A Concerto in Three Movements for Tenor Horn & Brass Band, Written for & Commissioned by Lowenna Taylor
Bestowal of a Century (2014) was commissioned by Lowenna Taylor, and funded through her Harry Mortimer Trust award which she was presented with at the 2013 British Open Championship following the completion of her studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music in Cardiff. The 15-minute work received its world premiere at the Cornwall Youth Brass Band Christmas concert in 2014 with solosit, Lowenna, working alongside the band under the baton of Les Neish.
The ‘Bestowal’ refers to the presentation of the Royal Trophy by the then Prince of Wales to the famous West of England Bandsman’s Festival in Bugle in 1913. Over the years it has been won by some of the greatest names in brass banding, including Black Dyke and Munn & Feltons - although more recently it has become a wonderful open festival that includes sections for local bands as well as visitors from all over the banding globe. 2014 marked the one-hundredth anniversary of the presentation of the trophy, which is the only brass band trophy to have the official seal of royal patronage.
The work, in three distinct sections, opens in a mysterious way, building progressively with interjections from the horn. The composer notes its as though one can imagine different part of the trophy being put together, piece by piece, until the trophy is complete and a climax is reached. Following this, a playful theme is presented which is developed throughout the first section and interacting between soloist and band.
The second movement, in complete contrast, is a lyrical melody; heart-wrenching throughout, and sits well both as part of the concerto and also as a stand-alone solo item. The third movement is light-hearted and virtuosic, demonstrating the technical capabilities of the instrument with fast and virtuosic playing, and a cadenza towards the end of the work.