It can’t be that often that on a podcast like this you get music originally written for a Japanese Symphonic Saxophone Orchestra but we all know War of the Worlds now as an exciting piece arranged for Brighouse and Rastrick Band.

Alexandra Kerwin plays Ave Maria by Giulio Caccini, a sixteenth century Florentine composer and singer, although it probably wasn’t. The song didn’t appear until the 1970’s and is thought to be the work of one Vladimir Vavilov, a Russian guitarist and composer who  probably found that publishing a song titled Ave Maria in Soviet Russia was fraught with all sorts of dangers, so Caccini it is! Makes no difference it’s still a lovely piece.

There’s a favourite march of mine (and why not) and an original piece for band that sounds as ground breaking today as it did when we first heard it back in the 1970’s, from the pen of W Hogarth Lear.

In 1953 the National Brass Band of new Zealand came to Britain for the first time and showed audiences up and down the country that we weren’t the only people who knew what a brass band was supposed to sound like. I was at their concert in Huddersfield Town Hall and they were just sensational. Several years later they recorded a great band transcription with Howard Snell of The Overture to Candide, and they’re still in fine form.

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