Article and Photographs: Jonathan White
Crewe Brass performed a ‘Full Steam Ahead’ evening concert in the Exhibition Hall at the Crewe Heritage Centre (just behind Tesco) on Vernon Way in Crewe on Saturday 1st October 2022. The band featured an all-new line-up of over 20 new players, with only 5 remaining from pre-COVID days, and new Musical Director Adam Shilton and new Associate Musical Director Ian Raisbeck.
Adam compered the event and conducted along with Ian who also conducted. Adam and Ian have both previously played with Foden’s Band, which is based in Sandbach and ranked as one of the finest brass bands in the world. They have brought their wealth of experience at the highest level to Crewe Brass and, along with committee members, have risen like a phoenix from the ashes to put together a full band again.
The music performed by Crewe Brass in the first half was The Golden Lady (brass), Star Lake (march), First Light – cornet solo Davyd Michell, Where the Fallen Live Forever, The Old Gumbie Cat (musical), Young Amadeus (conducted by Ian Raisbeck), Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat (musical) and concluded with One Moment in Time (song).
The second half kicked into action with the Queen classic The Show Must Go On, followed by Army of the Nile (march), Jurassic Park (movie), A Little Prayer (conducted by Ian Raisbeck), Pirates of the Caribbean (movie), Hymn to the Fallen (from Saving Private Ryan movie), Batman (movie), and reached a crescendo with Born Free (movie) as the encore.
‘Where the Fallen Live Forever’ was composed by Adam Shilton in 2016 in commemoration of Crewe’s fallen in the battle of ‘The Somme 1916’ during World War 1 and its impact on the community.
Profits from the concert will be split between Crewe Brass and Crewe Heritage Centre.
A representative from Crewe Brass said: “To be honest we think it was a much more emotional night for the band than we thought it would be. For various reasons we have lost around 22 players since COVID and only 10 months ago we had to survive on the generosity of deps helping us. Then in comes Adam, whose vision, military and educational background have given the band a new lease of life and as the song says, “things can only get better”. Our partnership with Crewe Heritage Centre gives us a magnificent hall both as our rehearsal room and as a wonderful concert venue, full of Crewe’s history and now full of the music of its future too.”
Crewe Brass are a third section competing brass band in the North West area and are well known throughout South Cheshire and beyond. They have a history going back forty years. They were formed when the North Midland Co-operative Society sponsored one of the best youth bands in the country – South Cheshire Young Brass – and included players from the United Co-op Youth Band.