I sometimes wonder, when I read reviews, whether the reviewer and I were actually present at the same event. Your reviewer seems to have completely missed the point of my participation in the recent [12/8/02] TBB concert at the Carolina Theatre in Durham. I was asked by the Triangle Brass Band to introduce this concert because brass band playing is an art form which originated in Britain. It seemed appropriate, therefore, for the introduction to the concert (and to the guest conductor) to be made by a British person.
As I remember it, I made a very brief introductory statement about brass band playing, introduced the guest conductor and asked him a few questions about his own music background and his personal involvement with British brass bands, especially the Grimethorpe Colliery Band who are considered to be one of the finest brass bands in the world.
Your reviewer claims that I “talked too much about the familiar music and not enough about the less-well-known material.” As this was the focal point of the concert, I later asked the guest conductor, Ray Farr, to comment on the Frank Zappa composition “Dogbreath Variations.” Whatever the reviewer’s personal opinion of this work, I do not believe that by any standard of judgement, this work can be considered “familiar music.”
As for the other announcements, I simply read the notes about the pieces which were provided for me by Tony Granados.
Your reviewer may be expressing a personal preference (or prejudice) when he claims that “WE favor more music and much less talk.” As a professional radio announcer, I am well aware that for certain members of the classical music audience, no announcer can ever talk little enough. However, one expects a reviewer to give a reasonably factual account of events, as one would expect of any journalist worthy of the name. I am all for letting the music speak for itself, but under the circumstances, I do not consider it fair for your reviewer [to] characterise me as a “windy chatterbox.”
David Ballantyne
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