RNCM Festival of Brass

February 8, 2013

Very busy times currently! Besides the preparations with Brass Band Buizingen and the rehearsals in Scotland with Kingdom Brass for the upcoming Regionals, I’m back just now after a few restless weeks of work in the UK and Switzerland. My first stop was in Cardiff, where I did a rehearsal with the famous Tredegar Tow Band. The band is under the direction of Ian Porthouse, former YBS principal cornet and one of my musical idols. Because of heavy snowfall in South Wales, I wasn’t sure at first to get there on time.
Once I got there after all, I was quite impressed to enter a bandroom that holds that much banding history. I listened to them rehearsing the accompaniment of my concerto and I immediately knew that it was going to be great. We did two run-throughs and were perfectly prepared for the festival.

On the day of the concert, there was a lot of audience and I enjoyed every minute of it. Nigel Clarke, who wrote ‘Mysteries of the Horizon’ for me, seemed to be impressed by my performance. It felt really great to be able to thank him for everything he had done for me by giving a fine rendition of his piece. After this concerto, we also played a new solo piece written by Ludovic Neurohr. It was written as an homage for the fantastic flugelhorn-player Iwan Williams. His early death was a shock for everyone in the banding world and we thought that we should use the music to render homage to an incredible musician. After having talked to Ian Porthouse, a close friend of Iwan, and Paul Hindmarsh, artistic director of the Festival, we decided that this was the perfect way and moment to remember him.

Not only was I playing solo at the Festival, but with my boysband we were busy as well. We were invited with Exit_Brass! to serve as ‘Ensemble in residence’, so basically the ensemble that linked all the festivities together. Besides the opening-concert, a masterclass and a recital concert, we also played for Frank Renton’s show ‘listen to the band’ on BBC Radio 2. After this big adventure, we all continued our journey by travelling to the Birmingham Conservatory for more masterclasses.

Arriving at home, I had one single day to unpack my suitcase and pack it again. On Wednesday that same week, we played two concerts with Exit_Brass! and on Thursday we were on the road again, this time to Geneva, Switzerland, to play the opening ceremony of the Geneva Brass Festival. On our last day there, we enjoyed a masterclass given by Mnozil Brass where we got to show what we were capable of.

What a fantastic two weeks! Now we have to prepare for tomorrow’s concert with Brass Band Buizingen and Jens Lindemann (what a soloist!!!!).

Very busy times currently! Besides the preparations with Brass Band Buizingen and the rehearsals in Scotland with Kingdom Brass for the upcoming Regionals, I’m back just now after a few restless weeks of work in the UK and Switzerland. My first stop was in Cardiff, where I did a rehearsal with the famous Tredegar Tow Band. The band is under the direction of Ian Porthouse, former YBS principal cornet and one of my musical idols. Because of heavy snowfall in South Wales, I wasn’t sure at first to get there on time.
Once I got there after all, I was quite impressed to enter a bandroom that holds that much banding history. I listened to them rehearsing the accompaniment of my concerto and I immediately knew that it was going to be great. We did two run-throughs and were perfectly prepared for the festival.

On the day of the concert, there was a lot of audience and I enjoyed every minute of it. Nigel Clarke, who wrote ‘Mysteries of the Horizon’ for me, seemed to be impressed by my performance. It felt really great to be able to thank him for everything he had done for me by giving a fine rendition of his piece. After this concerto, we also played a new solo piece written by Ludovic Neurohr. It was written as an homage for the fantastic flugelhorn-player Iwan Williams. His early death was a shock for everyone in the banding world and we thought that we should use the music to render homage to an incredible musician. After having talked to Ian Porthouse, a close friend of Iwan, and Paul Hindmarsh, artistic director of the Festival, we decided that this was the perfect way and moment to remember him.

Not only was I playing solo at the Festival, but with my boysband we were busy as well. We were invited with Exit_Brass! to serve as ‘Ensemble in residence’, so basically the ensemble that linked all the festivities together. Besides the opening-concert, a masterclass and a recital concert, we also played for Frank Renton’s show ‘listen to the band’ on BBC Radio 2. After this big adventure, we all continued our journey by travelling to the Birmingham Conservatory for more masterclasses.

Arriving at home, I had one single day to unpack my suitcase and pack it again. On Wednesday that same week, we played two concerts with Exit_Brass! and on Thursday we were on the road again, this time to Geneva, Switzerland, to play the opening ceremony of the Geneva Brass Festival. On our last day there, we enjoyed a masterclass given by Mnozil Brass where we got to show what we were capable of.

What a fantastic two weeks! Now we have to prepare for tomorrow’s concert with Brass Band Buizingen and Jens Lindemann (what a soloist!!!!).