Newmains to perform WWI Memorial composition

Sunday 7 October 2018

Following on from its successful return trip to Cheltenham, gaining 4th place at the National Brass Band Championships, 3rd Section Scottish Champion band Newmains and District has been busily preparing to perform a specially revised composition which is to be featured in an upcoming WW1 Memorial Event.


Silver Rose, by Liz Lane, is a beautiful and emotive work, originally written for narrator and band, which the composer has recently revised to feature Bb baritone soloist Katrina Marzella of the Black Dyke band. Newmains and District will perform the work as the central focus of a memorial concert which will take place at Coltness Memorial Church, Newmains, on Friday, 12 October.

The event will take the form of a musical tribute marking the centenary of the end of the First World War, while commemorating the people from Newmains and the surrounding districts who lost their lives during the conflict. Ian Sommerville, former rector of Clyde Valley High School, will join Newmains and Katrina as the narrator of the work at this much-anticipated event.

Commissioned by Bristol City Council in 2014, Silver Rose is a musical response to five poems by Bristol born poet Isaac Rosenberg (1890-1918), who died in action during World War 1. Working collectively like a song cycle, the poems are read before and during each of the five musical movements. The choice of texts for the musical settings echo perspectives including the atrocities of war and hope for peace.

'Silver Rose' composer Liz Lane


The title, Silver Rose, takes its name from two sources. The 1914 Star was a British campaign medal awarded to men who served in France or Belgium between 5 August and 22 November 1914. Those who fought under enemy fire were also entitled to a bronze horizontal clasp engraved with the above dates and could attach a small silver rose to the ribbon when not wearing the medal.

The final movement of the work, Song, also includes the words ‘silver rose’. During this last section, all performers stand up in honour of those who lost their lives in the war. As the music draws to a close, fewer instruments play, ending with one solo Bb bass and the remainder of the band in silence.

Newmains and District Musical Director Mike Marzella commented: “All of us at Newmains Band have been so excited to work with Liz in this world-premiere version of her wonderful piece. Her guidance and encouragement throughout the creative processes have been enlightening and invaluable.”

The composer, Liz Lane, is also delighted at Newmains’ collaboration in the project, commenting: “I am thrilled that Newmains and District Brass Band, under the insightful and creative leadership of Mike Marzella, will be performing this new version of Silver Rose. It has been a real pleasure to collaborate with them and I am very much looking forward to the performance with narrator Ian Sommerville and guest soloist Katrina Marzella."

Admission to the event is free of charge and there will be a retiral charity collection.