will be greatly missed, not least as she’s the principal cornet player in St. Breward Silver Band.
The silver band’s musical conductor, Tom Howard, told the audience that from a small start just a few years ago, the band was now playing with one of the best bands in the county.
Taking a risk doesn’t faze Simon Badge and Bodmin Town Band. They performed a piece they were playing in public for the first time. It was MacArthur Park, arranged by Alan Catherall. They nailed it! Simon selected it as the band love playing it, it’s by a local composer and Simon played it in the first band he was a member of.
Young, animated and ambitious musical directors make for dynamic, highly polished and professional sounding bands. This is certainly the case with Simon Badge and Tom Howard.
Both had stories of how a certain piece of music they’d heard had stuck with them and compelled them to add it to their band’s repertoire. It’s challenging to master scores with dynamic ranges and the method of both conductors is to have a go, put the music away for a while, take it out again and get it to performance standard.
The bands played expertly together as they amalgamated into one super band.
Members of the audience commented on how lovely to was to see both conductors playing percussion for each other’s bands.
The evening’s rousing and stimulating performance is a fitting tribute to Simon Badge as it’s his last concert with Bodmin for some time. Simon has been drafted to the Royal Marine Band Service for at least the next 12 months. He will be greatly missed but plans to return after his temporary absence. He’s leaving the band in the capable hands of Colin Hudson, who played in Bodmin in early 2000. He speaks very highly of the band’s standard and feels honoured to take on the caretaker role.
Simon told the audience: “It’s been a pleasure performing in your town these last 14 months. The band and committee have worked so hard.” When he added that the band belongs to the town, the sense of pride rippling through the audience was palpable.
The audience clapped and continued clapping until every member of both bands had left the stage.