All posts by Finlay

St Wilfrid’s Church

St Wilfrid’s Church, Kirkharle in Northumberland was a beautiful place to play in August 2019.  Most of the current building dates back to 1336 and it was a pleasure to play there with a full programme with a range of 500 years.  It is isolated from main roads and it was as if time stood still as we performed there as part of a regular concert series that attracts many well known ensembles.  The natural light with the sound of brass cascaded around walls that have the ears of nearly seven hundred years of listening!  A stunning acoustic for brass quintet.  The organisers and audience were wonderfully friendly and appreciative and the coffee and lunch hot and homemade.  James Cunningham deputised on Tuba for the indisposed Robert Fraser.

Johnstone Brass Day 2019

Brass Day 2019 is a chance to listen to a variety of instruments, bands and groups, for players to take part in workshops and performances, and to try out a brass instrument. We’ll be at Johnstone Town Hall and kicking off at 1pm, with a Scratch Band Finale at 5pm, hoping to feature a brass version of the Saint-Saens organ symphony – expect bold and brassy!

Highlights include a workshop from RSNO principal trombonist Dávur Juul Magnussen a solo performance by Chris Bradley, principal cornet of Whitburn Band, and a performance from Brass Tracks quintet.

We would love to see anyone interested in playing or trying brass or percussion. That could be listening or taking part in workshops and our finale scratch band.

Brass Day 2019 is funded by the Renfrewshire Council Culture Heritage and Arts Fund.

#brassday2019 #brass #trombone #cornet @music_tracks #brassday2019 #brassquintet @JohnstoneBand @Johnstone_TH #learnfromthebest #Paisleyis

Kirkharle Concert Series

St Wilfrid’s Church, Kirkharle in Northumberland was a beautiful place to play in August 2019.   Most of the current building dates back to 1336 and it was a pleasure to play there with a full programme with a range of 500 years.  It is isolated from main roads and it was as if time stood still as we performed there as part of a regular concert series that attracts many well known ensembles.  The natural light with the sound of brass cascaded around walls that have the ears of nearly seven hundred years of listening!  A stunning acoustic for our brass quintet.  The organisers and audience were wonderfully friendly and appreciative and the coffee and lunch hot and homemade.  James Cunningham deputised on tuba for the indisposed Robert Fraser.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019

Brass Tracks returned once again to the Edinburgh Fringe 2019 with a family friendly accessible  programme that covered 500 years of music  at St Mark’s Church.  This year Brass Tracks enjoyed its biggest audience in the five years at the fringe with over 150 people in attendance.   Brass Tracks were sponsored by HIDDEN HEARING this year and their logo adorned posters and flyers.   Hidden Hearing produced banners at the performance and a free goodie bag for all!  William Williamson a professional singer from Dumfriesshire sang the Scottish folk song, Annie Laurie with the quintet arranged by the group’s horn player, Robert Newth which was a first for the quintet.

Dumfries 2019

This is a most beautiful venue.  It is a large open air green area surrounded by a wooded glen filled with old trees and a loch at the foot of the estate visible from where we played and imbued with a quiet peacefulness.  There was an old path around three hundred meters from where there was a gazebo and a building that fitted the surroundings where the food is prepared and has a large tasteful  bar.  A vintage wedding car slowly pulled up on the path and the bride and groom then walked to the outside area where  we played them up with the march from Aida.  Then for the next two hours while drinks and food were served al fresco to the guests we played a selection of light popular music that went down extremely well with guests coming up and humming,singing and even dancing with many saying that the the brass group complemented the stunning surroundings! The sun shone,the band played and guests had fun. James Cunningham deputised on tuba for Robert Fraser.

Towermill Theatre – Hawick

On 21 April 2018, Brass Tracks performed in Hawick at the fantastic Towermill Theatre.  The venue is home to Visit Scotland Visitor Information Centre, meeting rooms, a theatre company and a cafe.   The venue houses a 108 seat auditorium and hosts concerts by Hawick Music Club.    Brass Tracks were invited by the club to close their concert season with a bit of fanfare.

The auditorium at Towermill Theatre, is a dry acoustic but works well for brass.  The clarity of sound is ideal especially in fast, highly articulated music.

Brass Tracks received a warm welcome from the Music Club organisers and were pleased with their feedback from the concert.

Chair Mary Sherwood wrote, “Brass Tracks are such a lovely quintet. So professional and slick without being cocky or showing off. Really entertaining, they had the audience engaged from start to finish with just the right balance of information about composers and accomplished musicianship. The post horn was amazing and the playing of it so skilled.”

Brass Tracks continue to be supported by Enterprise Music Scotland via the music clubs and Societies that every year programme professional chamber music groups based across Scotland.  

 

 

Brass Octet Concerts

Over the weekend of 17 and 18 March, 2018 Brass Tracks performed two successful concerts as a brass octet.  Brass Tracks was invited by the well established East Lothian Choir, The Garleton Singers to perform what was a spectacular programme of both old and modern works for brass octet and choir. These concerts came under the suitable banner of ‘Sound The Trumpet’ – directed by the choir’s conductor, Stephen Doughty.

Brass Tracks Octet with the Garleton Singers under the baton of Stephen Doughty.

The first concert took place at what is now a familiar concert venue for Brass Tracks, St Cuthbert’s Parish Church, located under the looming Edinburgh Castle.  The Sunday concert was in the home town of the choir, in Haddington’s  St Mary’s Kirk which is home to Scotland’s longest aisle!

L-R Top: Rob Collinson, Chris Mansfield, Robert Fraser, Fiona McLean                     Bottom: Graeme Williamson, Lloyd Griffin, Finlay Hetherington, John Sampson

Brass Tracks had the opportunity to perform works just for brass octet, including Gabrieli’s Pian e Forte and also a lesser known contemporary work by the Japanese composer, Yagishawa entitled Intrada.   These two works are written over 500 years apart the former work is believed to be the first piece written for brass that specifies the instrumentation.

Other highlights of the concerts was the two Gloria’s for brass and choir  – one composed by John Rutter and the other by Dan Locklair.

 

 

 

Press Reviews and Fringe Concerts

Brass Tracks returned once again to the Edinburgh Fringe 2019 with a family friendly accessible  programme that covered 500 years of music  at St Mark’s Church.  This year Brass Tracks enjoyed its biggest audience in the five years at the fringe with over 150 people in attendance.   Brass Tracks were sponsored by HIDDEN HEARING this year and their logo adorned posters and flyers.   Hidden Hearing produced banners at the performance and a free goodie bag for all!  William Williamson a professional singer from Dumfriesshire sang the Scottish folk song, Annie Laurie with the quintet arranged by the group’s horn player, Robert Newth which was a first for the quintet.

Brass Tracks (Three Weeks)

By  | Published on Saturday 17 August 2019

Monteverdi was a bold (and chronologically correct!) start to this professional brass quintet concert.  The band quickly established a rapport with their audience by introducing singer William Williamson in their own touching arrangement of ‘Annie Laurie’ for brass quintet and voice. ‘Night on Bare Mountain’ was highly dramatic, displaying a good partnership between trombone and tuba in an atmosphere of booming menace. Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ was enjoyable, and the chat between music was entertaining and informative. ‘St Louis Blues’, the original 12 bar blues, was also great- a memorable highlight during a lively concert. Brass concerts offer variety, joie de vivre and camaraderie – this one was no exception!

[email protected], run ended.
tw rating 4/5 | [Louise Rodgers] (Three Weeks)

Brass Tracks Quintet, [email protected]’s, Review

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Rating (4 out of 5 stars)

Brass Tracks held before us “a kaleidoscopic musical brass journey spanning the last 500 years” – and they certainly delivered on their promise. This was a thoroughly enjoyable performance, that took us to different eras and across different landscapes.

Reflecting the fact that 2018 is the Year of Young People in Scotland, many of the pieces chosen would have been familiar to the audience from childhood years. The concert was very family-friendly (there were quite a number present), and a particularly nice touch was the performers’ acknowledgement and interaction with the children.

Good humour flowed throughout the evening, and ensured a comfortable and easy atmosphere, in which people were able to relax in enjoying the music performed. Each item was helpfully introduced, often with accompanying humorous anecdotes. The repertoire of pieces was incredibly wide-ranging, from ‘Pastime with Good Company’ by Henry VIII, to ‘Tico Tico’ which featured in the closing ceremony of the 2016 Brazilian Olympics.

An upbeat feel was always maintained, and the performance became technically more solid and accurate as it progressed; even the more sombre items, recalling the 100th anniversary of WWI, were enjoyed with a gentle reminiscence of another age and generation.

The musicians had clearly done their homework in researching the history of the pieces, and this was reflected in the how they spoke of and performed them. From the battlefields of France to the highlands of Scotland, there was something in this concert for everyone. The performance finished at 7.35pm.

Brass Tracks Quintet, Monday 13th August, 6.30pm, [email protected]’s

4 star review from The Edinburgh Guide for our Edinburgh Festival Fringe Concert 2018.  https://www.edinburghguide.com/festival/2018/edinburghfringe/brasstracksquintetartspacestmarksreview-19450British Bandsman Review : Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August 2017

(Click on link)  Dunfermline Press: March 2017

Brass Tracks close Newton Stewart’s Season.

(Click on link). Arran Banner, Review, October, 2015

(Click on link).  Arran Banner,  Preview Autumn 2015

Brass Tracks first appearance as a group in Glasgow Evening Times, 2013.