LEAD TRUMPET - Louis Dowdeswell to inspire online

Issue 6088

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IFOR JAMES - The horn player who tried to change the horns 

Champions of Brass set for concert platform

Sunday 4 April, 2021

The uncertainty of the COVID lockdown has led to the creation of a new band of old friends – and they are already planning a series of concerts to entertain banding audiences.

Champions of Brass is the brainchild of Sandy Smith and Simon Gresswell and will see a host of familiar names get involved including Morgan Griffiths, Kevin Crockford, Nick Hudson, Peter Christian, Lucy Cutt, Alan Morrison and Lee Rigg.

Reflecting on the project’s origins, Sandy said: “Simon and I have been talking about this idea for nearly two years and the lockdown has made us realise how precious the relationships are with colleagues and friends with whom we have made music over the years.”

Simon said: “There is a strong desire to make music again with the players we have played both with and against, over the years. We have an excellent talent pool to draw on to provide concerts with both iconic repertoire and new music, in styles we believe will be appreciated by our target audience.”

Also set to get involved will be cornet legend Phillip McCann while Garry Cutt is to conduct and BBC radio presenter David Hoyle will compere the band’s musical projects.

Simon added: “We've already had lots of interest from venues keen to promote events and the emphasis will be on quality music from quality performers. The project will also give those involved the chance to be back making music at a high level, while also being able to renew the strong bonds we have treasured over the years.”

The band intends to embark on recording projects and, to this end, a link has been forged with Keith Johnson, of KMJ Recordings. Champions of Brass will be run on a non-profit basis, with any money raised from concerts being ploughed back into the running of the band. News on the band's inaugural concert is to follow soon.