Tomorrow, Saturday November 10th, will see Britain’s top brass band take to the stage of the William Aston Hall. Foden’s Brass have become the first band in twelve years to complete the brass world’s “double”. The “double” is winning the National Championship and the British Open in the same year. In the highly competitive Brass Band World, these competitions are the most prestigious.
Foden’s are guests tomorrow at the Fron Male Voice Choir’s annual William Aston Hall concert. However, it is not the first time that the band and choir have appeared on the Wrexham stage. Dave Jones choir chairman said, “The band are old friends of ours, we booked the band long before the competitions took place, so you could say that we are excellent judges of bands.”
The Cheshire based band completed the double on Friday (20th October) when they scooped the National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall in London. They beat off over 600 bands who entered 8 regional qualifying heats to take the title and complete the double, which they last achieved 102 years ago. In addition the Best Instrumentalist award was presented to Foden’s Richard Poole on his soprano cornet.
The choir have been extremely busy themselves recently, returning home on Monday from a hugely successful mini tour of the Ireland with two sell out concerts. They travelled to the Emerald Isle by ferry from Holyhead on Friday and stayed two nights in Belfast before moving on to Dublin.
On the Saturday morning, the choir booked a visit to the Titanic Experience, Belfast’s hugely successful tourist attraction built to record the story of the building and tragic end of the luxury cruise liner Titanic. The choir were asked if they would be prepared to sing a 15 – 20 min program in the vast Atrium of the attraction’s purpose built home. The choir’s upcoming performance was announced on the attraction’s tannoy system throughout the morning so when the choir appeared there was a huge gathering on all floors. They received quite a reception which prompted a chorister to tweet
Just sang at the @TitanicBelfast another great experience. Now looking forward to tonight’s concert with @DMVC2 + @Margaretkeys. #UlsterHall
The tweet was picked up by a media company and was retweeted 25 times over the next four hours. To the amazement of the choir these retweets quickly travelled around the world, with retweets coming from Cyprus, Singapore, Malta, Baku, Paris, Moscow, India, Hong Kong, Manila along with a number of retweets in Belfast itself and the UK. Choir chairman David Jones said it was incredible during the rehearsal, and that the chorister who tweeted had to turn his phone off because of the number of alerts he was getting.
The sellout evening concert took place at Belfast’s recently refurbished Ulster Hall. The Fron was joined on stage at by the Donaghadee Male Voice Choir and Irish soprano Margaret Keys; a hall spokesperson said it was the first time since the hall’s refurbishment two years ago for a concert to be sold out. The concert ended with a joint piece Gwahoddiad. The Donaghadee choir sang the first verse in English the Fron sang the second in Welsh and the third verse the Fron sang in Welsh whilst Donaghadee sang in English on completing the last Amen the 1,000 capacity audience stood up en masse to give a standing ovation.
The following day the Fron travelled across the border to Dublin and held a concert with the Dublin Welsh Male Voice Choir at St Patrick’s Church in Dalkey County Dublin. Again it was a sell out concert and both choirs joined together to sing four pieces. Both choirs were well received, and again the concert ended with a standing ovation.
Saturday’s concert starts at 7:30pm November 10th. Tickets are available from the William Aston Hall and can be bought on the door.