All posts by Finlay

Press Reviews

Brass Tracks returned once again to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2023 and the ArtSpace@St Mark’s with a family friendly accessible programme featuring the finest film soundtracks. Brass Tracks are fortunate to enjoy a home audience at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a consistently high attendance over the past few years. A four star review in the Edinburgh Guide states, ‘What is so wonderful about this quintet is the strength they bring to the quality of sound with their particular blend of instruments, filling the air with an emotional charge of memories…’ Read the full review in the following link below.

Brass Tracks have been previously sponsored by the company Hidden Hearing, to support the importance of ear protection. Hidden Hearing produced banners at the performance and a free goodie bag for all. In 2019 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. This was the first time of introducing a singer within the ensemble.

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!

artSpace@StMarks, run ended.
tw rating 4/5 | [Louise Rodgers] (Three Weeks)

Brass Tracks Quintet, artSpace@StMark’s, Review

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, artSpace@StMark’s

4 star review from The Edinburgh Guide for our Edinburgh Festival Fringe Concert 2018. 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.

Edinburgh College – Concert and Q&A Session

Edinburgh College – Concert and Q&A Session.

Edinburgh College is a further education institute that offers HND and Bmus Hons courses in classical and pop music performance. Each year in early February the college hosts an employability week. This is an opportunity for guest musicians and performers who are invited into the college music department to meet and play to students.

This year it was Brass Tracks turn to perform at Edinburgh College, which kick started their 2018 performances. Over lunch time Brass Tracks performed to a full Music Box auditorium. The concert and Question and Answer session which followed was open to all of the music students.

The 5 February concert featured a programme that offered a snapshot of music either arranged or written originally for brass quintet. The selection of music chosen by Brass Tracks offered a chronological impression of musical genres over the centuries. It illustrated the versatility of brass quintet music and the ability to have an even balance of the five individual brass voices.

Here is a little feedback from our time at Edinburgh College from Laurie Crump, Senior Lecturer in Music.

” Massive thanks to Brass Tracks for a superb lunchtime concert at Edinburgh College. We heard a huge range of repertoire – ceremonial music, Renaissance music for dancing, nineteenth century Russian concert repertoire, music theatre song arrangements, jazz standards and more, with an intricate arrangement of ‘When I’m 64’ one of the highlights. Each piece was expertly performed, with generous spoken introductions in every case; and following the concert, there were several fascinating insights into the world of the working musician from all five players. A great event and a treat to hear you! “

Edinburgh Bach Choir – Christmas Concert

Edinburgh Bach Choir is a long established classical ensemble in Scotland’s capital. In December 2017, Brass Tracks augmented their quintet to a sextet to accompany the choir in a Christmas Concert featuring the music Christus Natus Est by Cecilia McDowall and James Whitbourn’s Missa Carolae under the direction of the newly appointed, Stephen Doughty. The concert will feature up to 100 members of the Edinburgh Bach Choir with Brass Tracks at one of Edinburgh’s most beautiful and impressive churches, St Cuthbert’s – situated beneath the rock of Edinburgh Castle on Lothian Road.

45 Commando Royal Marines

In Christmas 2017 The 45 Commando Royal Marines based in Arbroath, Scotland requested the services of Brass Tracks to perform at their annual Christmas Ball and dinner. This was a great occasion for Brass Tracks to entertain serving marine officers and their partners at their formal festive celebration. It was the first trip to Arbroath for Brass Tracks.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017

Brass Tracks returned to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2017. Now in its 70th year the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is an opportunity for not only friends and family to hear Brass Tracks perform but also an international audience.

This year Brass Tracks have selected two wonderful venues to perform. The first concert was on Thursday 3 August as a 40 minute lunchtime recital in Scotland’s largest Church, St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh’s West End from 1310pm.

Brass Tracks followed up this performance with another at ArtSpace @ St Mark’s on Castle Terrace from 8.30pm on Wednesday 9 August. The link below goes directly to the official Edinburgh Festival Fringe online ticket office. Look out for Brass Tracks at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe again in 2018!

Recording over the years…

Brass Tracks enjoy the challenges of recording and plan to continue recording projects in 2024. In June 2023 returned to the studio to produce a series of showreels with producer sound engineer, Sarah May.

In June 2019, Brass Tracks completed a recording session at the Slate Room in Pencaitland with recording engineer, Garry Boyle. This was made possible due to the generous sponsorship by UK company, Hidden Hearing.

In June 2017, Brass Tracks were given the opportunity to try out the new recording equipment in the band hall of champion section brass band, Whitburn – one of Scotland’s most celebrated brass bands. Brass Tracks recorded a number of arrangements for brass quintet, including, Gershwin’s, Four Hits For Five.

In 2014, Brass Tracks recorded their first collection of brass quintet music, which included a variety of sample tracks from music of the last 500 years to music from the Golden Age of television and film.

Wedding Music

Brass Tracks is frequently requested to perform at weddings in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland. This is recording of Brass Tracks performing a ceremonial favourite, Jeremiah Clarke’s, Trumpet Voluntary at Edinburgh’s Canongait Kirk Hall – the Queen’s parish when at home in Holyrood Palace. This gives a sample of what many brides wish to walk down the aisle to on their wedding day. Brass Tracks can suggest or recommend other suitable repertoire for a wedding ceremony and offer a light musical set for an accompanying drinks reception or wedding breakfast.

BBC’s Rillington Place

A short clip of Brass Tracks’ appearance and recording on BBC prime time drama, Rillington Place in April, 2016 . The scene features Hollywood actors Tim Roth and Samantha Morton. Trumpeter, Finlay Hetherington of Brass Tracks also arranged the music, Whispering Grass and The Very Thought of You for brass sextet.