January 26th 2014 was a historic day indeed…it saw the inaugural International Tenor Horn and Flugel Seminar in Birmingham. I have certainly never seen so many tenor horns in one room before – in fact, I was quite taken aback by how many people came along to Birmingham Conservatoire to be a part of the day. It was quite a surreal, but thoroughly enjoyable experience!
Organised by Owen Farr (solo horn with the Cory Band), ‘Reverb’ Chu (from Taiwan) and Peter Maertens (from Belgium) – the seminar’s aims were to bring together as many tenor horn and flugel players as possible in a day of making music, meeting other players from around the word and rejoicing in tenor horn and flugelness! Continue reading →
‘Tenor or Alto Horn – one instrument, two names’ is now published. The book is now for sale for £15 / € 17.50 at www.lulu.com (click on the image). The book is a contribution to our knowledge and understanding about an instrument that deserves much more credit and respect than it generally receives. Its tonal qualities cannot be compared to any other instrument. In it you will find answers to several questions such as ‘Why do we name this instrument both alto horn and tenor horn?’ ‘What’s the difference with the E flat horn?’, ‘In which ensembles can it be found?’, ‘What’s the musical role of the instrument?’, ‘Is there any original repertoire for it?’, ‘When did composers start to write for the instrument and how did the repertoire evolve?’
What Owen Farr says:
I first met Peter when we studied the tenor horn together at the Royal Northern College of Music in 2001. Continue reading →
The day started with me being stuck in a traffic jam, which resulted in running towards the last train door that wasn’t closed yet. Catching it right in time, pfff, I felt lucky. From Lille to Amboise, it takes about three hours on the hst. The train stopped in Charles de Gaulle, the airport in Paris, where Owen Farr joined me. Or better, I joined him in the bar. He was going to Amboise as well to test new Prestige & Sovereign horns. We arrived in Saint-Pierre des Corps at noon, and once we finished a very nice lunch in a cosy restaurant in the historic centre of Amboise, we continued our journey to the factory.
French trumpet player Thierry Seneau takes up the tenor horn in Bigre, part of the programme of his big band. They performed in the prestigious international jazz festival ‘Jazz à Vienne’, France – summer 2012.
Studio Music have published Diversions on Gwahoddiad.
It was composed for the renowned Welsh tenor horn soloist, and former principal horn of the BAYV Cory Band, David Cornelius. He premiered the work at the 2011 Yeovil Entertainment Contest, with the BTM Band, where he was awarded the prize for best soloist.
The second in Tom’s ‘Diversions’ series of solo works, this piece celebrates the lyrical side of tenor horn as well the virtuosic technical ability of many of today’s leading horn players, all through exploring Jon Roberts beautiful Welsh hymn tune Gwahoddiad.
After a very long rehearsal of almost four hours, I experienced a serious tiredness of my lips. They were swollen, especially the left side of my bottom lip. As all brass players experience tiredness after a serious effort, I expected it to heal by the next day or maybe in two days. The general swelling disappeared, but a swollen sensation on the left side of my bottom lip remained, together with a sore sensation just below the left corner of my mouth. Result, I couldn’t even play a high D without a serious effort! It made me panic. If you love to make music, you don’t want it to finish so soon and in such a manner.
I started to look around on the internet and learned that many brass players suffer from lip and/or muscle injuries. It surprised me, because I had never heard of this kind of problems before. When talking to people that experienced problems, it seemed even that this is a subject brass players don’t want to talk about. I found a very good website on overuse syndrome embouchure.com, made by Lucinda Lewis, who managed Continue reading →
After the cancellation of 2 major solo events in the Brass Band movement, the BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Soloist of the Year and the British Open Solo Championships, I decided to apply for the BBC Young Musician of the Year 2012 competition. The series itself leans itself towards instruments of an orchestral nature, in fact the instrument was referred to as ‘an unusual instrument’ by presenter Clemency Burton-Hill.
Regional auditions took place around the country, welcoming applications from anyone that wished to give it a try. My first stage took place in mid-October at the MediaCity UK Studios in Salford, Manchester, where I played alongside renowned accompanist John Wilson. I performed my own Continue reading →