Feast of fabulous music with James and friends

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The Brighouse Celebration of Music concert finally gets underway after being cancelled back in April due to illness

St Martin’s Parish Church, Brighouse, is the magnificent venue on Saturday, June 20 at 7pm.

James Shepherd Versatile Brass will treat the audience to a concert of popular music and song.

Formed in 1972, Versatile Brass have performed around the world for over 40 years and while the personnel have changed over the years the world class standard of the ensemble has remained, as has James Shepherd himself who still performs with the group.

James is one of the most respected cornet/trumpet players in the world. He still has the distinction of being the only brass player to have won the coveted Champion Soloist of Great Britain award in three consecutive years and was principal cornet of the famous Black Dyke Mills Band for over 10 years before forming his Versatile Brass. After a sabbatical during the 2000s, James decided to re-form Versatile Brass in 2013, much to the excitement of all involved.

There has been no equivalent 10-piece within the brass band world to replace the original Versatile Brass, and the group’s early concerts with the new line-up are in high demand.

Joining them on stage are three soloists. Rachel Harrison and Alla Shumova, (sopranos) will perform songs from The Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach, The Laughing Song by Johann Strauss II and Queen of the Night by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whilst Paul Holroyd (tenor), will sing Santa Lucia by E. A. Mario, Be My Love by Nicholas “Slug” Brodszky and Vaga Luna - “Beautiful moon, dappling with silver” - by Vincenzo Bellin. Together, the trio will set your feet a tapping and your hearts a flutter with songs from the Merry Widow, Moulin Rouge and My Fair Lady.

It is a truly inspiring programme of music and melody by local talent, in a setting to inspire and uplift.

Chris Pulleyn is the accompanist for the soloists and Brighouse’s young, self-taught jazz pianist, Lewis Hitchcock, has a solo spot. His performance has a truly continental flavour as it takes the audience on a journey to Paris with the Merry Widow and Moulin Rouge.

Tickets are on sale (£15) at Ryecorn Wholefoods, Harrison Lord & Simply Flowers. Meal deals are available from £20 including ticket at Prego’s, Blakeley’s Fish & Chips and Milry’s.