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Church packed for hometown festive concert

Brighouse High School and Brooksbank School Wind Band.
Brighouse High School and Brooksbank School Wind Band.

Central Methodist Church was packed both afternoon and evening at Brighouse & Rastrick Band’s traditional hometown Christmas concert day last Saturday.

Rev Mark Cheetham welcomed more young local high school musicians than ever before to help entertain the matinee audience. Music students from Brighouse High School formed both a guitar ensemble and wind band, the latter augmented by members of Brooksbank School as part of a developing partnership.

Ciaran Young playing O Holy Night.

Ciaran Young playing O Holy Night.

Both groups played admirably, showing real dedication, each playing two sets of contrasting pieces, all hugely appreciated by an attentive audience. The whole party was a credit to the school.

B & R President, Lyndon R Stacey, had almost too many highlights to cover in his resume of the band’s past year but pride of place went to the winning the National Championship title in October.

The magnificent trophy on display was a magnet for admirers and photographers alike, at every opportunity.

The band’s Guest Conductor for the day was ‘old boy’ David Hirst, B &R’s Musical Director for 11 years from 1994. Now living in Worcester he had limited rehearsal time but he led the band immaculately throughout.

Brighouse and Rastrick Band President Lyndon Stacey makes apresentation to Brighouse High School Head, Liz Cresswell.

Brighouse and Rastrick Band President Lyndon Stacey makes apresentation to Brighouse High School Head, Liz Cresswell.

For many present the featured soloists’ efforts left a lasting impression. Four were featured over the whole day but there could have easily been another four from this ‘talent bank’ of top players.

Saturday’s quartet all performed not just with technical distinction but with that depth of feeling that can captivate any audience. The evening gave more time to showcase the band’s range and quality of music and at both performances.

Not many Christmas concerts earn a standing ovation but that happened after the final encore of the day. B & R appear twice at Harrogate Royal Hall on Saturday and conclude this amazing year with a Matinee in Kings Hall, Ilkley on Sunday.