Summer 2018 Update

August 24, 2018

Hello to our friends and followers!

We hope you’re all having a brilliant summer and enjoying the excellent weather. You may have noticed
that we’ve been pretty quiet since our last performances for Prince Charles and Penarth Primary

It has been a busy summer for us, so here’s a little blog post about what we’ve all been up to:

London Sinfonietta Academy

As soon as college finished for the year, Lynn was off to London for a week of contemporary music,
working with members of the London Sinfonietta and other students. Coached by Mike Thompson and
Byron Fulcher, the course culminated in a concert of Deborah Pritchard’s Wave Returning, Wolfgang
Rihm’s Chiffre II, Harrison Birtwistle’s Silbury Air, Mark Boden (a familiar face from Cardiff)’s Channel
Rose and a side-by-side performance of George Benjamin’s Three Inventions for Chamber Orchestra.
(This concert was made all the scarier by having 3/5 composers in attendance!)

Truro Symphony Orchetsra

Alex and Lynn were both invited down to Truro to play in Truro Symphony Orchestra’s yearly charity
extravaganza. The repertoire was excellent for brass; Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, Peter and the
Wolf (narrated by the Dean of the Cathedral) and the ever-popular Scheherazade. Loads of money was
raised for music at the Cathedral and plenty of celebratory pints were had afterwards.

Three Choirs Festival

Alex, Nick and Ben played at the opening of the Three Choirs Festival in Hereford Cathedral as
members of RWCMD’s brass ensemble. Highlights of the programme included Elgar’s Severn Suite and
Walton’s Coronation Te Deum. Another yearly event, this gave them the chance to share a programme
with international artists such as the Philharmonia and Jack Liebeck’s Trio Dali.

National Youth Orchestra of Wales

Alongside many of our friends and colleagues from RWCMD, Alex spent two weeks playing Mahler’s 5th
Symphony with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales, the world’s oldest youth orchestra. They
performed in prestigious venues across Wales, including St David’s Cathedral and St David’s Hall in
Cardiff (you’d never guess who the patron saint of Wales is). Nick is also appearing with Nash as a guest
for a week of contemporary music at the end of the summer.

Edinburgh Rehearsal Orchestra

Nick packed his bags (and an extra liver) and headed off to Edinburgh for a week of playing incredible
music with the Edinburgh Rehearsal Orchestra. This course offered players the chance to sight-read
through many of the most challenging orchestral works, swapping parts between the section as they
went. As it coincided with the first weeks of both the International Festival and the Fringe, Nick also got a
taste of the madness that descends upon the Scottish capital every August. Not to worry though, he
found a bit of peace courtesy of plenty of cold pints of Tennents.

Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme Orchestra

Set in the idyllic Suffolk countryside, Ben and Lynn both had an incredible time playing under Marin
Alsop for the Britten-Pears Young Artists’ Programme Orchestra. Scrambled with only a few days’ notice
after a last-minute drop-out, Lynn found herself unexpectedly playing Peter and the Wolf for a second
time this summer on the first week of the course. This included two concerts and a recording for Naxos.
Once the big-guns (read: 4 more horns, 2 more trumpets, plus trombones and tuba) had arrived, it was
time to start work on Prokofiev’s epic score to his ballet, Romeo and Juliet. With such an enormous
orchestra and such a difficult work, both Ben and Lynn found it necessary to cool off after rehearsals with
a swim at the beach in Aldeburgh, followed by sampling the local delicacies (Adnam’s Ale and fish and

The Regimental Band of the Royal Welsh

Will has been busy in his new job playing for the Regimental Band of the Royal Welsh, who he joined this year as an Army Reserve. While the band are based in South Wales, they can be seen across Wales, and in fact around the world having traveled to countries such as Belgium, Germany, France, Canada and Australia. A standout engagement this summer for Will was playing at the Royal Welsh Show near Builth Wells for a week. 


See you all in September,
Blackweir Brass


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