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A Festival Of Fanfares And Carols
The Cory Band
rec. Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun, Aberdare, Wales, July 2016; Territorial
Headquarters, London, September 2016 DOYEN DOYCD364 [70:03]
This disc features a wonderful collection of holiday tunes by the Cory Band, and features the Treorchy Male Choir and the International Staff Songsters of the Salvation Army. The Cory Band, based in Cwmparc, Rhondda in Wales, is famous as one of the world’s great brass bands, and have won many British and European championships. The outstanding Treorchy Male Choir is from nearby Treorchy in the Rhondda Valley, and the International Staff Songsters of the Salvation Army is the Army’s premier vocal group, and are now in their 35th year.
The Cory Band is led by Musical Director Philip Harper, who has been with the band since 2012. He composed the beautiful number, The Snow Carol, in 2006. The Cory Band performs the song with a bright, sparkling staccato rhythm and tiny bells resembling dancing snowflakes, as the Songsters sing in glorious harmony “Hush, it’s snowing!” Yule Dance, another Harper work composed in 1999, is an instrumental medley of tunes, including the theme from I Saw Three Ships A-Sailing. The medley begins with a slow, quiet fanfare, and then explodes into a bold, rollicking tribute to the Christmas season.
The Treorchy Male Choir is featured on four traditional carols, including O Come All Ye Faithful, Unto Us Is Born A Son, and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. The Choir sings the opening number Once In Royal David’s City with the full, robust sound that has made the group popular for more than 130 years. The Cory Band also showcases some of their outstanding soloists, including Helen Williams performing on flugel horn in Away In A Manger, Glyn Williams performing a euphonium solo on Candlelight Carol , soprano cornetist Steve Stewart performing Gaudete, and trombonist Chris Thomas performing a delightfully wistful solo for a beautiful arrangement of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
This album was recorded by World of Sound, a recording company affiliated with the Salvation Army;
the engineer was Oliver Roberts, and Adam Goldsmith was the producer. A 10-page booklet is included with the disc, with biographies of the musical groups and a list of the Cory Band musicians. The sound quality is excellent.
A wonderful collection of holiday tunes.
Once In Royal David’s City [4:29]
Christmas Carillon [2:23]
A Carol Fantasy [5:54]
The Box Of Delights [3:42]
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing [3:54]
Away In A Manger [4:07]
Ukrainian Bell Carol [2:51]
The Snow Carol [4:18]
Christmas Proclamation Fanfares [1:52]
The Irish Carol [4:01]
Unto Us Is Born A Son [2:20]
Candlelight Carol [5:06]
Mary’s Boy Child [4:45]
Improvisations On Christmas Carols (Third Movement) [3:08]
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas [3:59]
Yule Dance [5:09]
O Come All Ye Faithful [4:25]