Catch up part 1: October to November…

So plenty happened during these two months, not least the premiere of Manchester Concertino by Belgian cornetist, Harmen Vanhoorne in Leuven, Belgium. Harmen asked me some time ago to write him a piece, and at the same time a commission came in for a slow melody for cornet and band for Cornish cornetist, Jess Tredea. So it only seemed sensible to write a concertino, and write the final movement for my friend, and for me the finest cornet player I have ever heard, Roger Webster.

Harmen gave the World Premiere, but he was also in the audience when Roger Webster gave the UK premiere with Enfield Citadel Band, conducted by an old college friend, Jon Corry. It was a fantastic performance, and to my knowledge the first time a Salvation Army band performed a piece of mine.

There is also exciting news about a recording of the piece, but more on that in the next few weeks.

The day after Roger’s performance saw Lesley Howie perform a work for tenor horn and band of mine called Tryptich (on a theme by Handel). She was absolutely increadible (as she always is), although one slightly grumpy audience member wrote in to to complain that he couldn’t hear her – such a shame he didn’t as it was playing of the very highest standard, and pretty much everyone else in the Royal Albet Hall agreed!

The weekend also saw the release of Brett Baker’s new CD, which features Scene from the Silver Plate – which he plays great. The whole CD is a great listen – and features a wide range of works, including a piece by Welsh composer Tom Davoren which will no doubt be played a lot.

The end of October also saw a performance of The Karman Line at the RNCM/BASBWE Festival, conducted by Clark Rundell. It was a highly successful weekend, and those of us on the BASBWE Executive Committee are excited about next year’s plans – again, there will be more on this later.

I also finished a new work, called Fenix Blue, for alto saxophone and wind ensemble – I had a lot of fun writing this for Tim Watson, who commissioned the work and is busy doing a great job and commissioning many new works for sax, who has also recorded a couple of other pieces of mine for his upcoming solo release.

Blues music features heavily throughout the piece, but it was pretty much completed as the Chilean miners were being brought to the surface in the Fenix 2 capsule – so it only seemed fitting to acknowledge the work of the rescuers.

Other works completed include a new piece called JET A for euphonium and CD for American euphoniumist, Robert Benton. Lots of fun writing this – which essentially tries to describe a sky dive in music. Not having ever complete a sky dive, or even attempted one, I had to take Robert’s word for what the experience really is like…I have a funny feeling I won’t be finding out for myself any time soon!

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