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Celebration Brass Ensemble

Listen to
Celebration Brass !

Available now, the C.D. of live recordings from St. Mary's.

Here are two pictures taken at St. Mary's Parish Church in Slough.

Pictured behind the band are Organist Malcolm Stowell, soprano Louise Willis,
trumpeter Paul Willis and Composer Guy Bunce.

The Story So Far........

The group's launch concert in November of 2000, helped raise an enormous amount of money for the Thames Valley Adventure Playground Network based near Maidenhead, Berkshire. The group provided entertaining music during proceedings of a Silent Auction where very generous bids were received, making the fund raising very successful.

The weekend of December 3rd. saw the group performing at the historic 12th. century St. Mary's Church, Wexham, near Slough. The church had just re - opened following a major 50.000 restoration scheme and the Celebration Brass provided the hymns and performed other works from its repertoire.

Our New Year 2001 started with a performance on Sunday, January 21st. at The Kingsway United Reformed Church in Slough. All the hymns (St. Gertrude, Hyfrydol, Diadem &
Aurelia) were lead by the group, and a special 'first performance' was given of the Alleluia from J.S. Bach's Organ Cantata no. 142.

December saw us entertaining elderly people at a home in Wembley, followed by a Christmas Festival Concert in St. Mary's Church, Slough, combining with Louise Willis
(soprano), Paul Willis (trumpet) and Malcolm Stowell (organ).
The programme included a Fanfare by Mike Davis, Be Still My Soul, by Sibelius, When A Child Is Born and movements 2 & 3 of Christmas Crackers by John Iveson.
Charley Brighton used a vintage 1891 euphonium to play O Holy Night with the mighty Norman & Beard Organ of the church.
The ensemble then all combined to play the Bach Alleluia from Cantata 142.
The concert raised over 100 for Church funds.

December 21st. saw us at the Riverside Arts Centre in Sunbury on Thames where we were guests alongside the Super - Tonics ladies quartet, Julian Black, piano, Mike Salter, comedian and pianist / composer Tony Wakefield, compered by Ellie Roper.
In addition to Christmas music, the group performed the Trumpet Tune by Purcell and the march Come And Hear by Salvation Army composer Thomas Mack

The New Year 2002 started with a concert on February 2nd. with The Capriccioso Low Brass Quartet and The Windsor Festive Brass, Malcolm Stowell (organ) and Louise Willis (soprano).
The concert at St. Mary's Parish Church, Slough drew a capacity audience and the groups programme included a special 1st. performance of Ode To Broadway, especially written for Celebration Brass by Guy Bunce.
Other items included Di Bankelsangerlieder, Anon., Liberty Bell, Sousa, I Dreamed A Dream, Schonberg and Procession of The Nobles, by Rimsky Korsakov, combining with the mighty organ of St. Mary's.
The concert started and ended with a 16 piece massed brass choir playing Fantasia by Willbye and Sancta Maria, from the Vespers of 1610 by Verdi.

July 20th. saw us back with The Windsor Festive Brass, Malcolm Stowell (organ) and Louise Willis (soprano).
The concert at St. Mary's Parish Church, Slough featured a splendid programme which included music for brass and organ specially arranged by Charley Brighton.
This included Processional No 1,by Tonni Wei, the final movement of Symphony for Brass Choir, by Victor Ewald and the Grand Choeur Dialogue by Eugene Gigout, combining with the mighty organ of St. Mary's.

In December, we started our round of seasonal appearances with music for Slough Mencap in Slough Town Hall Council Chamber.
At the request of Eleanor Cryer, we provided Christmas music for the A.G.M. and celebration supper. On this ocassion Shirley Drake and Woody Wood played Flugel Horns, Sue played Baritone, I was on Euphonium and Jeanie Wood was on Tuba.

December 21st. was a special date for us as we premiered Malcolm Stowell's Reverie, composed for piano, violin, organ and brass choir.
Written in 1981, the original 4 part SATB parts were rescored for brass in this magnificent work. Mark Robbins was on violin with Louise Willis taking the piano part. Malcolm himself was at the organ.

In addition, a trio from Celebration Brass played the Finale to Beethoven's Opus 87, originally for 2 obes and cor anglais. This featured Susan Vel (baritone), Charley Brighton (euphonium) and David Elliott Smith (tuba).

Our first concert for 2003 was given on February 8th. at St. Mary's. Once again combining with Malcolm Stowell & Louise Willis on organ.

Our guests this time were Paul Willis on E flat Trumpet and Shirley Drake on Flugel Horn. The programme featured Die Bankelsangerlieder, Stardust, with Susan Vel as Baritone soloist, Be Still My Soul, Brass Tacks, Classica Quintet, Chorale, with Charley Brighton as Euphonium soloist, I Dreamed A Dream and James Bond 007. We also featured a brand new arrangement of a beautiful lullaby, Safe For A Moment by David Tutt.


On May 17th. we saw the long awaited arrival of the Rutgers University Chorus from Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A. with their conductor John Floreen.

Celebration Brass commenced the proceedings with Fantasia by John Wilbye, as a double brass choir at opposite ends of St. Mary's Church.
Charley Brighton was the featured euphonium soloist with Malcolm Stowell on piano, in two numbers from West Side Story, Maria & Tonight.
Brass and choir closed the first half of the concert in special arrangement of Elsa's Procession to the Minster, from Lohengrin, by Wagner.
The finale to the concert was the combined forces of band, choir & organ in Gerre Hancock's Song to the Lamb, and Vaughan Williams Old Hundredth, conducted by John Floreen.

Featured players were;

Soprano cornet, Robin Lock
Flugel Horns, Eileen Lock & Shirley Drake
Baritones, Susan Vel & Kate Thulborn
Euphonium, Andrew Barratt & Tuba, David Elliott-Smith.

On Saturday, June 19th. 2004, we were guests of the Egham Choral Society in a concert at the American School in Thorpe, Surrey. Joining us in the programme were soprano soloist Mary Clare Morris, pianist David Darby and choir soloists Evelyn Dodd and David Food, all conducted by Henry Macey.
Celebration Brass featured in a solo item, Chorale, by Ted Huggens and then entertained the large audience whilst they pic-nicked on the lawns.
To close the concert, we joined forces in Rule Britannia, Jerusalem, Land of Hope & glory and the National Anthem.

On September 30th. 2006, Celebration Brass appeared in the 900th. Celebration lunchtime concert at St. Mary's Slough, with the Reading Minster Midweek Choir and organist, Malcolm Stowell.
The music featured a special arrangement for the event by Terry Treherne, 'With True Adoration', based on the hymn tune Hanover. Terry also conducted the massed ensemble.

Featured players were;

Laura Jurd, Linda Hodges and Donna Tubb (trumpets)
Susan Vel (baritone), Charley Brighton (euphonium) and David Elliot-Smith (tuba).

On July 5th. 2008, Celebration Brass appeared in the 1000th. Celebration lunchtime concert at St. Mary's Slough, with the Reading Minster Midweek Choir and organist, Malcolm Stowell.
The music featured a special arrangement for the event by Terry Treherne, 'In Tuneful Accord', based on the hymn tune Laudate Dominum. David Butler conducted the massed ensemble.

Featured players were;

David Marley, Donna Tubb & Woody Wood (trumpets)
Alan Mann, Tenor Horn, Susan Vel (baritone), Charley Brighton (euphonium), Jeannie Wood & Jonathan Hodgetts (tuba).

On December 19th. 2009 the group were invited to play at the first Carol Service run by the Crossroads Care Charity at St. Mary's Slough.
The music featured was The Holy Boy (John Ireland) with Baritone soloist Susan Brighton and Little Donkey, alongside Christmas carols with the congregation.

Featured players were;

Barry Mills, Woody Wood & Iain Brunt (trumpets)
Susan Brighton (Baritone), Michael Crowther (Euphonium) and Jeannie Wood (tuba)

Here are just some of the items of music already in use;

Allegro Vivace, William Boyce.

Alleluia, from Cantata no.142, J.S.Bach.

Away In A Manger (A Variation), Charles Evans.

Be Still My Soul, from Finlandia, Sibelius.

Blue Tango, Leroy Anderson.

Brass Tacks, Georgia Galegrant.

Celebration, Fergus O'Carrol.

Chorale, Ted Huggens.

(The) Christmas Song, Torme & Wells.

Christmas, Christmas ! Algis Brazinskas.

Christmas Crackers, John Iveson.

Classica, Rudolph Bodingbauer.

Die Bankelsangerlieder, Anon. Arr. Robert King.

Evening Prayer, from Hansel and Gretel, Humperdinck.

Gold & Silver Waltz, Franz Lehar.

Grand Choeur Dialogue, Eugene Gigout ( with Organ )

Gymnopedie no.1 Erik Satie.

I Dreamed A Dream, from Les Miserables, Schonberg.

Italian Festival, Glenn Osser.

James Bond 007, Barry.

Jasper's Dance, from Pineapple Poll, Sullivan.

Liberty Bell, March, Sousa.

Nimrod, Edward Elgar.

Nobody Knows, ( spiritual ).

Maori Farewell, Kaihau & Scott.

My Fair Lady, Lerner & Loewe.

Ode to Broadway, Guy Bunce.
(A new piece especially for Celebration Brass)

Procession of the Nobles, Rimsky Korsakov.

Processional No. 1, Tonni Wei.

Richard Roger's Waltzes.

Safe for a Moment, David Tutt.

Stardust, Hoagy Carmichael.

Summertime, George Gershwin.

Symphony for Brass Choir, Victor Ewald.

That's Entertainment, Schwartz.

Trumpeter's Lullaby, Leroy Anderson.

Under The Double Eagle, Josef Wagner.

We Three Kings, arranged by M.S. Freed.

When A Child Is Born, John Golland.

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DS Al Fine