Your shopping cart is empty.

Celebrate! - David Childs conducts Flowers Band in its 50th Anniversary Year

CD Available in the online shop

With 7 premiere studio recordings, 6 featured soloists, arrangements and compositions from Grammy Award winners to the latest youthful talents; this eclectic track-list was selected by David Childs, the band's Principal Conductor (2017-2018), to celebrate 50 years of Flowers and to give pleasure to those who have faithfully supported the band on its journey so far.

1. Prelude for an Occasion by Edward Gregson 

2. Blackbird Special - Dirty Dozen Brass Band arr. Reid Gilje 
3. Candide Overture - Leonard Bernstein arr. Howard Snell 
4. Let Freedom Ring by Jonathan Bates | Soprano soloist: Paul Richards
5. La Fiesta - Chick Corea arr. Philip Harper 
6. Nobody does it Better - Marvin Hamlisch arr. Paul Lovatt-Cooper 
7. Feed the Birds - Sherman and Sherman arr. Jonathan Bates | Soprano soloist: Paul Richards 
8. Youngblood by Daniel Hall 
9. Memories of a Lost Boy by Ben Hollings 
10. A Troika Tidy! By Sir Karl Jenkins | Euphonium soloist: Grant Jameson
11. He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven - Sir Karl Jenkins arr. Tony Small | Cornet soloist: Andrew Smith
12. Serenade by Derek Bourgeois 
13. Over the Rainbow - Arlen and Harburg arr. Goff Richards | Tenor Horn soloist: Emily Evans 
14. March – Praise by Wilfred Heaton 
15. Londonderry Air - Trad. arr. John Iveson | Trombone soloist: Rob Wilshaw 
16. The Day Thou Gavest - Revd. Clement Scholefield arr. Philip Wilby 
17. Tuba Solo: Carnival for Bass by Fred Muscroft | Tuba soloist: Carlton Sykes 
18. Diversions after Henry Purcell by Jonathan Bates 
19. Toss the Feathers - Trad. Arr. Peter Graham

About the music

One of the brass band world’s most revered living composers, Edward Gregson wrote his Prelude for an Occasionin 1968 – the year Flowers Band was formed. It represents one of his earliest compositions for brass band, and bookended with triumphant fanfares, it provides the perfect prelude to this celebratory release.

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band completely changed the landscape of the New Orleans Brass Band scene by taking inspiration from Duke Ellington's harmonies, Dizzy Gillespie's rhythms, and the funk music of James Brown. The group’s willingness to look beyond the norm, finding connections amongst a wider range of music, led them to compose a vast collection of original charts, including Blackbird Special, featured here and used by Flowers to open its award winning 2018 entertainment set.

Sharing a significant anniversary with Flowers is one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history. Leonard Bernstein was born in 1918, and his centenary is celebrated here through Howard Snell’s masterful arrangement of Overture toCandide. First performed in concert by the New York Philharmonic, under the composer’s baton in 1957, this quick-paced work is feverishly exciting and remains popular today. 

In 1968, the same year that Flowers was formed, the civil rights movement lost its most iconic leader in Martin Luther King Jr. His activism and inspirational speeches played a pivotal role in ending legal segregation and it is King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech that is the inspiration behind this soprano solo, Let Freedom Ring, commissioned by David Childs for Paul Richards and Flowers Band. One of the finest soprano lyricists around, the soloist brings the music to life in this premiere studio recording.

Flowers Band has worked with many fine conductors during its history, including Philip Harper who was for many years the band’s Musical Director. Here one of Philip’s excellent arrangements is featured – a work by 22-time Grammy-winning jazz legend, Chick Corea, entitled La Fiesta. The music switches between Latin carnival style and jazz waltz, and includes some fine solo contributions along the way.  

From jazz-fusion the band turns to music from the silver screen with a brace of Brass in Concert (BiC) commissions. Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s setting of Nobody Does it Betterfrom The Spy Who Loved Me was premiered by Flowers at BiC 2017, and Jonathan Bates’ beautiful soprano solo arrangement of Feed the Birdsfrom Mary Poppins was premiered by band and soloist at the previous year’s event. The former features an all-female tenor horn, flugel and euphonium group of Emily Evans, Ffion Williams, Zoe Brittlebank, Lauren Chinn, and Fran Wilson, whilst the latter once again features the beautiful lyricism of Paul Richards.

As keen advocates of new music by young composers, the band’s next two tracks are also premiere recordings and feature music by two of the brass band world’s rising stars, Daniel Hall and Ben Hollings. Whilst Youngbloodwas inspired by the famous American riot jazz band of the same name, the reflectiveMemories of a Lost Boytakes its inspiration from J.M. Barrie’s fictional character, Peter Pan – the epitome of eternal youth.

Featuring the band’s principal euphonium and principal cornet, solos from Sir Karl Jenkins follow. The Welsh musician is widely regarded as the world’s most popular living composer, and here his A Troika? Tidy!provides the perfect vehicle to showcase the technical wizardry of American euphonium player, Grant Jameson. In contrast, Tony Small’s beautiful arrangement of He wishes for the Cloths of Heavenfeatures the lyrical qualities of Andrew Smith and is the sixth premiere recording on this disc.

Over the years brass bands have been blessed with repertoire from many prolific composers, three of which are remembered here. Local composer, Derek Bourgeois was a former lecturer in music at Bristol University, Director of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Musical Director of the Sunlife (Stanshawe) band, and following his death in September 2017, his quirky Serenadebecame a regular feature in Flowers’ concert programmes. Goff Richards was without doubt one of the finest light music composers to have written for brass band, and through his beautiful arrangement of Over the Rainbowfrom The Wizard of Oz, Emily Evans pays tribute to her Cornish compatriot and demonstrates why she too is making a great name for herself.

Marches and hymn tunes have been synonymous with brass bands for many years, and like Leonard Bernstein, 2018 also marks the centenary of the birth of John Wilfred Heaton, so what better march to feature on this release than Heaton’s iconic Salvation Army publication, Praise.

John Iveson’s jazz inspired trombone solo arrangement of Londonderry Air has become a classic of the genre and is given another masterful outing here by Flowers’ most recent solo appointment, the talented Rob Wilshaw. It is often said that brass bands sound at their best when playing a hymn tune, and in Philip Wilby’s setting of The Day Thou Gavest we have one of the most beautiful, providing a brief moment of reflection before the band’s star tuba soloist, Carlton Syke’s dazzles with his phenomenal rendition of Carnival for Bass.

Nearing the close of this celebratory release, another world premiere recording is presented in the form of Diversions after Henry Purcell – a new work by Jonathan Bates, which sets out in sentiment to imitate Benjamin Britten’s, The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. The music takes inspiration from the life and works of Henry Purcell - a composer synonymous with brass through his compositions for the court. It features every section of the band in a variety of styles and falls into seven sections: I.Pride & Prejudicefeatures Purcell’s famous Rondeau- music used in Britten’s Young Person’s Guideand in several period screen settings, including the adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel of the same title; II. Devil’s Acrerefers to Purcell’s birthplace, Westminster, and showcases devilish technique from the cornet section;III. The Royal Organistfeatures the horn section, and whilst the music takes its inspiration from Purcell’s Te Deum, its title comes from a painting at Westminster Abbey where Purcell himself was organist for many years; IV. Full Fathom Fivefeatures the virtuosity and range of the euphonium and baritone section and takes its title from music Purcell wrote for Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest- it is a catchphrase deriving from a verse passage, beginning with those words, during a storm and shipwreck, where the water is about 30 feet (five fathoms) deep; V. Remember Meis the subtitle of Dido’s Lamentfrom Purcell’s first opera, Dido and Aeneas- here the trombones and tubas remember Purcell, who passed away at the young age of 36; VI. That Blessed Placeis reflective and takes its title from Purcell’s epitaph at Westminster, which reads: ‘Here lies Henry Purcell Esq., who left this life and is gone to that Blessed Place where only His harmony can be exceeded.’ VII. Celebrationtakes the form of a fugue and eventually brings the music to a close in much the same way as it started, with a grand reprise of Purcell’s famous Rondeau.   

Representing something of an encore, Peter Graham’s The Corrs inspired arrangement of Toss the Featherswas used by Flowers to close its award winning 2018 entertainment set, and also closes this CD celebrating 50 years of Flowers Band.