Forest Brass at Gloucester Cathedral in F W Harvey themed concert

An original score Chris Howley is performed at Gloucester Cathedral

Photograph of Forest of Dean Brass band at Gloucester Cathedral

27th June 2014 7.30 pm

Forest of Dean Brass and Gloucester Cathedral Youth Choir gave outstanding performances on Friday evening in their concert themed around F.W. Harvey and the commemoration of the start of the First World War. The concert featured poems narrated by invited guests, choral music of the finest quality with outstanding solos, an emotive version of Nimrod and audience participation in some First World War musical songs. The quality of the performance shone through with a breathtaking version of In Flanders a work that connected Will Harvey, Ivor Gurney and Herbert Howells, three key figures from the era. The final piece was ‘A Gloucestershire Lad at Home and Abroad’ an original composition by talented Lydney-born Musical Director Chris Howley who composed a score inspired by F.W. Harvey’s first poetry anthology published in 1916.

The mixture of choral music and brass was perfect in the amazing acoustics of Gloucester Cathedral, and the premiered work received a standing ovation from the large audience. The encore, Jerusalem, featured the choir, band and the audience, all conducted by Adrian Partington, Cathedral Director of Music, in a fitting finale for a great night. Mike Kennerley, compere, kept the momentum of the evening moving at a cracking pace by explaining the relationship of the music to Will Harvey and giving a highly amusing commentary. The leaving collection raised well over £500 for the charity Care for Casualties. Watts of Lydney were thanked for their sponsorship.

Gill Phelps, Chair of Forest of Dean Brass said: “It was a terrific experience for the young members of the Band and Choir. The young band players were introduced to Dame Janet Trotter DBE who congratulated them on their musicianship and gave them encouragement for the future.”
Chris Howley said: “It was a great night; the feedback from everyone I spoke to was fantastic. The Cathedral is probably one of the hardest venues for a brass band to play in but we filled it with some really big balanced sounds. The standard of playing was excellent. It was a great platform following our recent success in becoming West of England Second Section Champions, and the forerunner for competing in the National Championships at Cheltenham in September.”

Photos Courtesy Sarah Howley