Howard’s work for brass band, Saraswati, was written for the Smithills School Senior Band and their musical director Chris Wormald. It received its world première at Bluefield College, West Virginia, on 3rd August 2004, as part of the band’s rapturously-received USA Tour. It was recorded live onto CD.
Howard first encountered the musicians of Smithills when their Senior Brass Band played at the Albert Hall Schools’ Prom in November 2003 and was so knocked out by the excellence, maturity and beauty of their playing that he offered to compose a new work for them. Saraswati is the result.
In April 2004 Howard was in Bolton to launch the new Special Performing Arts College Status of Smithills School. He unveiled a plaque celebrating the new chapter in the school’s history. A few months later they appeared on his South Bank Show Musical Nation. The Smithills Band performed again at the 2005 Schools Proms.