On Saturday 5th May, 13 students, along with Southampton Music Hub teacher, John Hanchett traveled to the Royal Marines School Of Music in Portsmouth for their Low Brass Day. The day, which was organised by the Royal Marine Band Service and the British Trombone Society brought four of the countries finest low brass players together with local musicians. Around 100 Tuba, Euphonium, Baritone, Bass and Tenor Trombones started the morning by forming a huge ensemble creating a loud and majestic sound.
Each of the four international soloists led masterclasses, focusing on different aspects of brass playing. Bass Trombonist, Simon Minshall led a session exploring the bass trombonist role within Wagner’s Ring cycle, wowing people with his Contrabass Trombone playing. Robbie Harvey shared his jazz background, giving tips of how to explore improvisation. Robbie also performed several pieces backed by a jazz combo from the Royal Marines.
Following a break for lunch, when students took the opportunity to look around School of Music and visit the trade stands — enjoying having a go at playing Soprano trombones and sousaphones among other instruments, Tuba virtuoso, Les Neish gave an interesting session focusing on advanced breathing techniques, and included them in daily practice.
Finally world renowned Euphonium star, David Childs delivered a session on performance skills, taking about presentation. To conclude the day, all those taking part formed the large low brass ensemble again playing a piece composed for this event which featured the four fabulous soloists.
John Hanchett says:
“It was an inspirational event, an utterly fantastic opportunity to hear playing of the highest caliber. I’m sure all the students will be taking tips from today into their own practice and performance. The young musicians had a fantastic day, and were also a credit to their parents and schools with how they engaged with this Low Brass Day."