03 November 2017


The RMC Band is always a pleasure, in large format or small as I catch them at Wesley. This was a Wesley gig but not a small one, comprising almost 20 players over a range of musics. And a range it was! The first tunes were Pastorius'/Pee Wee Ellis The Chicken and Corea's Spain with drums and e-bass behind a wind quartet. It was very unexpected on the stage at Wesley Music Centre, but it was a blast. Then to the classics: Poulenc, Debussy and a string of lesser known names, Henry Bishop, Siennicki, Agay and Fucik. Plenty of clarinets including a bass clarinet, some piano accompaniments, but not always, some flute and bassoon (I'm coming to love the flatulent bass tone of the bassoon) and oboe and French horn. This later part was more sedate, un-improvised, all as expected. But they shared rhythm: the first set had groove but there was dance here, too. Agay was a string of five dances (polka, tango, bolero, waltz, rumba) and that was an interesting lesson. The final Fucik was a cute march, Florentina march. The Poulenc and Debussy were more modern, floaty, impressionistic. The Poulenc was in three movements: Presto, Andante, Vif. Vif? I looked it up: Quickly or Lively in French. So an education and a pleasure and a tour through styles. There's something about the professionals that's all in a day's work but so capable. I like that and I liked this.

Woodwinds from the RMC Band played at Wesley Music Centre.

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