24 December 2010

The El Paso Brass

One of the Southwest United States' finest brass quintets, renowned for outstanding musicianship and the diversity of its repertoire.
Thae ensemble is composed of key members of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and other distinguished musicians from the Southwest.
Each member of EPB is also an educator and the ensemble has many performance programs which place an emphasis on education as well as entertainment. These programs have been presented to more than 100,000 students as part of EPB's "Brass in Class" series.
All the things you are

Double Trouble-Duet for Tuba by Barbara Thompson

Tuba virtuosi Les Neish & James Gourlay perform Barbara Thompson's composition, "Double Trouble" at the launch party for the CD of the same name.

22 December 2010

The Cosy Brass Quartet (Belgium)

The Cosy Brass Quartet invites you on its voyage of discovery through the musical world from the 19th century till today.
Since its foundation in 1999, the Cosy Brass Quartet aims for a revival of the saxhorn brass quartet, giving it its merited role on the concert-scene.

Its strength (two cornets, tenorhorn and euphonium) allows the Cosy Brass Quartet to produce a warm and vivid sound, resulting in an extraordinary musical experience and offering well balanced ensemble-playing. As from its first musical appearance, the quartet is described as "most pleasant" and "sounding surprisingly fresh".

The Cosy Brass Quartet is exceptional in its musical qualities as well as in its repertoire. The program offers well-known names as well as works of the most respected Belgian composers, always in a light and entertaining performance.

The Cosy Brass Quartet collaborates with the Dutch KRO- and the Belgian CANVAS-television. It cooperates with both the Belgian Radio 2 and KLARA classical radio and plays at the prestigious 'Festival Van Vlaanderen'.

In 2004 the Cosy Brass Quartet participates successfully in two international contests: it wins the 'Internationale Ensemble- en Solistenwedstrijd' in Kerkrade (the Netherlands) and the 'British Open Soloist and Quartet Championships' in Manchester (England). Members of the jury appreciated 'the fine balanced and transparent ensemble-playing'.
In 2006 the Cosy Brass Quartet again wins the first prize in Kerkrade, and in 2008 it regains the winners cup in Manchester.

19 December 2010

Heavy Tuba (Austria)

Heavy Tuba was founded by Heimo Schmid in 1993. The musicians are from the Upper Austrian classical and jazz scene. Three tubas, four euphoniums, doubling at times on trombone, als well as a rhythm section of five contributes to the perhaps untraditional sound.
Since 1997 is the British vocalist Dorretta Carter a member of the ensemble.
The band cooperated with tuba soloists Jon Sass (4CDs), Howard Johnson and Joe Daley. Heavy Tuba combines classic, jazz, rock, funk and soul and cannot be compared to any other group.
The common place or usual is not what „Heavy Tuba“ ist about.They present once again the virtouosity of modern tuba playing in its unique substance. Nevertheless, the good old themes cannot be denied – exactly the opposite. It is music that definitely goes in your ear, but cannot be cubbyholed or easily classified.

Intrada Brass (GB)

Intrada Brass Ensemble is based in Preston in Lancashire, England, and was formed originally as a quartet in the 1970's, gradually developing into the 11-piece ensemble we have today. Intrada uses, for the most part, a 10-piece formation plus percussion, consisting of four trumpets, french horn, four trombones, tuba and percussion. This expanded brass quintet was developed in order to play a wider variety of music in concert situations than is possible with more conventional and smaller ensembles. The flexibility it gives to composers and arrangers, in terms of texture, colour, range and dynamic contrast, are considerable, especially when mutes and other instruments such as piccolo and D/Eb trumpets, flugel horn and a wide variety of percussion are skillfully wielded.
They carry out all sorts of engagements, from easy listening and wedding music, to full formal concerts. Some of these involve other performers, such as choirs, while others feature the variety of Intrada Brass Ensemble exclusively. Intrada is available in its full 11-piece formation, or smaller groups (quintet, for example) to provide that extra special accompaniment to wedding ceremonies.

A considerable amount of our repertoire is arranged by members of the ensemble, which means that Intrada will always have something new to listen to, though they don't neglect any of the old favorites. They play a wide range of light music through to classical.

18 December 2010

Burning River Brass (USA)

Since 1996, Burning River Brass has been dazzling audiences from Alaska to Taiwan with "power and virtuosity," "harmonious blend," and "consistently stirring performances." Composed of twelve of the finest brass and percussion players in the country, Burning River Brass is an ensemble on fire!

The original inspiration behind Burning River Brass was to give great players who were also good friends a chance to play together on a consistent basis. Soon after the first rehearsal in May 1996, BRB began to grow rapidly. The ensemble made its debut in September of 1996 in Tremont, Ohio under the auspices of Arts Renaissance Tremont and by 1998 was touring nationally.

Burning River Brass is consistently applauded for the infectious joy with which it performs. In concert, the ensemble presents a variety of music designed to satisfy the tastes of every audience. BRB’s repertoire includes fresh arrangements of classic literature as well as original works written specifically for the group. The camaraderie continues into BRB’s educational and outreach programs, where the players provide students with a rich, positive experience to encourage their enthusiasm for music in the future.

05 December 2010

Bay Street Brassworks (USA)

Bay Street Brassworks is one of America's finest and busiest brass ensembles. Founded in 1995, this versatile brass quintet performs a wide variety of musical genres ranging from classical music to Dixieland jazz; show tunes, classic rock, movie music, and anything in between. This professional brass quintet is based in Baltimore, Maryland and Indianapolis, Indiana. The ensemble is also part of the touring rosters of River City Artists Management and Producers, Inc., Tampa, Florida, and formerly on the touring roster with "Live on Stage" LLC, Nashville, Tennessee, bringing the music of Bay Street Brassworks to audiences throughout the United States and abroad.

Bay Street Brassworks range of musical abilities has produced engagements ranging from opening ceremonies at Baltimore Orioles baseball games to world premier performances and clinics alongside the American Brass Quintet, Harvey Phillips, Gunther Schuller and Eric Ewazen at the 2004 Brass Chamber Music Forum in Boone, North Carolina, honoring the 50th anniversary of the New York Brass Quintet.

In 2004, renowned percussionist Amin Gumbs joined the ensemble bringing a texture to the group that has audiences taking notice and wanting more.

Artistic collaborations with other world-class artists have resulted in performances with members of the Annapolis and New York Brass Quintets, the Baltimore Symphony brass section, principal trumpet of the National Symphony Orchestra Steven Hendrickson and conductor Harlan Parker. Musical explorations have ranged from Eric Ewazen's Shadowcatcher and Fisher Tull's Concerto Grosso to Daniel Pinkham's Christmas Cantata.

Bay Street Brassworks has performed at most of the major Universities from coast to coast and is the premiere educational brass ensemble of its kind, having cooperative relationships with a number of Young Audiences state organizations, providing both educational and concert opportunities. The musicians derive great satisfaction from their youth activities and spend considerable amounts of their time encouraging and mentoring young brass players across the country. Currently, Bay Street Brassworks are performing artists for Young Audiences of Maryland, United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, North Carolina, The Johnston County Arts Council, North Carolina, The Arts Council of Fayetteville / Cumberland County, North Carolina, and the South Carolina Arts Commission. The ensemble has performed hundreds of educational programs, demonstration concerts, master classes, as well as, individual instructional clinics.


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David Childs

King Edward III once said: "If you want to train a longbowman, start with his grandfather." This adage holds just as true for British euphonium soloist David Childs, born in the mining village of Grimethorpe in 1981, to a family whose name had been synonymous with brass for the last two generations. His grandfather John was a well-respected euphonium player from the Welsh Valleys who inspired his sons, Robert & Nicholas to take up euphonium. Robert began teaching his son David from an early age and in recent years David has emerged as one of the finest brass soloists of his generation.

In the year 2000 he broke new ground for the euphonium becoming the first euphonium soloist to win the brass final of the televised 'BBC Young Musician of the Year’ which led to David’s highly acclaimed première performance of Philip Wilby’s Concerto for Euphonium with the BBC Philharmonic under the direction of Yan Pascal Totelier. In the same year David was awarded the coveted ‘Euphonium Player of the Year’ title, a title he won again in 2004 and still holds today. Since that time David has been instrumental in raising the euphonium’s profile in the classical world of music and has not ceased to wow audiences with his astonishing technique, extrovert musicality and engaging stage presence.


Holton TR395 MF Super Bone

Famed recording artist Maynard Ferguson first brought the Holton TR395 MF Super Bone to fame.
The Holton MF Superbone features both a trombone hand slide for the right hand and 3 valves for the left hand that can both be used at the same time. The Super Bone is available in lacquer finish.
Also called the double trombone, the TR395 combines all of the characteristics of a slide trombone with all of the advantages of a valve trombone.
Musicians may perform any slide/valve combination accurately and smoothy, while eliminating excessive hand movements.
It allows special Effects from any pitch to any other pitch as well as Vibrato on any other pitch. The TR395 is free-blowing throughout its diversified system.

The Cleveland Orchestra's horn section

EASTLAKE, Ohio -- The factory floor at Conn-Selmer Inc. in Eastlake is a decidedly unmusical place. Most employees, in fact, wear ear-plugs to drown out the noise of machines constantly cutting, shaping and baking metal.
Yet this is where a unique collaboration between the Cleveland Orchestra and a nearby manufacturer took root. It's here where some of the world's top musicians and a local producer of brass instruments first united in a harmonious partnership now garnering prestige and business around the world.
"Once people hear the Cleveland Orchestra is playing our instruments, that helps a lot," said Mark Gifford, the plant's product engineer. "They go out the door as fast as we can build them."
Like every tale of innovation, this one begins with a problem.

A few years ago, Richard King, principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra, needed a new instrument, a replacement for the Conn 8D he'd been playing for ages. Problem was, newer versions of the widely prized horn didn't compare with the instruments made 40 or 50 years ago.

Rather than track down another second-hand horn, however, King went to Conn-Selmer, a respected maker of band and orchestral instruments, and persuaded the company to re-fashion the 8D according to principles of the original design. Before long, by late 2008, he had a shiny new replica in his hands.

"I was really surprised they started making an instrument I liked better than the one I'd been playing for 20 years," King said, noting the new horn's craftsmanship, sound quality and resonant nickel-silver alloy.

But the tale doesn't end with the making of a custom horn for one high-priority customer. At King's suggestion, Conn-Selmer resurrected the entire model, now called C.G. Conn Vintage 8D. Each horn is built from scratch in Eastlake along with trumpets, trombones, tubas and other brass instruments.