What we play...
Halifax Concert Band has a very extensive repertoire. A significant part of our music library results from the combination of our instruments which closely mirrors that of the military band. Hence, we have many marches and similar pieces favoured by the military, although as a concert band, we do not march!
Our favourite marches include music dedicated to a particular regiment such as the Duke of Wellinton’s Regimental march, The Wellesley, or the renowned marches of JP Sousa such as Semper Fidelis and Stars and Stripes Forever. Popular marches such as Bandology, Thundercrest, On The Quarter Deck and Albert Matt’s powerful Fame and Glory are excellent inclusions for the concert band. The world of film has given us many fine marches which we greatly enjoy and regular concert inclusions are The Dam Busters, Cockleshell Heroes and The Longest Day. We also feature marches by major composers such as Gounod, Elgar, Holst and Vaughan Williams. Bringing us right up to date, we often open our concerts with our own concert march, Halezfax Concert March no. 2 written by our conductor, Christopher Binns.
The wide range of instrumental colouration found in the concert band comfortably accommodates large and sometimes quite lengthy works, either written especially for this combination of instruments or orchestral transcriptions for concert band. Lloyd Webber’s A Symphonic Portrait, Grundman’s The Blue and the Gray and Sharpe’s The Late Twenties are fine examples.
Film and Stage Music
Also popular with the band are many extensive arrangements from film and stage such as Moment for Morricone, The Phantom of the Opera, The Best of Bond, Music from Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean, Les Misérables and a fine arrangement of Hardiman’s music for Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance.
Renaissance to Rock - Music Through the Ages
Although the majority of our concert pieces date from the 19th century onwards, we regularly feature the earlier music of composers such as Susato, Pachelbel, Vivaldi , Bach and Handel. Nearer the present day, we are also always happy to include arrangements of mid and late 20th century popular music. Rock Around The Clock, One Moment in Time, Bohemian Rhapsody, Lady in Red, A Whiter Shade of Pale, Music, The Final Countdown, It’s Raining Men and arrangements of Disco Lives!, A Tribute to Elvis and selections from Mama Mia! are always well received by our audiences.
In addition to the usual round of indoor and outside concerts, the band is regularly asked play at special occasions. Two such events prompting appropriate music were the 2008 visit of HRH Prince Charles to Sowerby Bridge and the arrival of the 2012 Olympic torch in Halifax. From our wide library of available music, we have also performed at wedding services, “Mayor Makings”, a rugby league match, several galas and produced 3 CDs. We have supported and performed with school youth choirs and can provide a Last Night of the Proms themed programme. A full range of Christmas music is presented every year from concert hall to outside appearances and we also now regularly lead the music in the November Remembrance Service at the Halifax Minster.
As the band is keen to entertain as well as perform to our audiences, novelty pieces, solo show pieces and music widely played by nearly all concert bands often feature in our concert programmes. Undoubtedly, most listeners will have heard Walter’s Instant Concert, Hootenanny and Trumpets Wild.
This brief resumé gives a small glimpse of what we play, but hopefully demonstrates the breadth of our repertoire. We are regularly adding to our library by purchasing new music each year and increasing what is already a very substantial catalogue.