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Issue 6110

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A RISING STAR - BB meets Flowers and NYBBGB cornetist, Luke Barker

Composer Cast: Marcus Venables

Thursday 12 August, 2021

Marcus Venables is a leading Canadian composer for brass band, receiving performances of his music around the world. With many successes to his name, Marcus was winner of the 2019 Cory Band Composer Competition, followed by the New York Staff Band Composer Competition in 2020. In addition to his work as a composer, Marcus is principal cornet with the Canadian Staff Band of the Salvation Army and has performed as a soloist and conductor across Canada, the USA and Europe.

Christopher Bond finds out more about this exciting musical talent.

 

Tell me about where you grew up and your first musical experiences.

MV: I am from Toronto, Canada, where I have lived my entire life. I grew up in a very musical home. My dad (Robert) was a professional trumpet player in the area and when I was young, he was the principal trumpet for the Toronto production of Phantom of the Opera. So, there was obvious influence there for me and my five other siblings. At home, there was a rule that if we hadn’t practised our cornets by the time our dad got home, we would get a lesson. None of us wanted that! My mother (Rhonda) was a very talented pianist and homeschooled all of us. Some of my earliest memories are sitting around the piano, working on a singing item, or going places to perform as a family. This early musical experience helped pave the way for my ability but also for my interest in music making. In addition to parental influence, the Salvation Army was hugely influential. The highlight of my week was going to kids' choir and weekly band rehearsals.

 

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