27 August 2013

Westwind Brass (USA)

The Westwind Brass exists to broaden and enrich the musical legacy of local, national and international audiences through performance and educational services featuring brass instruments and music.
The Westwind Brass fields an ensemble of brass musicians who perform in various configurations of musicians featuring the unique timbre of brass instruments and performing the brass repertoire at a high artistic level.
The educational focus of each Westwind Brass performance is that music is for everyone!

Westwind goes to school

Around the World thru Brass (K-6)
This program is a multi-cultural musical journey through selected cultures. These selections include: Music of Africa, Music of Americas, Northern Native Americans, Central and South America; Music of Asia, China, and Music of Europe. The purpose of this program is to expose students to the distinct sounds of the world of music and how these musical characteristics have been incorporated into modern forms. Students will directly participate in various world rhythms, melodies, and styles.

24 August 2013

Alison Balsom

Alison Balsom has cemented an international reputation as one of classical music's great ambassadors and is ranked among the most distinctive and ground-breaking musicians on the international circuit today. Having headlined The Last Night of the BBC Proms, which reached its biggest ever global television audience of an estimated 200 million, to making her US television debut with the Orchestra of St Luke's on The Late Show with David Letterman, a platform few classical artists have gained access to, Alison’s highly distinctive sound has earned her much recognition and she is regarded as one of the world's leading trumpeters and musicians. She was twice crowned 'Female Artist of the Year' at the Classic BRITs and has also been honoured with numerous awards by Gramophone, Classic FM and ECHO Klassik.

On June 28 this year, she received the prestigious PPL Classical Award at the London Hilton on Park Lane.  
Read more HERE
Alison's website is HERE

The Art of Practicing

The Art of Practicing

Gordon Cherry
Gordon Cherry
Practicing is an art, not a skill. A skill is something you can be taught in a certain number of lessons, while an art is something you learn slowly and gradually over your entire life. Whether you are a sculptor, a painter, a ballerina or a trombonist, you have to apply discipline in order to progress. The art of practicing is something you adhere to for a very, very long time, and you must master it to become a great performer.
Most people look back on the lessons they had with their teachers and find that 99% of the time was spent on the traditional warm ups, etudes, solos and excerpts. You're basically taught how to play the trombone. We haven't really learned how to practice! And yet that's what we spend most of our time doing. We practice. We practice before rehearsals. We practice before concerts. We practice in the studio. The practice time is where you “make your gravy.” It's where you make all your gains. Much of the time students and even professionals waste time or actually destroy themselves in the practice room. Why? Because they are impatient and look for short term gains.
Read the whole article...

23 August 2013

Da Capo Brass (USA)

Based in North Carolina, da Capo Brass is a national touring ensemble and Delos recording artist dedicated to delivering quality chamber music to diverse audiences. Performing standard repertoire ranging from Classical to Jazz, Renaissance to Modern, and Pops to Gospel, da Capo Brass also enjoys collaborating with talented composers to create new music for the brass quintet medium. The members of da Capo Brass believe in removing boundaries between the concert performer and audiences, and therefore seek out performance experiences beyond traditional concert halls, with venues including churches, art museums, clubs, and public schools. In addition to their active concert schedule, members of the quintet perform internationally as soloists and in conjunction with professional  organizations in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. They hold teaching positions at various colleges and academies in North Carolina and perform with orchestras across the East Coast.

New Music

In addition to performing standard repertoire, da Capo Brass enjoys collaborating with talented composers to create new music for the brass quintet medium.More info HERE

19 August 2013

Bone Brass (Holland)

The origin of BoneBrass:
The Dutch chamber music ensemble, BoneBrass, is formed by the trombone players, Jan Bults, Gert van Veldhuizen,  Jan Jager and Wessel Bruggink. BoneBrass originated in their cooperation over the years in different ad-hoc orchestras. In the autumn of 1997 they decided to prolong this cooperation in the form of an ensemble. It was their ambition to promote the trombone as a vocal solo instrument for a bigger audience, especially lovers of chamber music who are less familiar with this genre. 
Even after these many years of making music together they are still motivated by the challenge to promote the trombone. They especially try to demonstrate the ‘vocal’ qualities of the instrument. In doing so their stage varies from theatres, castles, concert halls and gardens to churches. Occasionally BoneBrass can be seen in recording studios.

The repertoire of BoneBrass consist of about 50 compositions, from the renaissance to contemporary music. Composers are, Gabriëli, Speer, Preatorius, Franck, Bruckner, Telemann, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Handel, Bach, Beethoven, Grieg, Koetsier, Papandopulo, Bozza, Gershwin, Puccini, Holst, Carmichael, Elings, Agrell, Joplin, Doms, Mucke, Bummerl, Slabak, Franckenpohl, Wood, en Saint Saens.
The music is HERE.

18 August 2013

Molotov Brass (Switzerland)

The story of Molotow Brass Orkestar starts somewhere in foggy November 2007 at the Bern University of the Arts (HKB). A handful of classical of students studying classical music looking for a break of the classical concert schedules assembled and started to play Balkan folk music. After a short time today‘s six-piece band Molotow Brass Orkestar was born.

The band developped quite fast. Backed by their powerful lady on Drums, Marianne Graber, the five horn blowers started to mix whatever style of music they liked. Thus Molotow’s unique mix of Balkan and Swiss Folk music showing influences of klezmer, ska or even electronic beats started to emerge. Combined with their catching vitality they soon persuaded every kind of audience to cheer for them. Invitations to renowned festivals where coming in soon.

In the last couple of years, Molotow Brass Orkestar played at Brass: Durham International Festival in England, Lucerne Festival, European Brass Band Championships, or at the Fêtes de Genève. Other whereabouts are Bierhübeli Bern, Abart Club Zürich, Buskers Lugano, Buskers Neuchâtel, Stadtspektakel Landshut to name only a few. The band can be found on the soundtracks of three movies and has been featured on radio on at least three continents.

14 August 2013

It Takes Brass to Play the Wagner Tuba


When Richard Wagner began composing "The Ring of the Nibelung," his visionary opera cycle, he became dissatisfied with a particular musical theme. The solution, he decided, was not to rewrite the passage but to foster the creation of a new instrument to perform it—the Wagner tuba.

Because of its range and mouthpiece, this tuba-shaped hybrid is actually played by members of the French horn section, but never mind. Developed at Wagner's request at a time when the technical capabilities of modern brass instruments were being expanded, it enabled him to fill a gap in tone color between the mellow lyricism of the horns and the penetrating brilliance of the trombones. He was inspired, in part, by the gradation of sound in military bands. In the "Ring," four Wagner tubas join an enlarged brass section that includes other orchestral rarities like the bass trumpet, contrabass trombone and contrabass tuba, creating "choirs" of gleaming brass.
These instruments play an important role in the "Ring," an epic tale of greed, revenge, love and redemption that will be presented around the globe this year during the bicentenary of Wagner's birth. In the U.S., the first complete, four-opera cycle will begin on April 6 at the Metropolitan Opera with a reprise of the Robert Lepage production. Throughout the "Ring," the brass are associated with some of the major recurring musical themes, called "leitmotifs"—leading motives linked to particular characters, concepts, props and more.

Read the full article: Wall Street Journal

13 August 2013

Royal Danish Brass (Denmark)

The Royal Danish Orchestra is considered the oldest orchestra of it's kind, tracing its origins back to 1448 and the Trumpet Corps at the royal court of King Christian I, who was crowned to an accompaniment of brass and percussion instruments. The Danish name for the orchestra - Det Kongelige Kapel - reveals that it was, in origin, an ensemble geared to supplying the music for court events, such as providing musical assistance to a visiting Italian opera company.

It was in this context that the renowned musician Christoph Willibald Gluck not only led the Royal Danish Orchestra, but also composed the music for special occasions – a notable example being the celebration of the birth, in 1749, of the later King Christian VII.

Over the years, the orchestra moved out of the court and settled down in the pit at the Royal Danish Theatre. A growing number of engagements saw an increase in the size of the orchestra, and when Johan Gottlieb Naumann carried out his reforms in the 1780’s, the ensemble numbered 46 members. It is relevant to mention here that it was at precisely this time that the Chorus of the Royal Danish Opera became permanently assigned to the Royal Danish Theatre.

Royal Danish Brass was founded in 1977 under the name The Royal Orchestra Brass Quintet. Five young brass players from The Royal Danish Orchestra, trumpeters Ketil Christensen and Søren Emtoft, hornist Poul-Erik Vilsbæk and trombonists Keld Jørgensen and Mogens Andresen, stated as an objective of the ensemble: the ancient traditions of open-minded and contemporary orchestrations, interpretations and versions retaining old music and in close collaboration with composers and colleagues, exploring new avenues in music under strict conditions of quality in every way.
Royal Danish Brass is THE Danish brass ensemble par excellence, with a high degree of musicality. There are concerts, church concerts, school concerts and 'clinics' and 'master classes' regularly.
More info HERE

11 August 2013

da Blechhauf'n (Austria)

da Blechhauf'n

is a group of seven guys, who got together to predominantly play traditional Austrian but also progressive music to entertain their listeners.
Generally, it's all about brass, however trying out numerous other genres manifests itself as a new musical tradition in brass performance, making the unforeseeable foreseeable.
When listening to them, they encourage you to allow yourself to enter into the variety and diversity of sound, word, dance and comedy, and to experience
the charm of modern tradition!

For the tuba player

09 August 2013

BonaNZa (New Zealand)

BonaNZa is made up of five professional trombone players from throughout NZ, representing the Auckland Philharmonia, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and the Vector Wellington Orchestra. The members enjoy playing varying styles of music and performing in diverse places, from inside trains, busking in the coromandel or the top of the Sky Tower, to a band rotunda tour of the South Island. Bonanza played to 150,000 people at the 2009 Startlight Symphony as soloists with the Auckland Philharmonia, a world record for a trombone ensemble (unofficial but probable…)

05 August 2013

Vienna Horns

"Director's Cut" is the title of the CD featuring the twelve horn players that caused worldwide bafflement and amazement with their Vienna horns. This time they have not produced Viennese sounds, but well-known and legendary themes from soundtracks such as Bernhard Hermann's music for Alfred Hitchcock's "Torn Curtain" as well as scores from contemporary films such as Patrick Doyle's "Harry Potter".

The ingenious arrangements for the Vienna horns are made by Alexander Wagendristel. The conductor of the recordings is Alois Glaßner. 
More info HERE

03 August 2013

Triton Brass Quintet (USA)

Triton Brass is an exciting musical collaborative comprising five of the region's most promising young talents. Prize winners at the 2005 Lyon International Chamber Music Competition and 2003 Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition, Triton is in its fourth year as artists-in-residence at The Boston Conservatory, where the group serves as both performers and instructors, and are proud to be faculty and co-hosts for the Atlantic Brass Quintet International Seminar. Triton Brass also served as chamber music faculty at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute from 2005-2010.
Among its recent performances, Triton has performed as soloists with the Boston Conservatory Wind Ensemble, the new music ensemble Alea III, and the Concord Band, and as a headline performer for an WGBH outdoor concert in front of more that 30,000 audience members. Fervent supporters of new music, the quintet has performed multiple world premieres in recitals throughout the U.S. and maintains an ongoing "call-for-scores" open to all composers and collaborators.
The Quintet performs extensively in numerous capacities, including recitals, educational concerts and residencies, formal affairs, and collaborative endeavors.
Listen HERE and HERE