Katrina did it her way in Norway

Friday 22 March 2024

Kingdom Brass resident conductor Katrina Marzella-Wheeler has just returned from a week’s trip to Norway where she took up an invitation to conduct the country’s champion band, Eikanger Bjorksvik Mussiklag.

“It was a joy to work with the incredibly diligent, open-minded and talented musicians of EBML,” she reports. “We had a beautiful concert entitled Brass Sounds in the impressive art deco theatre Grand in central Bergen, performing some high quality music with a distinctly British flavour.

“John Golland’s Sounds is a particular favourite of mine, with such clever and effective writing, and I absolutely loved conducting this piece. It still provides a huge challenge for band and conductor!

“Another classic and favourite was Festival Music by Eric Ball in which the band sounded especially classy in the second movement, Romance. It was such a special moment!” 

Also included in the concert programme was the finale of Philip Wilby’s New Jerusalem, Kelly Marie-Murphy’s Into the Darkness They Go, the Wise and the Lovely, Lucy Pankhurst’s Midnight, Handel’s aria Ombra Mai Fu and the Herold overture to Zampa.

“To be invited to conduct this incredible band was quite an opportunity,” commented Katrina. “I relished in the chance to collaborate with these amazing musicians, who have incredible work ethic and attitudes. I wish them well for their forthcoming performance at the European Championships in Palanga.”

As part of her trip, she visited Manger Folkhogskule to work with the students in a brass band rehearsal. “These young people are in their late teens and have left high school but not yet started university,” she explained.

“The folk high school is a wonderful concept – and one I wish we had in Scotland – to allow the young people a year to grow on a personal level, and develop their passions further, before embarking on the real world and tertiary study.”

Katrina is now back at work with Kingdom Brass, busy preparing for the Fife Brass Band Festival in Dunfermline, as well as a series of concerts in the build-up to summer.

She is also involved in the Borders Brass Day on Sunday (24 March) in Galashiels, alongside conducting colleagues Stuart Black and Alan Fernie.

“There are over 70 participants from three bands, with musicians young and old all keen to make some high quality music, so it should be a fantastic day!” she adds.

Photos courtesy of Tarjei Svenson Hummelsund


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Email Nigel Martin: sbbapr@gmail.com