Song of Friendship

Song of Friendship was commissioned by the Concert Band of Jumonji University, Saitama, Japan and their conductor, Yutaka Nishida; they gave the premiere performance during their debut concert on June 26th 2016, a programme which featured a selection of Philip Sparke’s works. The commission also marked the 50th year of Yutaka Nishida’s involvement with bands as a player, conductor and radio presenter.

The brief was for a ceremonial piece - a slow march or processional - and Song of Friendship opens with an extended fanfare, largely featuring the brass and leading to the main theme; this develops slowly until it is taken up by the full band. A change of key heralds a contrasting central section, a quiet woodwind chorale which again grows and develops until it leads back to a triumphal presentation of the main theme. Elements of the opening fanfare close the work.