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Steven Mead, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band & David Thornton | UFO

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by Steven Mead, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band & David Thornton

Steven Mead, one of the world's leading euphonium soloists, presents this new album UFO, accompanied by the brilliant Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band.
Genre: Classical: Band Music
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Blind Spot
Steven Mead, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band & David Thornton
7:35 $0.99
2. UFO Concerto: I. Andante - Con moto
Steven Mead, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band & David Thornton
5:33 $0.99
3. UFO Concerto: II. Giocoso - Vivo
Steven Mead, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band & David Thornton
5:38 $0.99
4. UFO Concerto: III. Andante cantabile
Steven Mead, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band & David Thornton
3:46 $0.99
5. UFO Concerto: IV. —
Steven Mead, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band & David Thornton
6:20 $0.99
6. UFO Concerto: V. Marcia - Vivace
Steven Mead, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band & David Thornton
3:12 $0.99
7. Lullaby
Steven Mead, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band & David Thornton
4:21 $0.99
8. Robin Robin
Steven Mead, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band & David Thornton
5:36 $0.99
9. Ransomed
Steven Mead, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band & David Thornton
6:32 $0.99
10. A Simple Gift
Steven Mead, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band & David Thornton
4:10 $0.99
11. Move Their Mind
Steven Mead, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band & David Thornton
7:51 $0.99
12. Pastorale; My Joy and Crown
Steven Mead, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band & David Thornton
6:49 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Steven Mead writes:

Recording this album with the famous Brighouse and Rastrick band was an absolute delight! The broad range of literature including several world premiere recordings has made this truly a gem in my recording career. Whilst composer Johan de Meij does not claim that his Concerto is concerned with extra-terrestrial beings, one might be forgiven for indulging in some thoughts relating to our world and the mysteries of our existence. The simple beauty of nature, and the love for our family, is at the very heart of this album. There is a strong autobiographical element to this choice of repertoire, from George Marshall’s Ransomed, the first solo that I ever played with Boscombe Salvation Army Band on a Sunday evening in Ealing, in the presence of Eric Ball, in 1978, through the exciting modern repertoire of Move Their Mind and Blind Spot, and the truly epic UFO Concerto, to the stunningly beautiful Lullaby by Mike Sheppard and Liz Lane’s Robin Robin, to a work that Tom Davoren composed for me recently, A Simple Gift. It all leads emotionally to the final track, Pastorale; My Joy and Crown, that Howard Evans wrote as a dedication to my father Rex. Dad has always been my biggest supporter in my career, from my earliest memory as a young brass player aged five. Now he is being cared for in the Castle Dene nursing home in Bournemouth, and his favourite hymn tune, Ascalon is given a sublime setting in this work that concludes the CD. I hope you enjoy it.

The band writes:

“Brighouse and Rastrick were delighted to be approached to be part of such a fantastic, innovative project and work with such a superb professional in Steven Mead. We thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and can’t wait to hear the finished product.”
Steven Mead is well known as one of the foremost euphonium soloists in the world today. He is Professor of Euphonium at the Royal Northern College of Music, and is also a Guest Professor at Milan Conservatory, Augsburg University and XiAn Conservatory of Music (China.)

His career takes him around the world, as it has done really over the last 35 years, showing the true dedication and passion he has for the euphonium. As a role model for young soloists, Steven has been relentless in trying to break down the barriers and preconceptions regarding the euphonium, opening it up to new audiences. He has also been responsible for many new designs for instruments, mouthpieces and accessories as well as commissioning and premiering over 350 works.

During the 1980s Steven was a member of the highly successful Desford Colliery Band, and has also performed with the SunLife Band, GUS and CWS Glasgow. Since that time he has performed with some of the finest symphonic wind ensembles, chamber orchestras, brass ensembles and symphony orchestras in the world.

Steven is currently the Artistic Director of the Jeju International Wind Ensemble Festival, South Korea, and the Bolsover International Brass Band School. He was also Artistic Director of the successful International Tuba Euphonium Conference held in Linz (Austria) 2012 and all six of the British National Tuba Euphonium Conferences (1992 – 2002).

He also founded, toured and recorded with the British Tuba Quartet 19902000. He is a founder member and still Principal Euphonium of the Brass Band of Battle Creek, USA.

Steven’s many recordings are cherished by players and audiences the world over, with over 80 recordings, including solo albums with various leading ensembles, multitrack albums, recordings with piano accompaniment, and many educational CDs. This is the second album of 2019, the first being Pulse, recorded with the Belgium Air Force Band, conductor Matty Cilissen which met with huge critical acclaim within the brass fraternity.

Steven is an Artist and Clinician for Besson, since 1986. He performs on the Besson Prestige 2052 in gold lacquer.

His websites www.euphoniumstore.net and euphonium.net as well as his twitter page (@meadeuph), Instagram pages (mrstevenmead) and YouTube channel are very popular, as are his facebook pages: Steven Mead, Steven Mead Euphonium Club, and Steven Mead Euphonium Fans Club, that have a total of over 35,000 followers.

Brighouse and Rastrick

The Brighouse and Rastrick Band hails from the West Ridings of Yorkshire. Formed in 1881 as the Brighouse and Rastrick Temperance band, the band retained this title until the 1920’s when on the appointment of the World-Famous Fred Berry as musical director, ‘Temperance’ was dropped from its title. The one and only change of name in the Band’s history. These changes had immediate impact and in 1929, B&R broke into the highest level of brass banding winning both the July and September Brass Band Contests at Belle Vue, Manchester, a feat achieved only once before, and not equalled since.

Moving to the 1970’s, a more unusual and unique success came the band’s way. In 1977 the band caught the ears and imagination of the British public with their recording of Derek Broadbent’s “Floral Dance” holding the No.2 position in the British singles chart for nine weeks. Doggedly held off the top spot by Paul McCartney, they still achieved sales of over a million, earning both Gold and Silver discs and attracting fame well beyond the UK. ‘The Floral Dance’ has now become a permanent feature of the band’s programs as the ‘unofficial’ encore. Very firm roots were re-established in the town of Brighouse in 1995 with the building and opening of its own purpose-built ‘West Ridings’ headquarters.

In 2009 the band entered a new era with the appointment of Professor David King as Professional Conductor. This had immediate impact with Brighouse & Rastrick Band winning the National Championships of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall, London in 2010 & 2011 and more recently in 2017.

Over recent years the band has been engaged in very successful collaborations outside of the Brass Band Tradition. Recordings with Simon Callow, ‘The Unthanks’, Liza Pullman and appearances at Chris Evans’ ‘Car-Fest’ are just some of the ways that they are expanding their audiences. Whilst maintaining their great traditions and continued quest for musical excellence, with over 136 years of proud history behind them, the band is still fiercely financially independent and beholden to no one other than itself. It is still true to say that no other public subscription band has held such high status for as long as the Brighouse and Rastrick Band!


Dr. David Thornton is regarded as one of the foremost brass band conductors, euphonium players and teachers of his generation and has a global reputation. His work as a soloist, conductor and educator is renowned throughout the brass playing world to have a distinct hallmark of extreme virtuosity, professionalism and an ability to connect with audiences like few others in his field. His work within the brass band world has seen him at the top flight for over two decades. He has held solo euphonium positions with the Fairey Band (1997-2000), Black Dyke (2000-2010), Brighouse & Rastrick (2011-2015) and Foden’s (2015-2016), having won five National titles, three British Opens and one European Championship during this time. David spent three years (2017-2019) as musical director of Brighouse & Rastrick Band, before accepting the principal conducting role with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band in September 2019. As a recording artist David has released four albums as a euphonium soloist. Parallel Realities (2015), the latest recording project was awarded Solo CD of the Year 2015 by Brass Band World, British Bandsman, 4barsrest.com as well as winning a Roger Bobo Excellence in Recording Award 2016. Considering.

He is the Senior Tutor in Brass Band Studies at the RNCM, as well as teaching euphonium and chamber music at Chetham’s School of Music. The Music

1. Blind Spot

Gilles Rocha is a well-known Swiss music personality, known for his outstanding euphonium playing, teaching, composing and arranging. He teaches at the Conservatoire in Fribourg. This astonishing solo, with its huge demands placed on the soloist was composed for the young Swiss virtuoso Euphonium player Stephanie Gaspov for the Swiss national brass solo competition a couple of years ago. It is a real display work, with written out jazz licks and some moto perpetuo writing demands great agility and breath control. These extraordinary technical sections sit side-by-side with some very beautiful sections in this seven minute work.

2-6. UFO Concerto

The UFO Concerto is one of the most grand and epic euphonium concerti in the whole repertoire, and is regarding as one of the most fearsome challenges for any soloist to perform. Composer Johan de Meij writes: “The UFO Concerto is my first solo work for euphonium and wind orchestra, and is not a traditional concerto in the classical sense. It consists of five movements that are thematically related to one another. The opening chord may sound familiar to some listeners: This chord and the first theme are based on the same five-note chord used in ‘Extreme Makeover’ and ‘Planet Earth’ in 2005: a major triad with an added 4th and a 7th. This chord has been obsessively present in my head ever since - I could not resist using it again! Both the chord as well as the main theme make appearances in various shapes and forms throughout the entire piece.

I Andante – Con moto • II Giocoso – Vivo • III Andante cantabile IV Vivace • V Alla Marcia – Vivace

Jason Ham, solo-euphonium player with the West Point Band (USA), initiated the consortium for UFO Concerto. He performed the world premiere on February 15th, 2012 in Baltimore (MD) with the Peabody Wind Ensemble, conducted by Harlan Parker. Jason also invited British virtuoso David Childs to join the consortium and play the European performances. At the request of both players, I also made a version for euphonium and brass band.” In this performance the full scoring that includes important parts for piano and harp are included.

7. Lullaby

Mike Sheppard made this arrangement of his Lullaby for Steven Mead and this recording. He writes: ‘Steven often gets asked to play pieces that are technically very demanding, which is understandable because he is such a prodigious exponent of the instrument. But I wanted to celebrate his beautiful warm tone and superb musicality. I wanted to give him long, lyrical lines so that he could give full rein to his expressive side”. Mike’s published works include music for choirs, orchestras and jazz ensembles. He has played in, composed for, conducted and produced the National Youth Jazz Orchestra over many years. He has created music for film, TV and advertising in a wide range of styles and genres from orchestral film score to string quartet; from choral orchestral to jazz and big band.

8. Robin, Robin

Liz Lane originally composed this work for soprano voice, and it was originally recorded by Belinda Evans (soprano) with Stephen Marquiss (piano) to help raise funds for Yeovil Hospital’s Flying Colours Appeal. It was then adapted for David Thornton (euphonium) and subsequently orchestrated for brass band for this recording and premiered by Steven Mead. The original words were written by Jennifer Henderson and trace a robin’s journey through the seasons: Spring - ‘fearless and bold’, Summer - ‘a bird with attitude’ through to Autumn - ‘when other birds fly away, you’re loyal’. The robin’s song can be heard throughout in short interludes on the euphonium, finishing with Winter - ‘what do I care if the ground is hard? I’ll be tweeting my greeting from a Christmas card’. 9. Ransomed

This solo is a real classic euphonium solo within the repertoire of Salvation Army Music and has a special significance for Steven Mead, as it was the first solo he ever performed with Boscombe SA Band in 1978. Years before that Steven had the pleasure to meet Josh Walford who also performed this solo with the International Staff Band and recorded it on a 78rpm disc under the baton of Bernard Adams in 1951. This recording can be heard still on YouTube.

Bandmaster George Marshall (1887-1956) was often called the Army’s ‘March King’, with many well-known stirring marches, such as Brave and True. He was for many years Bandmaster at the South Shields Corps, and was entered into the ‘Order of the Founder’ in 1951. George Marshall became a wheelchair user as a result of a mining accident. He fought back from near death, invalidity and despair, to continue composing and producing brass band music that glorified the Lord. Ransomed was first published with piano accompaniment in the Instrumental Album No. 21 (Salvationist Publishing and Supplies) in 1936. It was also published with band accompaniment, as an early number in the Festival Series. This recording is a tribute to the late Geoff Otter who was the bandmaster at Boscombe Salvation Army Band when Steven joined as a young man.

10. A Simple Gift

Tom Davoren composed this beautiful work over Christmas 2017 for Steven Mead. As its title suggests, the piece is a gesture of thanks from composer to soloist, celebrating Steven Mead’s gift for shaping melody as well the natural lyrical quality of the euphonium itself. Tom Davoren (b.1986) is a composer and band director with a growing international reputation. His music for bands has been premiered, recorded and commissioned the world over by artists including ‘The President’s Own’ United States Marine Band, Central Band of the Royal Air Force, Brass Band of Battle Creek, Cory Band, Philippe Schartz (Principal Trumpet BBC National Orchestra of Wales) and Glenn Van Looy. Tom is currently a Doctoral Teaching Assistant in Wind Conducting at the University of Kansas, USA, working with Dr. Paul Popiel.

11. Move Their Mind

This dramatic work was commissioned by the Belgian euphonium soloist Glenn Van Looy, now living in Switzerland and a member of the Valaisia Brass Band. It and became the title track for his first solo album.

The composer Stan Nieuwenhuis writes: “Move Their Mind is a challenging work in three movements. The furious opening pushes the soloist to the limit of range and speed. The dramatic introduction mellows into the slow melancholic second movement. Despite the calmness there is unease to be heard through grace notes and fast runs. As earlier the movements move from one to another without a break with the theme of the final movement gradually introduced through wide intervals, and multiphonics in the lower range at high speed. We hear the theme disguised in various forms before leading to a dramatic climax. This is followed by a return of the theme before the music rushes to a chaotic final.”

12. Pastorale; My Joy and Crown

Howard penned this arrangement of the beautiful hymn tune Ascalon in the spring of 2019 and dedicated this euphonium solo to Rex Mead, the father of our soloist. Howard is close friends with Rex and Sylvia Mead and has also worked closely with Steven Mead, notably on two previous CDs, Brassin’Mozart 2006 and Locomotion. The tune was originally a Silesian folk song, and the Germany text was printed for the first time in 1842. Howard Evans is a Mus.B (Hons) graduate from the University of Manchester. He also holds LRAM, LTCL and ARCM (Hons) diplomas. As a postgraduate pianist at the Royal Northern College of Music, he gained a Diploma in Performance Studies. He completed his Performance based MA (Dist) from Salford University, majoring in conducting. This was followed in July 2009 by his subsequent award of ‘Doctor of Musical Arts’ (DMA) from Salford University. Howard has held posts including the National Bandmaster for the Salvation Army in the UK, Director of Music for the SA in the Netherlands, and conductor of the Amsterdam Staff Band. From 2007 to 2015 he held the post as Director of Classical Performance at the University of Salford. He was also Bandmaster of the Boscombe Salvation Army band from 2002-2019. Howard was often worked as a guest conductor for a number of major bands, including appearing with the Leyland Band and Grimethorpe Colliery Band to name but two. In addition, he has undertaken work as an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in Singapore, Macao, China, Poland, Oman and the UK, since 1998.

We are very sad to report the passing of Richard Scott, who was the genius sound engineer and producer and was a friend and colleague to so many in the music business. He fought his brave battle with cancer for several years and despite it all, was able to continue his brilliant work until the very end. On the first day of this recording he came to visit the Hade Edge Band Room and stayed to listen to us for three hours. The photo here is a treasured memory.

Thank you Richard. We will all miss you. Brighouse and Rastrick personnel on this recording.

Soprano: Robert Westacott Solo Cornets: Kyle Lawson, Laura Hirst, Tim Pannell, Bethan Plant Repiano Cornet: Jamie Cooper 2nd Cornets: Sam Gibson, Hayley Moore 3rd Cornets: Natalie Morrison, Ian Broadbent Flugel Horn: Mike Eccles Tenor Horns: Andy Moore, Trevor McCormick, Ian Dust Baritones: Ashley Jeffers, Sarah Lenton, Ste Cavanagh Trombones: Ryan Watkins, Ellena Newton, Rob Wilshaw, Stephen Lomas Euphoniums: Chris Robertson, Daniel Thomas Basses: David Hebb, William Evans, Stephen Malcolm Dominic Hurley, Chris Hardy Percussion: Jonathan Kenna, Tom Hall, Leonardo Caleffi Ross Alexander, David Dixon

Special thanks to Ruth Hollick (piano) and Eira Lynn Jones (harp) for their outstanding contributions in the UFO Concerto.



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