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BASBWE – and BILL CONNOR

Tim Reynish

It is a little over thirty years since BASBWE was founded during the first international conference at the RNCM in the summer of 1981. However, 2013 is a great time to take stock; the first commissions were for the 1983 Conference, Guy Woolfenden’s Gallimaufry and Philip Wilby’s Firestar, and the great news is that we recently notched up our first century of commissions between the Association, the College consortium and my own series in memory of my third son. Furthermore, with the election of composer Bill Connor as the new Interim Chairman, and the re-forming of a very active Executive Committee, BASBWE looks to be in excellent hands for the start of the next thirty years.

INTERIM CHAIR BILL CONNOR – who he? (As he might well say)

Bill just happens to be one of the most inventive and amusing musicians of today; go to Google, and you will find very little about him, as he is also one of the most modest and unassuming composers in the business. Much of his work is in film and television, a great deal of it is also in education and outreach, and at present he is working on a big project in Croatia in schools for the British Council.

Some time ago I gave a lecture on British music at the International Mid-West Band and Orchestra clinic in Chicago, and I said:

The problem is to find music which carries sentiment without being sentimental. Again, I find that Adam Gorb can write wonderfully heartfelt slow music which is intense but never cloying. Another British composer who achieves this in this music is Bill Connor. Like Alec Wilder, Bill is completely lacking in any ego, hardly any of his music is published, and it all needs exploration and publishing. His Tails aus dem Vood Viennoise(from which we played two excerpts) represents for me the closest we can take Grade 3 players to the experience of a Mahler Symphony.

He has been around for a long time, and I have managed to track down the following works which he has written for wind orchestra:

1989 Waiting Game

1995 The Last Picture Show commissioned by Wiltshire and Swindon Youth Orchestra

1998 Violin Concerto – vln and Symphonic WindBand soloist Peter Manning

1992 Tails aus dem Vood Viennoise

1993 After The Picture Show Sax Quartet Concerto Apollo sax 4tet commission

2002 Symphony for Winds ( Knin ) Hertfordshire Wind Band

2005 OOdunnit sax 4tet and Windband Apollo sax 4tet commission

Katabatic Winds/Huddersfield uni wind orch – celebration of RRBennett’s 70th Birthday

2006 New Horizons Concerto for Percussion and Wind Band - Sage commission for soloist Simone Rebello/Katabatic winds Keith Allen

2007 Sun Low Over Water ( S.L.O.W. ) Wind Band Tim Reynish commission

2012 Ficticious Folk ( Wind Band + fiddle obligato ) Tony Houghton/Sheffield uni Commission

PLANS FOR THE NEXT THIRTY YEARS

Following the last Annual General Meeting held in London in May, a whole raft of new initiatives have been floated which will ensure a healthy growth in BASBWE and help the Association to recapture its place as a mover and shaker in professional, amateur and educational music this decade. Many of these plans are yet to be ratified by the full executive, and will be rolled out in Winds and on the BASBWE web in due course.

NEW COMMISSIONS FOR 2014

Adam Gorb Full band version of Battle Symphony

Bill Connor Revision andextra ripieno parts for Tails aus dem Vood Viennoise

Christopher Painter Overture

Timothy Jackson Toccata

Edwin Roxburgh Piano Concerto

Fergal Carroll New work for school band

Perhaps one of the most exciting aspect of the new look BASBWE is that WASBE, the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, is rolling our an offer of FREE MEMBERSHIP FOR 2014 – 2015 to all BASBWE, together with reduced registration fees to the next Conference to be held in 2015 in San Jose, California.

Watch this space for more information

07891 447 550, 01925 270549, billmus@btinternet.com