SPOTLIGHT ON: ISOBEL DAWS - Talented trombonist on her flourishing career

Issue 6072

EUROPEAN CANCELLED - Major contest off for second successive year as COVID continues

SOUND OF CHRISTMAS - Bands in England given green light to resume as lockdown ends

St Andrews University music project launches virtual conservatoire

Wednesday 21 October, 2020

Scottish tenor horn virtuoso Sheona Wade is one of the big names to be signed up by the StAMP (St Andrews Music Participation) project as part of the launch of its virtual conservatoire next month.

The conservatoire provides an online learning environment which builds on the successful format of the StAMP Brass Camp which has hosted participants from all over the world for seminars, ensemble rehearsals, performance classes and other events every July.

The Virtual Conservatoire (from 2pm to 4pm on Sunday, November 8) welcomes brass players of any age and ability from anywhere in the world. Richard Michael, honorary professor of jazz at the University of St Andrews and a recent collaborator with members of Wynton Marsalis’ rhythm section on the Benedetti Foundation Virtual Sessions, will lead all participants in well-known tunes which he will teach by ear with aspects of improvisation. Musicologist and expert Trevor Herbert (editor of the seminal book The British Brass Band) will join with Richard in a panel discussion with The Wallace Collection about self-expression and interpretation in brass performance.

The Wallace Collection will also lead a session on Proposer-Aginor Mimart’s forgotten brass septets from the 19th century. Led by SBBA patron Professor John Wallace CBE, The Wallace Collection recently made socially distanced recordings of all six of Mimart’s septets on period instruments and will share their insights about these important pieces of brass chamber music that provide a missing link in the evolution of brass music and performance.

Music will be available for anyone who wishes to join in and play along in these very approachable pieces. Historical instruments will be on display by Sandy McGrattan and Stephanie Dyer too: both Sandy and Stephanie will introduce two of the most important brass instruments from the Italian Renaissance, the cornett and sackbut.

Sheona Wade (pictured above) will, in the week leading up to the virtual conservatoire, host a masterclass in which tenor horn players from all around the world are invited to take part. As many as possible will be given the chance to play for Sheona and each other. Early registration is recommended so as not miss out on being an active participant in the masterclass.

Dr Bede Williams, head of instrumental studies at the University of St Andrews commented: “We have an excellent team to deliver two hours of jam-packed content online. I’m particularly looking forward to the discussion about self-expression and interpretation as the objectivity of doing what is ‘on the page’ can seem incongruous with our inner urge to be creative when we play.”

The launch of the virtual conservatoire is part of Fringe of Gold, Scotland’s only non-competitive festival for wind, brass and percussion hosted annually by the University of St Andrews. The 2020 festival welcomes special guests Markus Stockhausen (trumpet) and Maximiliano Martin (clarinet). Register for the virtual conservatoire or find out more information, go to https://stamp. wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/virtual/. Registration closes on Wednesday, November 4.