Emma Halnan first came to prominence as the woodwind category winner in BBC's 'Young Musician of the Year' in 2010. She has since appeared at major venues worldwide and has performed concertos with orchestras including the London Mozart Players, the European Union Chamber Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Emma was principal flute of the European Union Youth Orchestra 2014-16. She has also freelanced with orchestras including the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and English National Opera.
Emma was kindly supported by Making Music's Philip and Dorothy Green Young Artists Scheme.
|Flute Concerto||Mike Mower|
|Concertino for Flute||Cécile Chaminade|
|Méditation from Thaïs||Jules Massenet|
Through the band's membership of Making Music, an organisation that supports leisure time ensembles, we were selected to participate in the 2018/19 Adopt a Composer project. In essence, Making Music facilitated a collaboration between a young emerging composer, Rob Laidlow, and SCWB, with a view to broadening the horizons of the band and giving Rob the opportunity to compose a work for symphonic wind band.
Supported by mentor Fraser Trainer, Rob visited the band a number of times, introducing sketches that he had composed and, crucially, seeking feedback from the band members. The aim was to compose a work that Rob felt reflected his musical values but also which incorporated ideas suggested by the band.
Over a period of around six months, Rob composed Jumpcut/Longshot, a 15-minute work inspired by filming techniques and the effects they create.
It's safe to say that the band was in the outer reaches of its comfort zone, performing music that was very contemporary in feel and hugely demanding in terms of concentration.
The World Premiere of Jumpcut/Longshot took place in SCWB's Silver Jubilee Concert in The Chapel at Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley, in May 2019. The performance of Rob's composition was professionally recorded and broadcast in its entirety on BBC Radio 3 in January 2020.
It was a privilege to be a part of the Adopt a Composer scheme. Working so closely with Rob, experiencing the gradual development of his composition, performing it and then hearing it broadcast on BBC Radio 3 was a unique and memorable experience.
You can read more about our 'Adopt A Composer' journey in this series of blogs.
On Saturday 18th May, 2019, SCWB performed a Silver Jubilee concert in The Chapel, Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley, celebrating 25 years of music-making.
We were delighted to have as guest conductors the band's former Music Directors, Peter Hyland (1994 - 2004), Richard Harvey (2004 - 2006) and Claire Favell-Potter (2006 - 2007). It was entirely appropriate that the band's current Deputy MD, Simon Morgan, also conducted a piece.
Two founder members of the band, Jackie Swann and Jonathan Bridger, remain with the band to this day and between them they wrote a short but informative history of the band for the concert programme.
Concluding the first half was the world premiere of Jumpcut/Longshot, a composition for SCWB by Rob Laidlow under the auspices of Making Music's Adopt a Composer project. This was recorded professionally and later broadcast in its entirety on BBC Radio 3.
Why have one world premiere in a concert when you could have two? The Chapel is all that remains of The Royal Victoria Military Hospital, the largest military hospital ever built. Florence Nightingale contributed to the hospital's design so SCWB's MD, Calum Gray, composed The Lamp Shall Ever Glow in her honour.
It was a wonderful concert with an appreciative audience consisting of so many friends of the band. Here's to the next 25 years!
Gerard McChrystal comes from Londonderry in Northern Ireland. He took up saxophone as a second study for his RNCM audition in 1982. By 1987 he had made his concerto debut with the RTE Concert Orchestra playing the Dubois Concerto live on TV. His UK debut was with The Philharmonia in 1989 premiering Out of the Cool by Dave Heath.
Gerard has performed in over 35 countries including China, USA, South Africa, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Korea and Germany. He has recorded albums with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Ulster Orchestra, London Musici, guitarist Craig Ogden, The Smith Quartet and Yan Pascal Tortelier. Orchestras Gerard has worked with include the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony of Ireland, Stuttgart Staatsorchester and the Orchestra of San Francisco Ballet. Venues he has played are also varied to say the least and include the Royal Albert Hall and a longhut in Sarawak, Borneo.
He is Professor of Saxophone at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and also teaches at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
|Fantasia for Alto Saxophone||Claude T Smith|
|Pequena Czarda||Pequena Czarda|
Steven Mead is a euphonium virtuoso and teacher who has played an important role in achieving worldwide recognition of the instrument. He has played solo concerti with symphony orchestras, including: the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra and the Japan Chamber Orchestra. He has also premiered works by numerous major composers often with those works composed expressly for him.
He is Professor of Euphonium at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and also at teaches at several specialist schools across Europe and in Japan. He has been responsible for the first ever euphonium masterclasses in Italy, Portugal, Lithuania, Slovenia, Russia and Austria.
He is widely regarded as one of the most successful professional euphonium soloists in the world today, performing over 75 concerts per year with some of the leading orchestras, wind bands and brass bands across all continents.
|Concerto for Euphonium||Andy Scott|
Brett Baker is a leading brass performer, educator and musical pioneer. Working closely with composers he has commissioned numerous new pieces for the solo repertoire while maintaining a packed performance schedule. He is currently the most recorded trombone soloist in his genre and has made many broadcast and TV appearances, sharing the stage with world renowned soloists including Wycliffe Gordon, Christian Lindberg and Joseph Alessi. In 1992 Brett was a brass finalist in BBC's 'Young Musician of the Year' and quickly established a reputation as one of the finest players of his generation. He has played with Britain's top brass bands and had spectacular recording success with the Black Dyke Band as player and soloist, garnering many awards and international recognition. Brett has travelled to all corners of the globe as a celebrated guest trombone tutor and brass clinician. As well as his performing, he is now acquiring a burgeoning reputation as a conductor and adjudicator.
|Trombone Concerto||Rob Wiffin|
|Rhapsody for Trombone||Gordon Langford|
|Fantastic Polka||Arthur Pryor|
Les Neish is a performer of international standing having performed with some of Britain's top brass bands. He is a member of the Fine Arts Brass Ensemble and also the Brass Band of Battle Creek, a professional, by-invitation-only brass band in America. His first solo CD Salt of the Earth won numerous awards and he now travels the world performing and teaching. As a youngster, the first brass instrument Les played was a trumpet. His teacher soon felt that he might be better suited to the tuba and the rest is history. That teacher was Gabrielle Horne, a member of SCWB's trumpet section.
|Concerto - Salt of the Earth||Andy Scott|
|Amazing Grace||arr. Øystein Baadsvik|
|The Carioca||arr. Luc Vertommen|