Dave Lea Celebration Concert

Jaguar Land Rover and Brighouse & Rastrick Bands
Conductors: Nigel Seaman, Prof David King, Dave Lea
Compere: Richard Evans
Albany Theatre
Saturday 28th September

30 years of dedicated service, inspiration and a considerable amount of musical success was celebrated with this warm-hearted tribute concert.

The guest of honour was Dave Lea, who retired from the role of Musical Director of Jaguar Land Rover Band in 2018, but who was generously acclaimed by the current ensemble, friends, past players and associates for his achievements over three decades on the contest and concert stage.


It was an evening of uplifting entertainment - led by compere Richard Evans who very nearly stole the show himself.

The current band under Nigel Seaman led the first half. Opening with Alan Fernie’s ‘Prismatic Light’, they featured two fine soloists in flugel Andrew Bates on ‘The Seal Lullaby’ (a player with the band throughout Dave Lea’s 30 year tenure) and Dave’s son, Kevin, who delivered a suave rendition of ‘Fly Me to the Moon’.

The tender ‘Summer Night’ waltz and touching ‘And My Soul Overflow’ offered moments of reflection before Dave, who has become a proud band Life-President, came to the stage to lead a bravura rendition of the festival march, ‘Celebration’. 

Before the final massed band items there was as a chance to hear from the guest of honour, before ‘Elsa’s Procession to the Minster’ led into Dave Lea taking the baton for the appropriate encore of the march ‘The President’.


After the break, the Yorkshire champion entered into the spirit - led with effervescent fizz by Prof King. 

Excellent solo features came from principal cornet Kyle Lawson with a classy take on ‘The Paragon’, the cornet trio ‘Galop for Three’ with Bethan Plant, Hayley Moore and Natalie Morrison, and the impish xylophone feature ‘Taps on Tempo’ played by Tom Hall. 

They topped the showy opener ‘With Fire and Sword’ and ‘Bring Back that Leroy Brown’ with the refinement of ‘Abendlied’ and ‘In Love for Me’, played as a fitting tribute to Philip Biggs, whilst the lightweight breeze of ‘The Acardians’ and the upbeat passion ‘Vitae Aeternum’ were stylishly delivered. 

Before the final massed band items there was as a chance to hear from the guest of honour, before ‘Elsa’s Procession to the Minster’ led into Dave Lea taking the baton for the appropriate encore of the march ‘The President’.

Iwan Fox

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