Original brass band music

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Richard N., Sep 1, 2012.

  1. Richard N.

    Richard N. New Member


    Just wondering how different bands approach adding truly original brass band music (NOT arrangements of music originally intended for other ensembles) to their library/repertoire.

    How does your band feel about playing original music and including it in concerts?

    How often does your band buy original music (ignoring prescribed contest pieces).

    How often do you commission new compositions for your band?

  2. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    At our two recent concerts in Jersey Wingates' programme included:

    Mr Sonnemans' Unusual Solution - Lucy Pankhurst (World Premiere, commissioned by a committee member)
    In Pitch Black - Lucy Pankhurst (commissioned by the band in 2010)
    Extreme Makeover - Johann de Meij (just the second half, from the bottle blowing bit)
    Harlequin - Philip Sparke
    Kongelela - Jan Magne Forde
    Meditation - Paul McGhee

    And all of these were largely well received by the audience.

    It's our intention to include as much of this kind of music as we can in concerts, and seek feedback from the audience (by giving them all a card to fill in). Obviously if we're booked for a "Brassed Off" or Proms kind of gig, we'll play what the promoter requests, but at concerts where we're given a free hand we're trying to steer away from filling programmes with cheesy arrangements. Given that we have a composer in residence, I'd guess we commission something new every 12-18 months, depending on the opportunity to play it. Next year we have a 140th anniversary, which is obviously a great opportunity to commission some new music, and work has already started on finding the finance for that.
  3. its_jon

    its_jon Member

    Excellent ! :clap::clap::clap:
  4. cornetcheese

    cornetcheese Member

    I guess we buy about 5-7 new pieces each year, of which the vast majority are original brass band compositions. I don't really like using too many arrangments ideally, so always try to hunt down new pieces either by listening to concerts, youtube, cd's or simply buying pieces "blind" by interesting composers.

    Recently, we've played probably more original music this year - our concert pads currently indlude the diverse (and slightly bizarre) mix of:-

    The Dreaded Groove and Hook (Simon Dobson)
    Japanese Slumber Song (Gareth Wood)
    Resurgam (Eric Ball)
    Penlee (Simon Dobson)
    Lament from "Macbeth" (Pete Meechan)
    March - Deep Harmony (Martin Pearce)
    On a Mission from God (Phil Doe)
    Danmark nu Blunder den Lyse Nat (Jesper Riis)
    Lock Horns, Rage On (Simon Dobson)
    Rhapsody for Trombone (Gordon Langford)
    Akatonbo (Hiroshi Yamagishi)

    The players on the whole definately prefer playing original works over arrangements, which is why we probably do more music specifically written for band than arrangements. Certainly, I've used more arrangments at other bands I have conducted in the past.

    We haven't commissioned any pieces specifically, but Martin Pearce and Phil Doe both play in the band and have written pieces we perform. Also, we are working with composer Raymond Yiu to write a large work for next year.

    I really think bands should commission more new music - I really like the idea of attracting composers from outside the brass band world to write for band, but when you consider that a commission will cost around the £7-10k mark, it's tricky to source funding!
  5. Richard N.

    Richard N. New Member


    Encouraging answers.

    It's good to hear that original compositions are being supported.

    I agree that cost is an issue when considering commisioning a new piece - understandable when taking into account the man-hours required to create a new piece, but it still painful on the band fund.

  6. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    *cough* I I I I I I I (attempts to create a series of arrows to point to the link in his signature...)
  7. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member


    Admitteldy they are Xmas ones Bruv, but seek and thee shall find :tongue:
  8. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    We do our best also at Dalewool to fill up on original music but it is difficult to keep up with new music from down here. A few good ideas from other posters in this thread, thanks!
  9. its_jon

    its_jon Member

    LOL .... yes, watch out for that sort of thing :D

  10. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    I've just been listening to this work on Soundcloud, and it's another fine and original work by a young composer who deserves all the exposure she can get. Time for a commercial CD of her music, methinks????
  11. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    It is indeed. Funny you should mention that. Watch this space next year...
  12. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Aha! Fantastic!
  13. Ali

    Ali Member

    We always seem to have a Peter Meechan and Andy Scott piece on all of our programs.
  14. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Very good to hear. I have your World Within CD and it's fine stuff. Any chance that Spirit of Mingus might get recorded some time? It's a knockout piece.

    Also have just taken delivery of your latest recording, and am most impressed with the Maurice Hamers piece which is a new one on me. More power to your collective elbow!
  15. Ali

    Ali Member

    Thanks James!!! Power of the Soul is quality. It needs another public airing. I really enjoyed doing the Masquerade CD and having heard it, makes it all worthwhile. As for Spirit of Mingus, there is talk of a new Andy Scott CD to be done as some stage but I don’t actually know what will be on it. Hopefully, "SoM" will make it on there. Watch this space!!!!! In the meantime, you can enjoy Mingus on our website as there was a live video recording from the RNCM Festival of Brass. Visit www.fodensband.co.uk to enjoy it!!!

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