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Brilliant Brass featuring the World Premier of Diamonds, composed by Tom Moss.

St. George’s Hall, Liverpool

Wirral Schools Brass Band, The Rainford Band, St. Helens Youth Brass Band,
The Formby Band.
Conductors: Alan Milnes & Dan Elson, Neil Samuel, Lynda Nicholson &
Louise Hough.
MC: Malcolm Brownbill

Saturday, March 15th

St. Georges Hall in Liverpool 2006

St. George's Hall


Brass Band music? If it’s not featured in a movie starring Pete Postlethwaite, filling in the background noise of a local fete or being knocked out by the regional Salvation Army at the start of Christmas, it doesn’t really come on to anybody’s radar does it?

Tom Moss: ComposerWell, thanks to Liverpool composer, Tom Moss, and the four superb exponents of the art of Brass on display here, hopefully this mainstream misinterpretation will change because, quite simply, Brilliant Brass was a superb evening’s entertainment, with the World Premier of Tom Moss’s Diamonds the highlight.

St. George’s Hall is unquestionably a beautiful building and when its 900 seats are filled with an expectant audience, it’s going to have to take something pretty special to impress them all.


There were no fears on that score though as from the moment the four bands took to the stage and broke into John Williams’s Liberty Fanfare, written to celebrate the centenary of the Statue of Liberty and first performed in 1986 by The Boston Pops Orchestra, they were hooked and it’s difficult to describe just how big and how tight all four bands were, whether playing separately or together. It was also difficult to remember at times that these are all amateur musicians – of all ages – who gather, once or twice a week, simply for the love of playing their music.

Of the first half where each unit played two compositions each, Including Light As Air – known better, perhaps, as Whiter Shade Of Pale­I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables and a fine medley of Beatles hits performed by Wirral Schools Band which included Michelle, Yesterday, When I’m Sixty-Four and Can’t Buy Me Love, it was the near-eponymous You’ll Never Walk Alone played by Formby which stole the plaudits, played herewith such passion and control it would have made Rogers & Hamerstein proud.

So onto the second half and the four movement debut of Diamonds, which moved effortlessly through from a stirring march, into a stirring gentle interlude, followed by a classy Swing movement and onto a quite fabulous closing section that clearly demonstrated just how versatile Brass Band music can be, leaving the audience to roar its approval at the conclusion, and rightly so.

With the evening closing on the ever popular Pomp & Circumstance, the audience rose to its feet as one and roundly cheered the performers, conductors and organisers of what is surely going to be, for all those who were there to see it, one of 2008’s most memorable and enjoyable evenings.

Indeed, if there is one wish to be had, it is that evenings like this, in surroundings like this and with talent like this, become more frequently available.

Interview with Tom Moss by Chris High - March 2008





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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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