Darkwood  was commissioned in 2012 by Neil Ashcroft a life long member of Blackley Brass Band and was presented to the band in recognition of thier 75th Anniversary.  The work is in three movements and was concieved as either an extended concert item or as an own choice test-piece.

Blackley Village is a northerly district of the city of Manchester, and is the home of the last remaining city centre brass band.  Blackley appears in the Doomsday book and its name is a derivative of the Anglo-Saxon BlæclÄ“ah which means 'Darkwood' or 'Dark Clearing'.

I The Boggart 

The first movement of the suite is named after Boggart Hole Clough, which is a local urban nature reserve.  A clough is a local colloquialism for a steep sided valley or gully and this particular clough is believed to be the home of a Boggart, a mischievious spirit or imp.

II The House on the Hill

The second movement of Darkwood is subtitled 'House on the Hill' and evokes images of St. Andrew's Church which is located in Higher Blackley and is commonly refered to by this name. Perched high on the hill, it overlooks the village and across the valley towards Manchester city centre.

III Blackley Village

The final movement depicts Blackleys historic evolution from its medieval roots, as a small residential hamlet, through to the present day and its importance as an industrial part of the city.


Difficulty: Intermediate

Duration: 00:10:00 (total)

Available from: Kirklees Music