As a young musician I played in brass and wind bands before a 5-year stint in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Great Britain drew me in other directions. These days, as a former professional trombone player, and now an amateur, I play with various bands on bass trombone, trombone, baritone and euphonium. Brass band music has changed dramatically over recent decades, and I find that all the musical disciplines and styles I have studied — everything from formal contemporary music, through to jazz and big band, by way of pop music and music for film and TV — all come together in a happy melting pot that reflects the diversity of styles to be found in the brass band world nowadays. It’s almost as if the various styles and genres I’ve absorbed during my career have been leading me in the direction of composing new music for brass.
2019 is looking very promising, with world premieres by Foden’s, Steven Mead, Brighouse & Rastrick and a major commission for Carole Crompton’s Bolsover International Brass Band Summer School in the form of a new piece featuring Della Pearce (GUS Virtuosi).
These demos are recorded by me in my studio, one instrument per part, so they don’t have the full band sound that a complete brass band would bring. Also, cornet playing is not my strongest suit, so please forgive any less than perfect playing. On a couple of pieces I had help from my son Henry, who is a gifted trumpet/cornet player, so many thanks to him for sparing my blushes.
The purpose of these demos is simply to give an impression of each piece, and to act as a sonic reference as you look at the score. Perusal scores are available as PDFs by email request. I regularly add new pieces as I compose and record the demos, so check by every now and then.