A Bandsman's Overture (Philip Sparke)

A Bandsmanís Overture was commissioned by British Bandsman magazine to celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2012. It was premiered by Black Dyke Band, conducted by Dr Nicholas Childs, at a special anniversary concert held in Symphony Hall, Birmingham, on July 1st.

British Bandsman was for a period known as British Bandsman and Contest Field, following an amalgamation of two magazines. The then owner, John Henry Iles, celebrated this new title by commissioning Ord Hume to write the famous march, BB & CF. As a salute to this heritage A Bandsmanís Overture starts with the four notes, B(b)-B(b)-C-F, a motive which permeates an opening fanfare, which contrasts a busy opening with a more legato central section. This gives way to a bustling Vivo, based on repeated staccato notes. A change of key heralds a central cantabile melody, first on euphoniums and baritone and then played by the full band, which is followed by a short development section. This leads to a transformed reprise and a return of the opening fanfare, decorated this time by florid muted cornets