Ten Piece History & Background

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by boylan, May 29, 2012.

  1. boylan

    boylan New Member

    Can anyone share what they know about ten piece ensembles as they relate to full brass bands? I play in a brass band here in the States, we have had problems getting the entire band out to do some performances. This led us to look at smaller ensembles, after a post on this forum I discovered a ton of ten piece music. It appears that the ten piece is relatively popular but I don't see it mentioned on any of the popular brass band websites.
  2. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Member

    I think the first (now watch everybody correct me) 10 piece was the James Shepherd Versatile Brass which started about 1973.
    This was to be a "lighter" approach than the more established Orchestral Brass Ensembles.
    A lot of music for JSVB was (and still is) published by Hallamshire Music.
  3. boylan

    boylan New Member

    Thanks Andrew, that helps. Do bands tend to have ten piece groups setup within the larger band?
  4. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Member

    Some do and some exist in their own right.
    Sometimes it's just a useful format for when you haven't got enough players available.
  5. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    I conduct LBBrass which is a Brass Ensemble based in halifax - we were set up 16 years ago to play at a friends wedding, and the group continued - I have been with them about 18 months now, we are set up 4 cornets, horn, trom, Euph, Eb Bass & perc. . we use a variety of sources for arrangements including playing full band scores with some swapping about of parts, my own arrangements and specific 10 piece things we have bought. . .

    Emley Brass band, one of my other groups go out on jobs (limited budget or space etc) with a 14 piece set up - 2 Solo crts, Either Rep or Flugel, 2 back row, hrn, bari, euph, trom, Eb & Bb bass & perc . . . we find that most music is pretty adaptable for this group to be able to play, and we are very popluar in this size to play weddings and back ground music. . .
  6. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I recall that Hendon Salvation Army Band had a small group that was featured in one of the Royal Albert Hall festivals in the late 70's/ early 80's. I'm not sure what the line-up was but I vividly recall them playing Erik Silfverberg's "Lift up the Banner".
  7. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    I think you're right, JSVB was the first, and was (I believe) prompted by the success of the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble 'tentet', which I am fairly sure was the only group of its kind at the time, at least in the UK. Jone's group had begun as a quartet in the early 1950s, developing into the more versatile quintet after he had heard the New York Brass Quintet play at the American Embassy in London. The 'tentet' came about because it was more versatile than a quintet, and also because for a quintet to play a full concert was hard work!

    The tentet played serious repertoire and lighter stuff - Chris Hazell's Four Brass Cats were written for PJBE, for example. I think that the JSVB saw the potential and adapted it to brass band instrumentation. Gordon Higginbottom, an original member of the JSVB, is on this forum - perhaps he can confirm or correct this version of events?
    Last edited: May 30, 2012

Share This Page