Taverham Brass at Sprowston Manor

TONY COOPER After five successful Proms-in-the-park concerts at Taverham Hall by the Taverham Brass Band, this year their summer concert travels to the parkland of the Marriott/Sprowston Hall Hotel and takes place this Saturday.


After five successful Proms-in-the-park concerts at Taverham Hall by the Taverham Brass Band, this year their summer concert - dubbed 'Music at the Manor' - travels to the parkland of the Marriott/Sprowston Hall Hotel in Norwich and takes place this Saturday, June 17.

This is the first time that the team who organises 'Exploding Brass' at Taverham has played away from home. And with more than 2500 people attending their previous concerts it's hoped that this one will go with a bang too. It'll certainly finish with one, that's for sure!

The original event (held in 1995) was just a one-off occasion to celebrate the band's 21st anniversary but such was the response that the event continued.

The programme for 'Music at the Manor' consists of a huge range of popular music including items from the blockbuster film Titanic, musicals Mary Poppins and Phantom of the Opera and ending with a selection of well-known gems from the Last Night of the Proms orchestrated with a firework display.

Directing the musical forces is Ian Colman who will be joined by vocalist Rebecca Mundy while the Sole Bay Jazz Band (tradding in the east of England for the past 27 years) will get the evening off to a rousing and spirited start way down in New Orleans - the home of rice and beans!

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As in previous years, the night will be hosted by Anglia TV's Helen McDermott.

The man with the baton in his hand, Ian Colman, was also an early starter being introduced to brass-band music in 1976 at the tender age of 11 while a pupil at Hellesdon High School. During his time at the school he became solo cornet with the school wind band and joined Taverham Senior Band in 1978 as third cornet. He held the position as principal cornet in the Taverham Brass Band from 1983 to 1992 and was appointed assistant musical director at the age of 20.

In 1992, he took over as musical director and over the past 14 years has turned the band into one of Norfolk's leading brass ensembles. It currently consists of 38 members, all of whom are volunteers and playing not only for their own enjoyment but for the benefit of the local community. Funds raised are used to cover the band's running costs, purchase of music and donations to charity. Over the past 12 years more than £20,000 has been raised for deserving charities such as Norwich MS Society and Cancer Research UK.

Soprano Rebecca Mundy also got off to an early musical start studying the piano and flute at an early age. She arrived in Norfolk from Berkshire in 1989 to read music at UEA where she held the Barry McBeath scholarship for performance.

She is a regular member of Keswick Hall Choir which has performed with the Northern Ballet Theatre in their production of Mozart's Requiem at Norwich Theatre Royal as well as appearing with Kiri Te Kanawa at the same venue. The choir also took part in the first performance of Egil's Saga by Gavin Bryars with the London Sinfonietta.

Rebecca has also sung as a soloist with many local choirs as well as for the Norwich Philharmonic Society. Rebecca is normally found in the percussion section of the Taverham Brass Band along with her husband Andy but is delighted to be singing with them this Saturday for 'Music at the Manor'.

Tickets: adults £19, children £5, under-fives free. Gates at 5.30pm. Box office: Norwich Theatre Royal, 01603 630000.

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