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Brass Tracks: A Night at the Movies

Brass Tracks was the first in the planned series of Parc & Dare Band / Parc & Dare Theatre Partnership Projects combining the music of the brass band with the visual arts.

A truly unique evening of film and live music, Brass Tracks was the product of the combined skills of the Parc & Dare Band, Musical Director Craig Roberts, silent film composer / pianist Paul Shallcross and composer / orchestrator Leigh Phillips.

The project, was supported by an Arts For All lottery grant from the Arts Council of Wales and additional funding from Sgrin Cymru Wales, and saw Parc & Dare commission and perform a plethora of new arrangements of movie music for brass band accompanied by a host of special theatrical effects and sections of live film.

Alongside classic arrangements of favourite blockbuster movie themes such as Gladiator, Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, Leigh Phillips (an experienced theatre and film composer and former member of the Parc & Dare Band) was commissioned to arrange a selection of new titles especially for the Brass Tracks project including the themes from Spiderman, Supergirl, A Beautiful Mind, Masada, and Jason & the Argonauts.

These themes, alongside various other titles, were played out to a backdrop of movie clips, images and special effects created specially for the project by digital artist Simon Prothero in conjunction with Craig Roberts, Leigh Phillips and the technicians of the Parc & Dare Theatre.

In addition to these contemporary blockbusters, audience members were also launched back in time with the compositions of expert silent film pianist/composer Paul Shallcross who worked closely with the Parc & Dare Band and Craig Roberts to transcribe his own compositions for brass band, to accompany the silent films of early twentieth-century Welsh film pioneer William Haggar.

Also appearing in Brass Tracks was vocalist Natalya Romaniw, then a student at Swansea's Gorseinon College, who went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (London). With the Parc & Dare Band Natalya performed such showstopping numbers as David Arnold's Surrender (the unused theme from the hit Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies), Gollum's Song (from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers), James Horner's stunning theme from A Beautiful Mind, and May it Be (from Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring).

Undoubtedly one of the most innovative and original projects for band seen in recent years, Brass Tracks was met with widespread acclaim from audiences, venue managers and critics alike (renowned trumpet player and now Principal of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama John Wallace described the show as "highly innovative" and "taking the concept of film music for brass to a new level". A full review from the South Wales Evening Post can also be found at the bottom of this page)

Following itís premiere performance at the Parc & Dare Theatre as part of the Welsh Brass Arts Festival 2005, the show toured to a number of other venues including Ystradgynlais' The Welfare, Swansea's Taliesin Arts Centre and Leicestershire's Loughborough Town Hall. A second brief tour is planned in the near future.

For further information on the band and its activities you can email website manager Mike Pickin

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