A couple of weeks ago, February 14th (I know – am such a romantic!) the Band of the Coldstream Guards, conducted by their Director of Music Darren Wolfendale, gave the world première of a work they commissioned to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Coldstream Guards Association. It was the first work I had written for them as their Composer in Residence.
The band gave a very moving première of “Hougoumont”, and after the concert, and throughout my train journey back from London to Manchester was feeling very privileged to be involved with such a band.
Waiting for me on my return home was a newly released DVD of the Foden’s Band in concert at Manchester Cathedral, recorded last November. It featured a couple of my pieces, Epitaph (for Hillsborough) and Starlight (with Jens Lindemann as guest soloist) were the original works, and I had also arranged Faure’s Requiem for the concert, which also has been included on the DVD.
So as if I wasn’t already feeling like the luckiest composer alive after the performance by The Coldstream Guards band, I now had the finest brass band in the world (Foden’s) and one of the finest musicians you could ever wish to hear (Jens) on my TV screen playing my music!
A week later, Mark Wilkinson (the brilliant Principal Cornet of Foden’s), recorded my new cornet concerto, commissioned by Mark, for his soon to be released solo CD. The piece is called Milestone – in recognition of his 21st anniversary as Principal Cornet of the band.
The recording session was immense – Mark played brilliantly, the band did too, and am looking forward to hearing the first edits.
I’m not too sure if I would ever daydream about what my perfect week as a composer would be, but am sure that if I did, it wouldn’t be too far from those 7 days in February.
Really, being a composer is a very privileged, fortunate life.