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Category Archives: News
We’ve spent a lot of time this week discussing social media in classical music and young audiences. It’s a fascinating topic and we’ve had a lot of fun looking at the best (and the worst) social media pages out there. We’ve also talked about the exciting possibilities of directional sound. Imagine a loudspeaker that could be heard by you but not the person standing next to you?! Our summer playlist is, as ever, on Spotify for your easy listening.
1. Schubert, Symphony Number 6
(this is primarily on the playlist because Philip has had it stuck in his head all week)
2. Perfume Genius, Put Your Back N 2 It
(this wonderfully honest music is produced by Drew Morgan, who will also be producing Phil’s upcoming Fight Music CD)
3. John McCabe, Scenes in America Deserta
(the stifling warmth of the vocal writing is mesmerising!)
4. Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
(we’ve devoured it, but with mixed feelings…)
5. Mendelssohn, Symphony No 4 (Italian)
(the weather’s good here, but we can’t help dreaming about the Italian Riviera…)
Onyx Brass is excited to be performing at the John Armitage Memorial (JAM) concert series this summer, a fantastic initiative dedicated to yearly commissioning and performing of new music, often sympathetically programming new music with the more familiar. Onyx Brass has performed at JAM regularly since 2000, and this July will be performing four wonderful concerts and bringing a nine schools education project to fruition
On 2nd July, at St. Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, Onyx Brass will be joined by BBC Singers and Daniel Cook (organ), under Nicholas Cleobury to perform MacMillan’s transfixing Cantos Sagrados and Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb and the English Premiere of JAM’s 2013 commission The Farthest Shore, composed by royal wedding/chart-topping composer Paul Mealor. This spectacular new work is based upon a fireside Celtic legend. Cast upon an unforgiving shore, during a terrible storm, a stranger weaves an unfathomable, unforgettable spell over the inhabitants of a small village. This remarkable tale entwines reality, morality and faith in the quest for an ultimate personal truth.
On the 3rd July, 2200 children from five Romney Marsh and four Folkestone primary schools will be involved in A Sporting Chance; a piece for brass quintet and primary school children written by internationally-respected Bob Chilcott to enthuse children about music and sport. Each movement of the piece reflects a different musical style; e.g. sprinting trumpets, a football rap and an ice-skating trombone. This will be followed two days later, on the 5th, by a performance of a well-loved Onyx programme from Gabrieli to Gershwin in the exquisite St Mary’s Church, Rye.
On 6th July, Onyx will be part of the repeat performance of 2nd July programme, bringing a rare treat to the St. Leonard’s Festival (Hythe), performed appropriately next to the sea.
Their final appearance will be a second performance of A Sporting Chance with the Folkestone schools. This will be on the 19th July at Holy Trinity Church. It’s not often you get to perform so much new music in a short space of time on such a large scale, and Onyx feel very privileged to be involved in JAM once more. They’ll have to be on top form to keep up with 2200 children though! Onyx tuba player, Dave, says to play the part of a weightlifter he has to be “very macho, but the kids keep us all going with their enthusiasm!”
You kind find tickets for all of these concerts through the JAM website
The small market town of Ashbourne, nestled at the southern end of the Derbyshire Dales, is the wonderful setting for the yearly Ashbourne Festival. This year, Endymion will be bringing a charming programme of Schubert, Mozart and Brahms to the festival, performing on the 29th June at St Oswalds Church. Whether you live near or far, this festival appearance is well worth coming to. Endymion masterfully contrast the dark, yearning qualities of the Brahms quintet with the bright palette of Mozart, whilst in turn, Schubert’s trio brilliantly contrasts classical elegance with romantic eloquence.
Tickets for the concert are available here
Onyx Brass has been awarded the maximum sum available by the PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music Biennial flagship scheme. The money will go towards commissioning a new work from David Sawer to form the centrepiece of a short programme of contemporary British music that Onyx will perform across the country in 2014, in the Tour de Brass!
The New Music Biennial has made 20 awards to groups to commission new works which will be performed together in showcases at the Southbank Centre’s Festival (4-6 July 2014) and as part of the Commonwealth Games Cultural programme in Glasgow (2-3 August 2014). Our project is designed to be a lot more portable and we are planning upwards of 40 free, unticketed concerts at bandstands and public spaces up and down the UK.
As part of a new concert series at Milton Court (a new performance space at the Barbican), Endymion will be teaming up with the BBC Singers this October to play Steve Reich’s cantata ‘The Desert Music’. This thrilling five-movement cantata, based on texts by William Carlos Williams, takes centre stage in a concert devoted to american choral music. The concert is on October 15th, and tickets are available here. Keep up-to-date with all Endymion news via the Endymion website.
After many years with Onyx, trumpeter Brian Thomson decided to retire from playing earlier this year. Everyone at Fourfortytwo wishes him well and hopes to see him at some (many) concerts in the future! Meanwhile, Onyx has snapped up a fine new trumpeter to join their ranks. Alan Thomas, co-principal trumpet player with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, is now a full-time member of the team. Alan said “I was very sad to hear the new of Brian Thomson leaving the group, such a fantastic trumpeter and musician. When I received the call asking me to join Onyx Brass I was shocked, flattered and excited all at once. It’s such a privilege to be joining Britain’s leading brass quintet. Exciting times ahead!”