Portraits of Endeavour

For the anniversary concert on the 4th May there was one piece of music that no crowd had heard before. This piece was entitled “Portraits of Endeavour”. This piece was making its debut as it was a commissioned piece of music, written especially for this occasion, by none other than an ex-member of the band. Brendan Breslin, affectionately known as Barney, was faced with the task of writing a piece to commemorate the bands 60th Anniversary. There is no better way to describe the music than to hear from the man himself:

“In terms of goals for this piece I think that Noel Barr has done an exceptional job on it leaving me not having to direct him in any way. The piece itself, ‘Portraits of Endeavour‘ after a short introduction is trying to encompass everything the band does and has done in its time.

The first section is called ‘Music for Youth‘ and the band has an excellent project where they teach more than brass; with lessons in Guitar, Keyboard, percussion and speech and drama. Basically this movement is quite short but is nonetheless trying to convey all their thoughts of youthfulness.

The second section, ‘Homage to the Past‘, is quite slow and is my favourite section. I feel it is the most important part of the piece as it tries to convey all the feelings the band has for its past members, present members and all the families and friends that have made the band what it is today. Most community worlds realise that family and friends make us what we are.

The last section is entitled ‘Degrees of Excellence‘ and is basically a celebration of all the achievements the band has gathered to date. A tribute to the band for the cups and titles they have achieved in their day.

Finally, I wish to thank all the members for what they have done for me over the past few months: from inviting me to write a piece initially to actually asking me to be a part of this spectacular night.”

Brendan Breslin

Brendan Breslin (speaking on the night of the concert.) 

Being a player in the band I felt that the music was extremely emotional and despite only being part of the band for some ten years through the medium of music and careful writing I felt wrought in the heritage and history that the band has made over the past 60 years.

Sincere congratulations to Brendan for yet another successful piece of writing and continued success is wished upon him for the future from all at St. Joseph’s!!

Source: Mark Rouse

“The Band’s Out”

Well the launch of the book written about the Band’s history, entitled “The Band’s Out” began on Sunday night after the very successful Anniversary Concert in Strabane. The book was immediately snapped up by eager members of the public and the band alike.

I for one was one of the many people who purchased a copy, simply due to my interest in all that had been researched and written by, our very own, Paddy McGranaghan. From picking it up I didn’t put it down until I had reached the back cover.

Full credit is indebted to Paddy who spent much of his time going over old records, looking at receipts, talking to past and present members, to old conductors and even the local historians about the band, but also the town, over the past 60 years, and more!

There are many interesting facts and stories presented in what can only be described as an unswerving account of the times gone by. I can assure anyone who has acquired a copy will not be disappointed by all the material contained.

On behalf of all members of St. Joseph’s Brass band and myself, Paddy congratulations on a “job” well done!

Source: Mark Rouse