Hyperlink chosen as Championship Section Final test piece



Kapitol Promotions Ltd is delighted to announce that the set test-piece for this year’s “Championship Section Final” of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain 2022, being held at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 15 October, is a new work from the pen of Peter Graham – one of brass banding’s most eminent composers.

Titled “Hyperlink”, the piece has been commissioned by the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain to celebrate their 70th Anniversary. The world premiere of this work will take place during The NYBBGB’s Summer Course as part of the band’s ‘Celebration’ Concert Season.

A further connection between the two “National” organisations will also be established, with The NYBBGB to feature as Guest Artists in the pre-Results Ceremony Gala Concert at the Championship Section Final.

Philip Morris, Managing Director of Kapitol Promotions Ltd, commented: “When the opportunity arose for a brand-new Peter Graham work to be used at the Championship Section Final, we were delighted! Peter’s reputation as a wonderful compositional voice for our medium is justified, and we are excited to hear 20 of the finest brass bands in Great Britain perform this at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall – especially as Hyperlink pays homage to the Hall itself, as well as our patron HRH Her Majesty in her Platinum Jubilee year. Our pre-Results Gala Concert featuring the fantastic young musicians of the NYBBGB will be an added treat, and we are glad to support the future of brass banding in this manner”.

Also commenting on this exciting announcement, Mark Bromley, CEO of The NYBBGB said “The commissioning of Hyperlink and its choice as the test piece for the Championship Section Final is a huge moment for us; performing at The Royal Albert Hall, and as part of such a significant occasion will be a fantastic opportunity for our young musicians and one we are all very much looking forward to."

Peter Graham himself explains the work in more detail below.


HYPERLINK (Peter Graham)

Hyperlink was commissioned by the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain in celebration of their 70th Anniversary in 2022. Since the anniversary coincided with other significant celebrations in 2022 (including the Royal Albert Hall/Ralph Vaughan Williams 150th and the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II) it was requested that these also be recognised in some way.

Where better to begin this challenging brief but with a computer search for the NYBBGB founder Dr Denis Wright (incidentally born in Kensington, home of the RAH). The subsequent rabbit warren of hyperlinks led me to structure the work through a series of “associations”:

Ø  Movement I – The Voice of Jupiter

Alongside the discovery that Denis Wright had been a church organist was the realisation that while the RAH has hosted thousands of musical events the fabric of the building actually incorporates a musical instrument, the famous Henry Wills organ (aka The Voice of Jupiter).

Organ and J S Bach are synonymous (think Toccata in D min) and so both become fundamental to the content of the movement. An opening 7 note quote from the Toccata leads to a mammoth sound cluster, as if every note on the huge RAH organ is sustained. The material which follows is based upon the notes BACH (in German notation). The notes are manipulated in various ways in a 12-tone matrix; reversed, inverted and so on. Other techniques employed in the movement are ones of which Bach was master, including ground bass and fugue.

Ø  Movement II – Remember Me

The centenary of the great band composer Ray Steadman-Allen provides the catalyst for this section (with a nod towards RVW with whom RSA had an interesting encounter). Like the previous movement a musical cryptogram is utilised, this time using chords based upon “RSA”: D (re in sol-fa), Eb (Es in German) and A.

Ø  Movement III – Vivat

The finale takes the form of a short fantasy upon Hubert Parry’s marvellous coronation anthem I Was Glad, truly a celebratory note with which to conclude Hyperlink.