MEN OF BRASS - Denis Wright (1895 - 1967)

(Extract courtesy of Music Web)

Denis Wright is unusual among brass band stalwarts in being born in London, in 1895. His musical education was at the RCM and, after service in the Great War, he took up a job teaching music in schools. His first contact with the brass band world came in 1925 when he won a 100 guinea prize offered for an original band composition. This was Joan of Arc, adopted as the test piece for the National Championships in London that year. Seven other major works by him were test pieces: The White Rider (National, 1927), Overture for an Epic Occasion (National 1945), Princess Nada (Open, 1933), Music for Brass (Open, 1948), Tam O'Shanter's Ride (Open, 1956) and arrangements of Brahms' Academic Festival Overture and Beethoven's 5th Symphony (both Open). Wright was General Musical Editor for Chappell & Co in London 1930-6 and was on the BBC's music staff 1936-66, during which time he composed works for brass band and orchestra together for use in BBC Light Music Festivals in 1957 and 1958, respectively entitled Casino Carnival and Cornish Holiday. He conducted and broadcast in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and on the Continent. He founded the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain in 1951. He died in 1967, having given forty years' service to brass banding not to mention his work in other musical areas. He produced over a thousand scores, mainly arrangements of which 800 were published. Other important original compositions for band we have not yet mentioned were the Carol Sinfonietta, a Concerto for cornet and brass band, a Trio Concerto for for cornet, trombone and euphonium with band, a piece with several Elgarian moments, the Glastonbury Overture, the Salzburg Suite, the caprice Columbine and the attractive tone poem Tintagel. In other forms we may mention merely as examples the Romantica for brass quartet, the Two Passiontide Songs of 1930 (for solo voice), the partsong (SATB) Pibroch of Donuil Dhu (1925) and, for orchestra, the Dance Suite, Opus 17 for full orchestra and Sketches for Orchestra and the Suite in 18th Century Style, both for strings.