Aireborough Rotary's Annual Brass Band Concert

It is now 12 years since Bradford born Frank Renton made his first trip to Yeadon to organise, conduct and introduce Aireborough Rotary’s Annual Brass Band Concert.

Regular attenders now know what to expect but all come confident they will enjoy hearing skilled musicians who revel in each other’s company as well as learning something and having plenty to smile about.

Frank’s encyclopaedic knowledge of brass band music, its composers and arrangers means each item is introduced entertainingly, with soloists praised and applauded and opinions shared. He also took time out to correct the programme notes, debate just who was the younger of two 14 year olds to join the Black Dyke Band and muse over the undertones of the phrase 'radio veteran'. He even halted and re-started one item because of a mistake in his note reading of tempo to flippantly congratulate those of the band who had gone their own way.

Steve Hoppie’s choice of music for the Hepworth Band, complemented by outstanding guest musicians, presented plenty of opportunities to display their talents. The euphonium/baritone section shone in Surrey with the Fringe on Top and the trombone section took the lead in the brash Seventy Six Trombones before they closed with the appreciative audience joining in with Abba Goes Brass.

With the theme of A Musical Affair Frank chose to bring back for the second time former Hepworth band member Iben Maersk as vocalist.

Iben the band member who 'sang a bit' two years ago returned for a second time, on this occasion with five numbers that gave full rein to her talents from the Jesus Christ Superstar love song I don’t know how to love him through the bouncy Got the sun in the morning from Annie Get Your Gun and ending on in Frank’s opinion the testing Defying gravity from Wicked. She is now writing her own songs and acting as a backing musician whilst completing her musical degree.

With ninety tickets handed out to the nine primary schools, to which the Rotary Club donates dictionaries, perhaps the evening introduced a new batch of recruits, both pupils and parents, to brass band music.

Robert Mirfield