Woolston Brass | Millennium: The New Zealand Works

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Millennium: The New Zealand Works

by Woolston Brass

Top class brass showcasing the work of New Zealand composers.
Genre: Classical: Band Music
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Flourish for an Occasion
0:30 $0.99
2. Rhapsody In Brass
11:34 $0.99
3. Colne
3:10 $0.99
4. The Enchanted Dance Hall
13:42 $0.99
5. Threnody
6:32 $0.99
6. Lambton Quay
5:09 $0.99
7. Down the Bruner Mine
6:43 $0.99
8. Haast Highway
5:45 $0.99
9. Millennia
9:24 $0.99
10. Invercargill March
2:13 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Flourish for an Occasion: John Ritchie
This ceremonial fanfare was commissioned for the opening of the Christchurch Town Hall in 1972.

Rhapsody in Brass: Dean Goffin
Dean Goffin’s “Rhapsody in Brass” is the most popular work for brass band by a New Zealand composer. It was written in the Syrian Desert in 1942 and first performed in Cairo later that year. It has the distinction of having been selected as a “test piece” for the 1949 British Open and for the 1952 National Contest in New Zealand.

Colne: arranged by Thomas Rive
Like Dean Goffin, Thomas Rive has been an influential figure in the musical life of the Salvation Army. “Colne”, a hymn tune, was originally written for the Santa Ana Corps in California.

The Enchanted Dance Hall: Kenneth Young
This work, commissioned by the Evening Post Onslow Band, evokes images of times past and the faded glories of a dance hall through a charming series of dances, some slow and melancholic, others boisterous and irreverent.

Threnody: John Ritchie
“Threnody” is a lament written in memory of Mervyn Waters, a revered past Music Director of Woolston Brass. This piece features the cornet playing of Kevin Hickman.

Lambton Quay: Larry Pruden
Lambton Quay is one of the main streets in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. This concert march was originally written for brass band in 1957 but was never performed. Two years later, composer Larry Pruden expanded the work for symphony orchestra. It won the APRA/NZBC competition in 1975.

Down the Brunner Mine: Anthony Ritchie
This set of ten variations is based on a folk song recalling one of New Zealand’s worst mining disasters. In 1848 Sixty-seven men were killed by exploding gas in the Brunner Mine which is situated near Greymouth, on the West Coast of South Island.
Haast Highway: Larry Pruden“Haast Highway” celebrates the forging of a road through the Southern Alps traversing some of New Zealand’s most rugged terrain. In 1975 this work won first prize in a composition competition organised by the Brass Bands Association of New Zealand (BANZ).

Millennia: John Rimmer
Composed for the Fredonia State University Brass Ensemble in 1990, this work was inspired by popular scientific literature. A statement from “A Brief History of Time” by the brilliant theoretical physicist and mathematician, Stephen Hawking, made an impact on John Rimmer - “...in less than half a century man’s view of the universe, formed over millennia has been transformed”. This brass band arrangement of “Millennia” closely follows the original. It is a typical contemporary work for the modern brass band.

Invercargill March: Alex Lithgow
Dedicated to New Zealand’s southernmost city, this sprightly march is instantly recognised world-wide and is possibly the most internationally performed New Zealand composition ever! Its popularity is widespread throughout the world’s banding fraternity and it has become the unofficial anthem of a city which remains a stronghold of New Zealand banding.

Alexander Lithgow (1870-1929)
Born in Glasgow, Lithgow was brought to Invercargill as a boy by his migrant family. He was taught to play the cornet there by W.V. Siddall, who like Lithgow, would become a conductor of the Woolston Band. Lithgow himself conducted Woolston in 1901. The present conductor, David Gallaher, continues the link with Invercargill having spent 14 years in that city as a player with “The Invercargill Band”. Lithgow wrote “Invercargill March” in 1908, and dedicated it to the citizens of Invercargill as a memento of the many pleasant years he spent there as a boy.

Sir Dean Goffin (1916-1984)
Sir Dean Goffin was born in Wellington and educated at both Christchurch Technical College and Napier Boys High School. From a Salvation Army family, Sir Dean became bandmaster of the Wellington South Band in 1936. After enlisting in the New Zealand Army at the outbreak of World War II, Sir Dean was appointed bandmaster of the 4th Brigade Band. The band was sent to Crete in 1941 and fought there as an infantry platoon under Lt. Goffin during that ill-fated campaign. Lt. Goffin was later complimented by Sir Howard Kippenberger, one of New Zealand’s greatest soldiers, for his performance as a platoon commander.
After returning to civilian life and completing a music degree at Otago University, Sir Dean began a career of full-time service in the Salvation Army. For 10 years he was responsible for the Salvation Army’s music in Great Britain.
He returned to New Zealand in 1971 and held a variety of posts before being elevated to that of “Commissioner for New Zealand and Fiji”. He received a Knighthood in 1983. Sir Dean’s brother Norman, a distinguished musician in his own right, was a life member of the Woolston Band.

Larry Pruden (1925-1982)
Like many New Zealand musicians and composers the “Cambridge Summer Schools of Music” had a major influence on Larry Pruden. Further study at the Guildhall School of Music in London with Alfred Neiman and later Benjamin Frankel brought him into contact with Edwin Carr, David Farquhar and Robert Burch. On his return to New Zealand, Pruden worked in the programme section of Radio New Zealand and then for “The Listener” Magazine. In 1975 he was awarded the Mozart Fellowship at Otago University.

John Rimmer (1939-)
Grandson of the famed British March King William Rimmer, it was natural enough that John Rimmer begin his musical education in a brass band at school. Rimmer is another for whom the Cambridge Summer Music Schools were of significance in composition along with Ronald Tremaine at Auckland University and Peter Maxwell Davies. He won a composition prize in 1984 from the International Horn Society. Rimmer studied horn himself in Toronto with Eugene Rittich. He is now based at Auckland University.

Kenneth Young
Kenneth Young was born in Invercargill but grew up in Christchurch. He began his music career as a cornettist in the Woolston Junior Band under the tutorship of Mervyn Waters, though initial encouragement in composition came from Frank Dennis, a music teacher at Christchurch’s Cashmere High School.
After studying at Auckland University he took up his current position as tuba player with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Further study followed in the United States and Europe. During this time he developed a reputation as a composer and he has maintained a steady output of works since, culminating in a first symphony in 1988. Kenneth Young has been a member of the music faculty at Victoria University since 1988. He was appointed Conductor-in-Residence of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra early in 1993.

John Ritchie (1921-)
John Ritchie began his music career as a clarinettist at the King Edward Technical College in Dunedin, playing under Vernon Griffiths. He was later to succeed Griffiths as Professor of Music at Canterbury University.
After Post-graduate study at Harvard University under Walter Piston he went on to gain extensive musical experience with orchestras, brass bands and choirs while overseas. He formed a string orchestra in 1958 which was the nucleus of the now semi-professional Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. John Ritchie has alway been closely involved in music education as well as composing. He composed the ceremonial fanfares for the 1974 Christchurch Commonwealth Games.
In 1976 he was elected Secretary General of the International Society of Music Education.
A patron of many of the city’s musical organisations, he has become an integral part of Christchurch’s musical life. John Ritchie is fondly regarded as the current Patron of Woolston Brass.

Anthony Ritchie (1960-)
The son of composer John Ritchie, Anthony was educated at St. Bede’s College, Christchurch and later at Canterbury University. Early encouragement was provided by his father and Dorothy Buchanan.
Post-graduate study in Hungary was followed by a year as a composer in schools in Christchurch and then a year as resident Mozart Fellow at Otago University. Anthony Ritchie is now resident in Dunedin and is continuing to gain stature as a New Zealand composer.

Woolston Brass
Formed in 1891 Woolston Brass of Christchurch is one of New Zealand’s premier brass bands. In a tradition inherited from 19th century North of England, Woolston Brass has been at the forefront of competition among brass bands since “contests” began. Originally, “The Woolston Band” took its name from the Christchurch suburb which has always been its home. An integral part of the musical life of Christchurch, the band gained the sponsorship of Skellerup Industries Limited in 1967 and became known as “The Skellerup Woolston Band” until the present sponsors, The Community Trust, were signed in 1994.
With a playing strength of nearly forty musicians, the Band has, since November 1996, been under the Music Directorship of David Gallaher who, on his debut at the 1997 National Contest in New Plymouth, lead the band to victory in the championship and in the “Shell Band of the Year” event. An itinerant brass teacher, David follows a long line of distinguished conductors such as R.J.(Dick) Estall, Mervyn Waters and Ken Smith.
The objectives of the band include the promotion of the art of music making and the training of learners through its Junior Band. An innovative leader, Woolston Brass has always been at the cutting edge of an expanding brass band repertoire. The band also strives to present its culturally unique music to the wider public whenever possible.
Woolston Brass has a record of championship successes unsurpassed among New Zealand brass bands. Sixteen times Champion Band of New Zealand since 1971, the band also won the Edinburgh Festival Contest in 1975, came fifth in the British Open Championship of that year and won the Australian Championship in 1980. Woolston Brass currently holds the “Shell NZ Band of the Year” title.

One of the first New Zealand bands to tour overseas, Woolston Brass is widely travelled and has most recently visited Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.
With a high family involvement, members range in age from fourteen to sixty and are drawn from all walks of life - business and trades-people, builders, teachers, students, soldiers and senior citizens. Drawn together by the common bond of a love of music and a strong sense of loyalty, these amateur musicians achieve professional standards in their pursuit of excellence. This recording is testimony to that.

“Millennium - The New Zealand Works” is a landmark recording. Not only is it the first Compact Disc recording by Woolston Brass but it is also the first compendium of works by New Zealand composers. Many of the titles included are premiere recordings.

Production Notes (HISTORY)

1 Flourish for an Occasion (John Ritchie) 00:24
2 Rhapsody in Brass (Sir Dean Goffin)
(1) Allegro giocoso 02:53
(2) Andante con moto 04:24
(3) Allegro assai giocoso 04:06

3 Colne (arr: Thomas Rive) 03:08
4 The Enchanted Dance Hall (Kenneth Young) 13:28
5 Threnody (John Ritchie) 06:30
6 Lambton Quay (Larry Pruden) 05:00
7 Down in the Brunner Mine (Anthony Ritchie) 06:38
8 Haast Highway (Larry Pruden) 05:42
9 Millennia (John Rimmer) 09:20
10 Invercargill March (Alex Lithgow) 02:10

We are grateful to the following for their assistance: Creative NZ, Soundz NZ, Peter Zwartz, Barry Fife, Graeme Bremner, NCC(NZ Ltd), Mrs Penny Pruden,

Recording Engineers: Michael Clayton and Lee Herrick
Digital Editing and Mastering: Wayne Laird
Produced by: David Gallaher
Catalogue Number: CDWB 3896340/01
Recorded: Christchurch Town Hall Auditorium Oct/Nov 1998
Cover Design: David Johnstone

Cover Painting: W.A. Sutton “Plantation Series No 2”.1986 Oil on Canvas 920 x 1840mm
Collection, Robert McDougall Art Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand. Purchased 1986 with asistance from the Olive Stirrat Bequest.

Woolston Brass
Musical Director David Gallaher
Principal Cornet: Kevin Hickman
Solo Cornets: Brent Hoy, Tyme Marsters, Christopher Reside, John Gardner
Soprano Cornet: Nigel Waites
Flugel Horn: Sarah Hewson
Repiano Cornet: Denis Broadbent
Second Cornets: Reagan Poynter, Steven Easton, Roanna Cooper
Third Cornets: David Sanders, Graeme Coomer, John Thorne
Solo Horn: Andy Williams
First Horn: Merton Tapp, David Slack
Second Horns: David Suttie, Michael Stone
Euphoniums: David Boyes, David Johnstone, Robert Neil, Leighton Brown
Baritones: Grant Sinclair, Graeme Bremner, Vincent Pheloung
First Trombones: Barrie Aldridge, Richard Shirley
Second Trombones: Desmond Hoy, Philip Spriggs
Bass Trombone: Richard Hogarth
Bb Basses: Gary Cross, Gary Pinker, Philip Johnston
Eb Bass: Nigel Seaton, Denis Spurdle, Nicholas Woods
Percussion: Jeremy Thin, Bernard Holtmark van Dijkerhof, Stu Macfarlane, Marjolein Starrink
Thanks to: Graham Hickman (Cornet), William Hounsome-Vale (Horn)



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