The Cory Band

Friday 19th April 2024

‘World class’ is an expression used frequently in reference to all manner of activities from sport to music to architecture to virtually anything but what does it mean and how is it measured? One measure, of course, is competition and although sometimes incongruous in the world of music is does give us something hang our metaphorical hat on.

In the Cory Band, from Treorchy, South Wales, we do have a brass band which meets, in some style, the criteria with regard to competition. This ensemble has experienced unparalleled success all over the world and so can truly describe themselves as ‘worldclass’ but nothing could have prepared the capacity audience in The Memorial Hall for the experience we all shared on Sunday 14th April. Under the inspirational leadership of Philip Harper they displayed technical and musical credibility in spades. Soloists were simply amazing but also engaging, drawing us into their world with unbelievable virtuosity and musical judgment. Most impressive was the ability of the players to adapt with ease to the different styles and especially when playing jazz and swing. Most groups delve into this world by adding a drumkit but paying no attention to the subtly of articulation which makes something sound authentic; it is essentially like speaking in French with the correct accent – altogether more convincing. This group is creative and skillful, humble and adept in a world were it’s easy to believe something is ‘world class’ just because someone claimed it in an authoritative way.

Make no mistake – The Cory Band meet all criteria ‘every day of the week and twice on Sundays’ – and last Sunday was no exception.

Alex Arkwright
Head of Instrumental Studies

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