Last Thursday, Frank invited Sheena and I to watch the Desford Colliery Band at Brittish School Manila. It was my first time to see a brass band and to hear it for that matter so I was quite excited and very willing when Frank invited me.
When we arrived at Brittish School Manila, I felt very foreign. Ironic because I am still in the Philippines and still in Manila but for a place such as BSM where it all seems like everyone is either white, black or some other asian national, I felt alien. Frank felt like he's home with all the British folks sorrounding him.
So after grabbing some drinks (beer and wine?!?!) and our reserved tickets, we went around BSM looking through the artworks and activities of students.
I am very pleased to see this building, the Rizal building to be in the heart of the BSM!!! Yeay!!
So when the gates open, we were the first to get in for I need good seats for a good photo opportunity and there's little of them because most front seats are reserved for sponsors.
Desford Colliery Band
So who is this Desford Brassband? I'm not really sure about them as I am a newbie with brass bands and it was only Frank who introduced us to such and that each town or city has their own Brassband and there are competitions among cities. Of course Frank was biased and saying that the brass band from his town is the best.
After doing a little research this is what I have found.
Founded in 1898, The Desford Colliery Band comprises of twenty-five brass musicians with percussion and performs a repertoire spanning Baroque to Jazz, with fine soloists as well.
The name in itself has a rich history. After the Second World War, the band was assisted by the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation. Also at that time, most of the musicians were miners, and thus the band was renamed the Desford Colliery Band.
Today, the band has more than 30 championship titles to back its name. Desford has achieved great popularity and success as an ambassador for British Culture and heritage abroad. With a CDs gaining popularity and a TV show, 'The Real Brassed Off' the Desford Colliery Band is a brassband envied by many.
The Desford Organisation is commited to a policy that states that future generations should have access to playing brass band music. To implement this policy, the Desford Academy was set up to promote brass playing to the younger generation.
The band played two sets and it was only the first set that the old man started teary eyed. I was teasing him about it at first and all the more that his eyes well up. The next set was a bit familiar just because of one piece from the Harry Potter movie. Hahaha!!! But we really don't know if what part of the movie was it played!
The band was magnificent. Applause boomed the hall when they took their bow… it was surely an extravaganza!