Nightingale Dances was commissioned by the Tredegar Town Band for their 2011 performance at Brass in Concert at The Sage, Gateshead. The piece won the Cyril Beere award for Best New Composition or Arrangement, the second successive Cyril Beere award for Matthew Hall as his piece Legends of Cyfarthfa also won the same prize in 2010.
Nightingale Dances opens with a mellophonium-esque ensemble sound of 5 flugel horns, 3 tenor horns and trombones inspired by the Manhattan Transfer version of A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, leading into a fast quickstep section for full band.
Solo flugel horn takes the lead into the paso-doblé middle section of the piece before the original opening to A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square becomes the main focus in the euphonium and baritone.
A big build up into the final kit-led Hollywood-style show dance section with a half tempo feel ends the work with a real thumping ending to any contest or concert performance.
Choices, composed in 2006, received its premiere performance on 1st May 2007 at the Cardiff University Concert Hall performed by Enrico Bertelli during a concert performance by the University’s Contemporary Music Group.
This contemporary marimba solo explores the full range of the instrument (Marimba 4.3 octave) and the various techniques.
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Tredegar Town Band commissioned Matthew to write their finishing piece for the 2012 Brass in Concert Championships.
Calon y Ddraig (The Heart of The Dragon) is based on welsh folk tunes and melodies and utilises some of the bands principle players. After winning the Cyril Beere award for Best New Composition or Arrangement at the Brass in Concert Championships in 2010 and 2011, Matthew was going for his third win in a row, but was just pipped to the trophy on this occasion.
Calon y Ddraig was used as part of the Listen to The Band programme on BBC Radio 2, of which you can hear the piece performed at the contest below: –