Written for Brass for Heroes 2013
Elixir of Youth (2013) was written for the 2013 Brass for Heroes charity event where it was premiered on 19th October 2013 at St Paul’s Hall in Huddersfield under the baton of Philip Harper. The title of the work reflects the nature of the band that was put together for that premiere performance; an all-star youth band comprising a selection of the country’s young brass banding talent, with the term Elixir referring here to the everlasting talent seen in young brass players throughout the United Kingdom’s brass bands and bands’ and teachers abilities to keep producing such high quality musicians for the banding movement.The work, structured in three sections, is a showcase for band with a heroic opening where fanfare-like gestures in the cornets and trombones juxtapose rapid euphonium and baritone runs, alongside sweeping horns and percussion effects. As the piece progresses, a grove is introduced – just in the tubas at first, accompanied by a hi-hat - before spreading through the band, definitely stuff to tap your toes to! The middle, slower section of the work sees both flugel and cornet solos, with additional inputs from the euphonium and solo horn before a climax and return to the tempo and music of the opening section. A rousing close concludes the work where all of the work’s themes are interweaved to create a sense of power, unity and grandeur; an Elixir of Youth.