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  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

A 215th GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS

We continue with our tour of modern day composers for wind and brass bands (the same works were often done of both Ė for, hopefully, double sales!). Kevin G. Lamb is a well-respected arranger whose original compositions include the marches Fortune Favours the Bold (1993), for NATOís Rapid Reaction Corps, The Hills of Korea, for the Korean Veterans Association, and The Knights of St John and a horn solo Tarantula Tarantella. Chris Allenís output includes a Barn Dance and a lively suite, A Day at the Races, the prolific David Civilís Coconut Calypso, Alpine Suite and the march, The Queenís Guard.

Michael Short has acquired an impressive portfolio, including Intrada, Song and Dance, three more Suites, Caledonia, Seven Steps to Heaven (in several! Movements) and Making Tracks, the single movements Kentish Fire, written for a youth orchestra in Maidstone, and Stonehenge, an overture, Estonia, based on traditional Baltic melodies, the fanfare Gaudeamus, a potpourri Our Fighting Ships including popular tunes, and the march Short Shrift.

As has been the case with light music composers going back generations, we can see from Shortís output that topographical themes remain popular. There are other examples. Ian Laidler has written a Mendip Suite, whose finale is entitled Wookey Hole, published separately. Bill McGillivrayís works include (shades of Eric Coates!) a five movement suite, Streets of London whose titles are Fleet Street, Old Compton Street, Kensington Gardens, Carnaby Street and The Mall; and Roger Mayís Three Towers Suite alludes to the church towers visible from the County Cricket ground at Taunton (it was composed for a Somerset Youth Band). The light thematic suite is also exemplified by Peter Brydonís Toy Box and Nightwaves and Dreams, mentioned in Garland 214, and David Redstonís concert suite Rogues Galley which depicts Dick Turpin, Maggie May and Sweeney Todd!

Robert Ely has, in addition to concerted pieces for oboe and organ with band, produced the marches Airborne Salute, Corps Célèbré and, with Frank Renton, Caesarís Camp, a patrol.

Stuart Stirlingís prolific output includes the fantasy Daedalus, a suite Cygnus, the English Folk Song Trilogy (shades of Vaughan Williams, maybe?), Huronia for piano and band and a march Grand Parade in addition to the usual arrangements. Denis Burton has produced an overture In Celebration and a march Pride of Lions, for the Adjutant Generalís Corps; David Harrisís titles include A Cornish Overture, Praeludium, Biscay Bay, a march Semper-Supremus, in memory of the Royal Marines School of Music at Deal and the saxophone feature Sophisticated Lady. Ray Thompsonís Market Day, Steve Herbertís up-tempo Southern Cross and Richard Hubbertís Burlesca! and Tubador (a Latin American style tuba solo) are, like, several of the titles we have mentioned, suitable for less experienced ensembles.

Bands, brass or wind, still thrive in this country and there seems to be plenty of new music, light or lightish, for them to play.

Philip L Scowcroft

July 2001


Enquiries to Philip at

8 Rowan Mount

DONCASTER

S YORKS DN2 5PJ

Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is currently out of print.

E-mail enquiries (but NOT orders) can be directed to Rob Barnett at rob.barnett1@btinternet.com


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