Unable to perform as normal during lockdown, Sam Wyne from Wantage Silver Band commissioned a special piece to bring all the ensembles under the organisation’s “umbrella” together to record and perform virtually. The resulting piece was performed by 60 musicians of all ages, each recording their part on their own at home.
On Tugwell Field: A Wantage Celebration was composed by Jonathan Bates, the title of the work taking its name from the location of WSB’s bandroom in which the vast majority of the musical activites normally take place.
The music is constructed upon a clear melodic theme derived from the musical note names found in ‘WANTAGE SILVER BAND’: A, A, G, Eb (S in German), S, E, B, A & D. From this series of notes and the various inversions, transcriptions and modifications, Jonathan created a series of melodies and cells which feature most prominently to the listener throughout the composition.
Celebratory in mood, On Tugwell Field was designed to showcase the variety of musical ensembles involved, so whilst much of the music is composed in a standard manner for brass band, there is also a section dedicated to the big band and a number of the soloists from within.
The planning and rehearsals took place over many Zoom meetings involving about 60 performers including saxophones, trumpets and the rhythm section (piano, guitar and bass) from Wantage Big Band.
Each performer was provided with their part and a click track and the resulting audio was edited by Alan Jones and the video by Rob Tompkins.