Review: Black Dyke Band at Yeadon Town Hall

JAMIE Hudson and his team at Yeadon Town Hall have lined up a veritable feast of entertainment for the early part of 2020 and February started with a spectacular concert by the Black Dyke Band.

The conductor firstly congratulated the audience for their fortitude in getting to the venue given the ferocity of Storm Ciara prevailing on Sunday afternoon.

Black Dyke Band is celebrating its 165th anniversary this year as it was started in 1855 by John Foster and it was therefore highly appropriate that the first of their numbers was entitled Queensbury, named after their base south west of Bradford, written by James Kay in 1937, and purchased by the band for one guinea giving them sole rights to use this particular piece of music.

This was followed by the Hebrew Slaves Chorus from Verdi’s Opera Nabucco and then the audience were treated to the first of a number of solos by members of the band. This was by principal cornet player Richard Marshall with the piece Zelda by Percy Cole. Richard has been with the band for sixteen years having joined them from rivals Grimethorpe Colliery Band. Richard was then joined by the other seven cornet players for Ronal Binge’s Cornet Carillon. A set comprising various pieces of film music followed – Harry Potter Theme, For Your Eyes Only from the Bond movie, and the Pirates of the Caribbean theme. To end the first half, the band performed Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave.

The second half opened with Horizons by Paul Lovett-Cooper followed by three solos. The first of these was Over The Rainbow performed by Siobhan Bates on Tenor Horn, followed by Zoe Lovett-Cooper performing The Children of Sanchez. Finally, Dan Thomas on Euphonium performed two numbers from Philip Wilby’s concerto – Song from Sarajevo and Greek Party. All of these were excellent showing the extremely high quality of performers in the band.

The band then performed three Big Band numbers – Sweet Georgia Brown, Little Darling and Old Man River. And this was then followed by the final performance in the concert which was Ottorino Respighi’s March from the Apennine Way.

Following a two-minute ovation by the audience the band then performed their encore piece - The William Tell Overture which was a fitting end to what had been two hours of superb entertainment by one of the foremost bands in the UK.

A great afternoon’s entertainment thoroughly appreciated by the audience who had braved the elements to get there.

by John Burland