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The Latest About Fine Arts Brass
(last updated 27 January 2014)

See our Out and About page for recent photos of FAB
...and here's some older news

FAB & WLSBB
FAB & WLSBB

Recording Postponed....
Plans to record Philip Moore's At the Earth's Imagined Corners with Andrew Lumsden and the Winchester Cathedral Choir at the end of January 2014 have had to be postponed until later in the year. We gave the first performance of this piece with the combined choirs of Winchester, Salisbury and Chichester Cathedrals at the 2011 Southern Cathedrals Festival and we have been very keen to record the piece ever since. Sadly, Andy Lumsden hurt his hand recently and emergency surgery has forced a period of convalescence. Here's wishing Andy a speedy recovery!

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Cheltenham Contemporary Concerts
Among our concerts in October we shall be making a return to Cheltenham to perform again for the Cheltenham Contempoary Concerts series. We always enjoy playing for them as it gives us a rare opportunity for us to programme an entire concert of new music. In this case, all written within the last 30 years and much of the programme written exclusively for FAB. We shall include music by Graham Fitkin and Robin Holloway as they celebrate their 50th & 70th birthdays in 2013 of as well as tipping our hat to the great Witold Lutosławski who seems to have been almost forgotten in the centenary year of his birth because of the 200th celebrations of Wagner & Verdi. We shall also be using the occasion to give a repeat performance of Michael Alcon's work for brass quintet & electronics: 'Time's Arrow'. We gave the first performance of this piece two years ago for the Belfast Music Society.

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Turkey!
.....but not quite for Christmas!
We are delighted to be returning to Turkey again this year. It's been over ten years since we last played in Turkey and this visit is made or the more special as we are to be the guest soloists with the Presidential Symphony Orchestra based in the capital, Ankara. The invite came about by a strange coincidence - one of the orchestra's current trumpeters, and also a member of the orchestra's artistic committee - was present at our concert with the Istanbul State Symphony, back at Christmas 1995 whilst he was still a child! He advised us that it had been his personal ambition to invite us back to Turkey ever since. We are to perform a full concert with the orchestra as our accompanists throughout. Suffice to say, we are REALLY looking forward to this visit in late November.

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New CD with the Brandenburg Staatsorchester
...and another visit to the Chorin Music Festival
We are to return to Chorin Monastery at the end of August for a another performance at the Chorin Music Festival. The Festival takes place every two years and after the success of our 2011 concert we were delighted to be immediately invited back by the organisers to play in 2013. This time we shall be performing our version of West Side Story with the Brandenburg Staatsorchester along with another set of fabulous tunes from the Tin Pan Alley years. The concert with be the highlight to a hard week's work as we're also using the occasion to record our first commercial CD with symphony orchestra.The CD will feature us in six of our best Tin Pan Alley tunes - many recorded for the first time - including the often requested Sweet Georgia Brown.

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Potsdam Music Festival & Klassiek op Locatie
A round up of two recent FAB trips to Germany & Holland
It’s a trip every weekend at the moment for the group, which is fantastic, but the cumulative number of ‘red-eye’ flights is starting to take its toll now! It was a trip to Potsdam for the festival on the 23rd June, where we had an outdoor ‘typical English bandstand’ concert to play. I suspect the weather is normally a little more reliable in Germany in june than in England, hence the planning of this lovely garden type party. The rain only threatened thankfully, and the audience stayed put!

I have to admit to never having played Jerusalem or Sailor’s Hornpipe in Germany before. However, I’ve since learned that they love our ‘last night of the proms’ style concerts, and joined in with gusto when required to sing and clap! Having an afternoon concert meant a free evening for a meal out- what a treat! Normally such luxuries get sidelined on short trips as we try to fit in as much as possible, but the 4.30am start (German time) the next morning stopped us from enjoying the wine too much……

So to the following weekend and a return trip to Venlo, Holland to work with one of our favourite people. Nard Reijnders is a saxophonist/arranger/concert promoter with whom we worked seven years ago on a new commission for wind band and quintet. This return trip was to play as part of his music series, set in beautiful buildings in the border area of Holland near to Germany. This place was no exception- a stage had been set up (even having acoustic screens!) in a lovely courtyard setting, and we were well looked after by the lady who lived there. Nard is known to be completely unflappable, which is just as well. Just 3 movements into Philip Wilby’s Partita on a Krakov Fanfare, our first piece, the heavens opened and we had to abandon playing as the audience ran for cover, and we had to move our chairs and music and cower in the dry corner of the stage! Thankfully this was one very sharp but mercifully short shower, so business resumed after about fifteen minutes. The sun came out, the audience were appreciative, and beer was served immediately afterwards whilst we signed CDs…. Can you understand why we enjoyed ourselves? Oh, and chocolates….

Another afternoon concert meant another free evening to enjoy a meal and of course the Euro 2012 final.

A lie in? On tour? Now that never happens! Nard had arranged for us to rehearse for our concert in Swanage (5th july) in the local theatre, which was an incredible facility given the size of the town. We then entertained the local market with some of our jazz favourites, and Nard joined in. Such a lot of fun!

The evening was a project with a local wind band, playing a specially adapted arrangement of Stephen Roberts’ piece, Malvern Chase. The band tackled it with real enthusiasm, and after just one three hour rehearsal we managed to perform it in the town square. We had forgotten what sunshine was due to our never ending rain in the UK, so to be able to play outside at 10pm at night, and then enjoy a beer and pizza outside, and be warm and dry was so wonderful. Simon’s ego was boosted as many of the girls from the band wanted their photos taken with him afterwards! I think we may be hearing about that for a while don’t you?

What a lovely trip with sunshine, great concerts, ice cream, and a fabulous musician as a promoter. Let’s hope it isn’t seven years until we return!

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Press the valve to hear an MP3 of Fine Arts playing The Carnival of Venice from BBC Radio 2's Friday Night is Music Night.

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