‘1812 Over­ture’ to blast The Square

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

The big guns will be out on Satur­day night for a per­for­mance of a world-fa­mous piece of mu­sic. Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Over­ture, com­mem­o­rat­ing the de­feat in Rus­sia of French em­peror Napoleon Bon­a­parte, is dis­tinc­tive in that per­for­mances can make use of real can­nons.

And that’s what the piece will get when the New Zealand Army Band com­bines with the Palmer­ston North Brass Band and six 105-mil­lime­tre how­itzers of Lin­ton Mil­i­tary Camp’s 16th Field Reg­i­ment in The Square, Palmer­ston North, on Satur­day night.

Un­der the ba­tons of army band­mas­ter Staff Sergeant Phil John­ston and Palmer­ston North Brass Band leader David Maas, the com­bined 60-piece band com­mands im­pres­sive mu­si­cal fire­power, with the six ar­tillery pieces pro­vid­ing plenty of added punch.

Start­ing at 5.30pm, John­ston said the con­cert would open with some lighter num­bers, which in­clude Puttin’ On The Ritz, Hine E Hine, The Florentina March and a num­ber show­cas­ing cham­pion New Zealand cor­net player Pri­vate Kyle Law­son.

‘‘Pri­vate Law­son has re­cently re­turned from the UK where he played in the world-fa­mous Brighouse and Ras­trick Brass Band - re­garded as the best brass band in the world.’’

The pro­gramme would end in a full cer­e­mo­nial Beat­ing Re­treat with a 50-man guard, a tra­di­tion dat­ing from Eng­land in the 15th cen­tury.

Palmer­ston North Brass has been prac­tis­ing on its own, with John­ston join­ing in on Thurs­day night, and a full com­bined band re­hearsal on Fri­day evening.

Maas said the lo­cal play­ers in his ris­ing 28-strong B-grade band were ex­cited by the prospect.

‘‘It’s a great op­por­tu­nity for Palmer­ston North play­ers to be part of an en­sem­ble at this level.’’

Maas, a for­mer mem­ber of the army band, said they would use the ex­pe­ri­ence as part of their buildup to the na­tional band com­pe­ti­tion in April next year. The band won the na­tional C-grade ti­tle in 2015, and in its first year of B-grade is ranked fifth.

Weather per­mit­ting, there will also be an RNZAF flyover, with events broad­cast on the city’s large video screen.

In the morn­ing of the Over­ture, the NZ Army Band will ac­com­pany a 100-man guard, full cer­e­mo­nial char­ter pa­rade with colours fly­ing and bay­o­nets fixed around The Square. The 11.50am march-past marks 60 years of the char­ter be­stowed on Lin­ton Mil­i­tary Camp in 1956, which gave its soldiers the right to pa­rade in the city. The 40-minute pa­rade starts out­side Cafe Ex­press and makes its way round The Square and past the ceno­taph.

The big guns will be out on Satur­day for a per­for­mance of 1812 Over­ture.

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