Eric Ball (composer)

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Eric Walter John Ball (1903-10-31[1]-1989) was an English composer and conductor of brass band music.[2]

His musical origins were founded in the Salvation Army, and he rose to become an officer (Ordained Minister) with the rank of Major, before resigning in 1946 and moving into the general British Brass Band movement.

During his time in the Salvation Army, Eric Ball conducted both the SP&S Band and also the International Staff Band.

After the Salvation Army, Eric Ball conducted the CWS (Manchester) Band, the Brighouse and Rastrick Band and many other significant brass bands of the day.

Selected compositions[edit]

  • The Triumph of Peace
  • The Kingdom Triumphant
  • The Eternal Presence
  • Journey Into Freedom
  • The King of Kings
  • The Old Wells
  • Resurgam
  • Song of Welcome
  • Songs in Exile'
  • Star Lake
  • Torch of Freedom[1]
  • Tournament for Brass
  • Morning Rhapsody
  • Sunset Rhapsody
  • Festival Music
  • Indian Summer
  • Song of Courage
  • Glory to His Name
  • The Prospect Before Us

National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain[edit]

A number of Ball's pieces have been selected as test pieces for the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, both at the area contests and the national finals.

Year Piece Section Contest
1946 Thanksgiving 3rd Area
1947 Akhnaton Ch Area
1947 Divertimento 4th Area
1947 Divertimento 4th Final
1948 Four Preludes 2nd Area
1948 Three Songs without Words 4th Area
1948 Four Preludes 2nd Final
1948 Three Songs without Words 4th Final
1949 Morning Rhapsody Ch Area
1949 Petite Suite de Ballet 3rd Area
1949 Petite Suite de Ballet 3rd Final
1950 Indian Summer 3rd Area
1950 Indian Summer 3rd Final
1951 The English Maiden 2nd Area
1951 The English Maiden 2nd Final
1952 Resurgam Ch Area
1953 A Holiday Suite 3rd Area
1953 A Holiday Suite 3rd Final
1954 Call of the Sea 2nd Area
1954 Call of the Sea 2nd Final
1956 Festival Music Ch Final
1956 Three Songs without Words 4th Final
1957 Four Preludes 2nd Final
1958 Devon Fantasy 3rd Area
1960 The Princess and the Poet 4th Area
1960 Call of the Sea 3rd Final
1962 Contest Day 4th Area
1962 Four Preludes 3rd Final
1963 Everybody's Child 4th Final
1964 Oasis 2nd Final
1964 The English Maiden 3rd Final
1966 The English Maiden 3rd Area
1966 Everybody's Child 4th Area
1967 Festival Music Ch Area
1967 Journey into Freedom Ch Final
1968 Fowey River Suite 3rd Area
1968 Third Rhapsody on Negro Spirituals 2nd Final
1968 Homeward 4th Final
1969 Petite Suite de Ballet 4th Area
1969 High Peak Ch Final
1969 American Sketches 4th Final
1970 A Psalm for All Nations 4th Final
1971 The Ancient Temple 4th Area
1971 Celebration 2nd Final
1972 A Kensington Concerto Ch Final
1973 St. Michael's Mount 4th Area
1974 Devon Fantasy 3rd Area
1974 Youth Salutes a Master 4th Final
1975 Journey into Freedom Ch Area
1976 Tournament for Brass 2nd Area
1976 Sinfonietta for Brass Band – The Wayfarer Ch Final
1976 Third Rhapsody on Negro Spirituals 3rd Final
1977 Morning Rhapsody 2nd Area
1978 Call of the Sea 3rd Area
1980 Main Street 3rd Area
1981 Contest Day 4th Final
1984 Divertimento 4th Area
1985 Celebration 2nd Final
1987 Scottish Festival Overture 3rd Area
1988 Sunrise 2nd Final
1991 Journey into Freedom Ch Area
1992 Celebration 1st Area
1992 Holiday Overture for Brass 2nd Final
1993 Impromptu 4th Area
1993 Journey into Freedom 1st Final
1994 St. Michael's Mount 4th Final
1999 Main Street 3rd Area
1999 Indian Summer 4th Area
2001 The Undaunted 1st Area
2003 A Kensington Concerto 1st Final
2003 Sunset Rhapsody 2nd Final
2003 Four Preludes 3rd Final
2003 Call of the Sea 4th Final
2007 Sinfonietta for Brass Band – The Wayfarer 1st Area
2008 Festival Music Ch Area
2011 Resurgam 2nd Area
2013 Devon Fantasy 4th Area

Several of his arrangements have also been used.

Year Piece Original Composer Section Contest
1946 Eine Kleine Nachtmusik Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 2nd Area
1957 Themes from Symphony No. 9 Ludwig van Beethoven Ch Area
1960 Themes from Symphony No. 5 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Ch Area
1964 A Rural Suite Charles Woodhouse 4th Area
1965 Themes from the First Symphony Ludwig van Beethoven Ch Area
1967 Eine Kleine Nachtmusik Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 3rd Area
1970 Themes from Symphony No. 9 Ludwig van Beethoven 2nd Final
1971 Suite Gothique Léon Boëllmann 2nd Area
1978 Four Dances from Checkmate Arthur Bliss Ch Final
1981 Froissart Overture Edward Elgar 2nd Final
1983 A French Suite Alexandre Pierre François Boëly 3rd Final
1995 Suite Gothique Léon Boëllmann 3rd Final
2003 Theme and Eight Variations from Enigma Edward Elgar Ch Final

In addition, several pieces were used as the youth section area contest test piece: The Young in Heart in 1965, Petite Suite de Ballet in 1975, and Rhapsody on Negro Spirituals in 1983.

Further reading[edit]

  • Cooke, Peter M. Eric Ball, the man and his music - biography[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sound of brass". BBC. 2003. Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  2. ^ Hunt, Phillip (2004). "Eric Ball in Cornwall". Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  3. ^ Eric Ball: the man and his music, Wiltshire Virtual Library

External links[edit]