Demelza Concert with Owen Farr
This year we again sought the services of a world renown guest soloist for our charity concert in aid of Demelza Hospice Care for Children. We were both fortunate and delighted to secure the services of the tenor horn virtuoso, Owen Farr. The concert on the 22nd of September also featured a second half performance by the training band led by Robin Traves and together with a number of first time “outings” for some of our repertoire, it all made for a very special evening in our wonderfully atmospheric St. Dunstans Church.
Demelza Concert with Owen Farr
Saturday the 22nd of October 2018 was a very special day for the band. Not only were we giving our annual concert in aid of Demelza Hospice but we had the pleasure of a day with Owen Farr.
Owen is without doubt the premier Tenor Horn player in the World at this time and he was our guest soloist for the concert. In addition, he gave a stunning and wonderfully informative 3 hour Masterclass during the morning.
The 16 Tenor and Flugel Horn players (the writer included) who attended were totally amazed by Owen’s display of versatility, range and dynamic control. He spent a good two thirds of the session talking about and demonstrating his approach to correct breathing when playing. For some it was new information, and for others, it was a reminder of how to do it correctly. Inspiring stuff and certainly enough to make this brass player think very hard whilst practicing the next day.
The Masterclass was followed by a 90 minute afternoon rehearsal with the band so that we could run through Owen’s solos. Again, the whole session was a delight as he is so accommodating easy to work with.
Finally to the concert. What can I say? The band played exceedingly well – as well as I can remember for a long time. The Youth Band gave a fine performance. As for Own – words fail me, he was simply awesome.
Thanks to all concerned in any way for making this an extraordinary day.
- Make His Praise Glorious
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- Napoli – Owen Farr
- Autumn Leaves – Owen Farr
- Paganini’s Caprice No. 24 (unaccompanied) – Owen Farr
- One Moment in Time
- MacArthur Park
You can click on a programme item to view its recording (if available) in a new window. To view the whole concert, use the playlist in the Video section above.
Owen Farr began his musical career with the Pontypool Brass Band at the age of six. He soon joined Gwent County Youth Brass Band and the National Youth Brass Band of Wales, progressing to Principal Horn in both ensembles. In 1995, he became the British Open Junior Solo Champion and was appointed Solo Horn for the Tredegar Town Band at the age of 16.
He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, joining the Williams Fairey Band while still a student, where he was voted ‘Player of the Year’ by his fellow players. He enjoyed many successful solo performances with the band and was also a key member in their two National Finals victories. He joined the Buy as you View Band in 2004.
On graduating from the RNCM, Owen was appointed a Tenor Horn Teacher there and also accepted a teaching post at Liverpool University. He went on to form ‘Sonar Brass’ with Richard Marshall, Alan Morrison, Nicholas Hudson and Shaun Crowther. This dynamic ensemble has enjoyed great success, culminating in prestigious broadcasts such as ‘Listen to the Band’ and ‘Friday Night is Music Night’.
In 2015 Owen announced that due to increased solo, work and family commitments, he had taken the decision to end his 11 year tenure as solo horn with Cory Band. Since signing or the number 1 ranked band in the world under Dr Robert Childs, Owen became an integral part of the Cory success story — helping them to multiple major contest victories at the British Open, National, World and Brass in Concert Championships.
He also gained widespread critical acclaim for his series of solo recordings, whilst his teaching commitments at Birmingham Conservatoire and the Royal Welsh College have been instrumental in students from around the world making the decision to come to the UK to be taught by him.
- Richard Warren – Principle Cornet
- Vicky Mace – Solo Cornet
- Russell Kemp – Solo Cornet
- Sian Lanceley – Solo Cornet
- Bob Turner – Soprano Cornet
- Dave Pettifer – Repiano Cornet
- Izzy O’Neill – Second Cornet
- Graeme McAusland – Second Cornet
- Mette Fisher – Third Cornet
- Luke Bourne – Third Cornet
- Yvette Hutchin – Third Cornet
- Gem Kite – Third Cornet
- Emma Pettifer – Flugel Horn
- Alan Smithers – Solo Horn
- Mark Hayman – First Horn
- Liz Hatcher – Second Horn
- Paul Bullough – Second Horn
- David Newsom – Principal Euphonium
- Viv Lovewell – Euphonium
- Phil Alker – First Baritone
- Phil Godden – Second Baritone
- Polly Coxeter – Second Baritone
- Hazel Walsh – Solo Trombone
- Jonathan Vokes – Second Trombone
- Edward O’Neill – Second Trombone
- Keith McClintock – Bass Trombone
- Geoff Collins – EEb Bass
- Steve Bennett – EEb Bass
- Ricky Cruttenden – BBb Bass
- Robin Traves – BBb Bass
- Ben Bishop – Kit Perucssion
- Rosemary Woddger – Tuned Percussion