Xmas Chat Brass At ‘The White Lion’!

About four times a year there seems to be a quickening in the air around the Wigan area and people of all ages, size, shape and diverse backgrounds appear to gather for a cleansing ritual which is spoken about in reverential tones…

1655592_870017503042440_4246328743727335236_oIt had come to that time of year again. The annual Xmas concert for the ‘Chat Brass’ Band. This august ensemble meets three or four times each year and is the brain child of Maestro Phil Boardman and trombonist extraordinaire Simon Cowen. Chat Brass is an ad hoc ensemble of which members converge from the worlds of brass bands, classical symphony orchestras and jazz. Last year, John Suchet, that most mellifluous of radio announcers brought his mellifluous trombone to join Chat Brass. Three members of the RLPO, Chris Morley, Si Cowen and myself took time off the orchestra to participate. John Suchet is ‘gutted’ he couldn’t make it this year. He is presenting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in their ‘Spirit of Christmas’ concert series. Next year John…

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The HEAVY Brass talking tactics…

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At Last, Something For Those Cold Winter Chops…

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Stellar Soprano Pumeza Matshiza Limbers Up For The RLPO ‘Spirit Of Xmas’ Series…

Pumeza Matshikiza rehearsing with Ian Tracey

Soprano Soloist Pumeza Matshikiza rehearsing with Conductor Ian Tracey

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RLPO Trumpet Section Getting Into The Xmas Spirit!

The first rehearsal for our Xmas family concert series ‘Rudolf On Hope Street’. Here’s the trumpet section having a quick blast through a rousing ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’!

The first rehearsal for our 'Rudolf On Hope Street' series of family concerts

The first rehearsal for our ‘Rudolf On Hope Street’ series of family concerts

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Xmas Time At The Phil!

10687379_866904346687089_177546824292318797_oEveryone in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra knows the Christmas Season has begun when we arrive for work and there are two huge Xmas trees, one to stage right and the other to stage left, in Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

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Our first seasonal showing was a ‘pops’ concert with some of the greatest Xmas hits, all chosen and nicely arranged by conductor Richard Balcombe. Continue reading

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Today’s Office…

Today was a day off for the rest of the RLPO. Not so for the brass section. We headed off for Knowsley to play an evening concert at Halewood Academy to play Carols with choirs from seven schools, two drama groups, an adult community choir and secular Christmas music too.unnamed-36 Conducted by RLPO Principal Horn Tim Jackson. Tim is a very accomplished composer and arranger. We performed his arrangement of nine Movements from The Nutcracker which will be a main feature of our upcoming CD with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Brass Ensemble. We also performed some Xmas quintet arrangements and a fabulous new arrangement of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Tim. Tim’s plucky effort with his Xmas Cracker jokes was possibly narrowly exceeded by the quality of his arrangements. Simon Cowen surprised all the members of the ensemble and delighted the audience with a stand up routine that would have done both Les Dawson and Ken Dodd proud. You’re doing well Si but don’t give up the day job just yet!  Continue reading

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Andrew Manze And The RLPO…

The RLPO have been working with the renowned international British conductor, Andrew Manze for the last two weeks. Andrew is always eagerly anticipated. His musicianship, scholarship, expertise and wonderful manner with musicians is always an absolute pleasure. What a joy!

Andrew Manze conducting the RLPO in rehearsal.

Andrew Manze conducting the RLPO in rehearsal.

Having been one of the orchestra’s Artists in Residence in 2013/14, Andrew Manze returned to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra this month for three performances with the orchestra and a cd recording of Vaughan Williams’ ‘A London Symphony’.  On 4 December (Liverpool Philharmonic Hall)  Manze conducted Walton Façade: Suite No.1, Butterworth Two English Idylls, Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending (RLPO leader James Clark as soloist), and Vaughan Williams ‘A London Symphony’. Manze also took the trouble to rehearse the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra during an already busy time.

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Leroy Anderson’s ‘Sleigh Ride’ Played On The Bugle!

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Christmas Tunes by Jazz Kid Using the Bb Blues Scale

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Trombonasaurus Rex!

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