Performance portfolio Jonathan William Corry PhD 2016
, PhD thesis, University of Salford.
The music performance-based research delivered within this portfolio has been realised within my current role as Bandmaster of Enfield Citadel Band of The Salvation Army. The overall thrust of this research has been focused on, and driven by my desire for the revitalisation within the functionality and relevance of Salvation Army band music. Revitalisation is achieved through studying historic works written by composers such as Elgar Howarth, Leslie Condon and Ray Steadman-Allen. All three composers in their time showed innovation in utilising contemporary composition techniques within their music. The presentation of significant historic works with innovative premieres incorporating the unique and precedent-setting use of media, collaborations and mainstream twentieth century compositional techniques allow me to place this research in a context of revitalising the functionality and relevance of Salvation Army band music. Embodied within this portfolio will be found materials, resources and written critical commentary of over 20000 words relating to the work I have completed towards a Doctor of Philosophy in Performance, at the University of Salford.
Five significant projects are presented here and, in each, my practice has sought to address a particular, over-arching research question: can a conductor and Salvation Army Bandmaster manage the balance of artistic excellence and innovation whilst adhering to religious form in performance? This work will have a wider impact and will be of relevance to a conductor of a musical group, which has a fundamental reason over and above musical artistry for its existence for instance Church musicians and Military musicians. Can they achieve artistic excellence and innovation as well as conforming to their vernacular, ecclesiastical or ceremonial expectations? This calls into discussion the functionality of Salvation Army brass band music and its current relevance within the Salvation Army services and to wider audiences.
Through various conducting and recording opportunities undertaken during this course of study, I have examined the way in which my leadership has impacted on collaborating composers, audiences, performers, soloists and the ministry and relevance of Enfield Citadel Band’s work within both Worship and concert settings. Research arising from my visits to personal libraries and archives have allowed me to chart the historical development of the established Salvation Army band.
I have consistently stressed the conflict, which I have to overcome within this research, which centres around balancing the dichotomy of artistic merit whilst conforming to a required religious form and the practises and functionality of Salvation Army music.
This work examines historical repertoire that has been represented either in live performance or recording by the Enfield Citadel Salvation Army band along with newly commissioned and previously unrecorded compositions by leading contemporary composers for both Salvation Army and contesting bands such as Dorothy Gates, Roger Trigg and Elgar Howarth.
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