2016 HBS Early Brass Festival: Northfield, Minnesota

3/23 - Preparations are underway for the annual HBS conference: the 2016 Early Brass Festival. It will be held in conjunction with the Vintage Band Festival on July 28–31 in Northfield, Minnesota. Updates will be posted here periodically. If you wish to submit a proposal to present, please do so by emailing your abstract to Jeff Nussbaum (president@historicbrass.org).

Other Documents and Links

Registration Form with Housing Information

The Vintage Band Festival website

 

Cornetto-making Workshop

5/23 - The Cambridge Woodwind Makers will be hosting a Cornetto-making workshop this summer in Cambridge over four days: June 15-18, 2016. The course is being led by Michael Münkwitz, Andrew Hallock and Sam Goble. Cost is £550. For more information, visit their website: http://www.cambridgewoodwindmakers.org/info/courses/cornetto-making+184.html. The Barclay natural trumpet building course organized by the same group has already filled up for 2016, so don't delay.

Paul E. Bierley (1926-2016)

4/14 - The HBS learned of Paul Bierley's passing this past week. He was great scholar to whom all musicologists interested in band music are forever indebted. Trevor Herbert has written an eloquent obituary for him as follows:

I never met Paul Bierley, but it feels as if I did. We corresponded and chatted two or three times on transatlantic phone calls. He was always courteous, modest and generous. He usually wanted to know what I was working on. I took this as evidence of his generosity, but I also concluded that his inquiries were genuine – he was insatiably curious and as we all know, curiosity is the nourishment of research. Without curiosity the urge to inquire fades and eventually vanishes. Paul never stopped inquiring.

He died in a retirement home overlooking the Scioto River on 9 April at the age of 90. He was a man of Ohio:  born in Portsmouth, he lived the greatest part of his life in Westerville. In the later years of the Second World War he served as a bandsman and radio operator/gunner in the US Army Air Corps. After military service he spent his entire professional life as a design and product engineer and was highly respected in that field, but beyond his commitments to his close family his interests were absorbed by music. He played in or conducted bands and orchestras throughout his life. He was also of course a tireless researcher: he founded his own publishing firm (Integrity Press) and published on the life and work of Henry Fillmore, but he will be remembered primarily for his work on John Philip Sousa.

No one could accuse Paul of total objectivity when it came to Sousa, but it was his industry that led to the definitive chronicle of the life and work of one of the first global superstars of music. The first of his books, John Philip Sousa: American Phenomenon, was published in 1973, and I reviewed his final book, The Incredible Band of John Philip Sousa, just a few years ago. Both are packed with verified detail, and they will remain essential texts for anyone with a serious or passing interest in Sousa or indeed in the roots of American music culture.

He was the recipient of many honours and awards – each of them richly deserved. 

[Editor's note: a tribute written to commemorate the honorary doctorate he received from Ohio State is available by clicking here.]

European Music Archaeology Project

4/13 - Scholars associated with the European Music Archeology Project (EMAP) have been in the news lately. For those that don't know, the project seeks to recreate ancient music - in the brass world that means Greek and Roman instruments, among others. A conference was held in Italy in 2015, in part sponsored by the HBS. For further information, feel free to peruse the links below.

New York Times article on EMAP

Youtube video of Gabrielle Cassone demonstrating a number of instruments at the 2015 conference

A document with further information on the instruments demonstrated in the above video

Brass Antiqua Workshop, Northern Virginia

3/24 - Adam Woolf (Sackbut) and Barry Bauguess (Natural and Baroque Trumpet) will be offering masterclasses at Brass Antiqua, a early brass workshop to be held in Winchester, Virginia (Northern Virginia) on August 10-13, 2016. Further details are available at: http://www.brassantiqua.org.

2016 HBS Monk Awardee: Jeremy Montagu

 

3/17 - We are happy to announce that the 2016 recipient of the Historic Brass Society's Christopher Monk Award will be the noted organologist, curator, and instrument collector Jeremy Montagu. Montagu is the author of many important studies of musical instruments including Horns and Trumpets of the World, Musical Instruments of the Bible, The Horn, Timpani and Percussion, Origins and Development of Musical Instruments and many others. He is the current president of the Galpin Society and past curator of the Bate Collection of Musical Instruments at Oxford University. Jeremy has also emmassed one of the great private collections of musical instruments, including a wide range of brasswinds. His outstanding works as a writer and curator has made significant and lasting contributions to the understanding of historic brass instruments and their music. Jeremy Montagu will be presented with the Christopher Monk Award on June 25 at the Galpin Society Meeting held at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK.

Italian Brass Week

3/8 -  Florence will be the host city for the 17th Italian Brass Week international festival from 17-24 July 2016, a project both conceived and directed by Luca Benucci, Solo Horn of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra. International and Italian virtuosi soloists and professors, Jazz groups and Brass Ensembles will participate in masterclasses, concerts, and other musical events, each held in various notable locations in Florence such as the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Theatre, Palazzo Pitti, Ponte Vecchio, Bargello Museum, Boboli Gardens, and the Piazza della Signoria. The summer evenings of the musical week will be illuminated by the world’s brass stars: Andrea Dell’Ira, Otto Sauter, Sergei Nakariakov, Luca Benucci, Jorgen van Rijen, Alain Trudel, Francisco “Pacho” Flores, Dale Clevenger, Stefan de Leval Jezierski, Roger Bobo, Anne Jelle Visser, Sergio Carolino, Jamie Williams, Froydis Ree Wekre, Emanuele Antoniucci, and Gabriele Malloggi.

While modern brass performance is the main focus of the week, this event has had early brass activities in the past

Click here for further information: www.italianbrass.com.

5th Annual Indiana Sackbut Workshop

3/2 - The 5th Indiana Sackbut Workshop will be continuing a study of German wind band or "Stadtpfeiffer" repertoire from the fall, focusing on the 16th and 17th centuries.  The main goal of the workshop, through the sources which we shall be exploring, is to become fluent purveyors of late medieval and early Renaissance music in its own language, and skilled and informed practitioners of the instruments and the historical performance practices involved.  Our goal will be to play all of the repertoire in its original manuscript or print form, either becoming acquainted with this for the first time, or furthering our knowledge and fluency in it. But since we do not want to discourage anyone from attending the workshop, modern editions will be provided for all of the selections to help us out along the way.

We have a new, slightly more flexible set of dates this time around. The main workshop with sackbuts, dulcians and shawms will remain as advertised on the website as from Wednesday, May 4th at 5 PM to Sunday, May 8th at 1 PM at Waycross Conference Center in Morgantown, IN. There is, however, the option of arriving on Tuesday, May 3rd at 5 PM for one day of sackbut and dulcian ensemble playing.  We will be specifically exploring this combination of instruments, experimenting with what early 17th-century theorist and composer Michael Praetorius elucidates on the subject.

If you plan on participating in the extra day (beginning on May 3rd), this will be an available option on the Early Music in Motion website that you will have to register for separately from the main workshop. Here is a link to all pertinent information concerning registration and fees: http://earlymusicinmotion.org/event-registration/?ee=12

If you have any specific questions about the workshop, please feel free to contact Adam Bregman (adam.bregman@gmail.com) or Juan Carlos (earlymusicinmotion@gmail.com).

Natural Trumpet Course in Arosa

3/2 - Mike Diprose will be conducting a special course in Arosa, Switzerland on August 7-13, 2016. The course has been expanded to include an entire orchestra - strings, woodwinds, trumpets with  timpani and plucked instruments – all playing only equipment that we know was in general use in the early 18th century.

One side of the re-assimilation of historical brass instruments into Historically-informed Performance Practice is the technical challenge for trumpeters.  Nowadays, when they play in ensemble with other musicians, it can be perhaps even more daunting for all involved.  Does it really need to be that difficult?  What were those dumb composers thinking? Or could we reassess the interpretation of their work and its context? This course is designed to help bring us closer to an understanding of the composers' sound-world and expectations. Rather than post-modernising all the instruments, our course re-approaches the repertoire by applying solutions from historical sources to the equipment for which it was written. This is a resonant experience for everybody, with and without brass.

For further information: http://musikkurswochen.ch/kurse/detail/247

International Cornett and Sackbut Conference

2/9 - To celebrate their 40th anniversary, Le Sacqueboutiers de Toulouse will be presenting an international cornett and sackbut event on October 20-23, 2016. The event will include concerts, talks, and a competition. Details can be found on website: les-sacqueboutiers.com.

American Bach Soloists Summer Academy

2/8 - The ABS summer academy will be held in San Francisco on August 1–14, 2016. John Thiessen will be the trumpet clinician. The deadline for applications is February 15. For further information and to apply see http://americanbach.org/academy/.

New Information on Oskar Bohme

1/14 - We have received correspondence from Edward H. Tarr on some interesting new information that he wished to share with our members. The letter is as follows:

Dear Friends

A Russian historian has recently discovered how the cornetist Oskar Böhme came to an end. In a chapter about Böhme in my book East Meets West I had written: “The exact date and the circumstances of his death will probably never be known.” In the wake of Stalin’s “Great Terror” (1928-54) more than four million people were deported and/or executed. Especially after Central Committee Secretary Sergey M. Kirov had been assassinated on December 1, 1934, Stalin initiated a great series of purges of artists and scientists, also banishing many persons of German origin, including Böhme, to distant places. Böhme was arrested on April 13, 1935 because of supposed – i.e. trumped-up – anti-Soviet propaganda and agitation and sentenced to three years of banishment from St. Petersburg to Orenburg (Stalinist name: Chkalov), a traditionally German city at the foot of the southern Ural mountains. Until 1938 he was teaching at a music school there, without the right of correspondence. Historian Anatoly Jakovlevich Rasumov, with access to the KGB archive, has since 1995 been publishing the names and short biographies of those who were assassinated by Stalin’s henchmen; his Leningrad Martyrologium has reached 14 volumes so far. He has discovered that in October 1938 (probably on the 23rd) Oskar Böhme was shot. See Christian Neef, “Archivar des Terrors”, Der Spiegel 53 (December 2015), 94-97, here 96.

With best wishes,

Edward H. Tarr

Early Music Workshop (Western Carolina University)

1/12 - The Mountain Collegium Early Music & Folk Music Workshop will be held at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina on June 26-July 2, 2016. This week-long workshop is an opportunity to make music in a relaxed atmosphere with a talented group of faculty and students. Erik Schmalz, a member of Dark Horse Consort, serves as brass instructor.  In addition to brass there are offerings for recorder, viol, voice, capped reeds, and folk instruments. For further information visit www.mountaincollegium.org, email recorder96@gmail.com, or call 404-314-1891.

War-Damaged Musical Instruments

1/11 -Sound artist Susan Philipsz has an interesting sound exhibition at the Tate Britain museum that features fourteen recordings of British and German brass and wind instruments damaged in conflicts over the last 200 years. The notes recorded are based on the tones of the military bugle call ‘The Last Post’, but the tune is fragmented to such an extent that it is almost unrecognizable. Forming part of the 14-18 NOW arts program to commemorate the First World War centenary, the work features several instruments from that period, and has a special resonance with the history of Tate Britain, as part of the site was originally a military hospital that treated soldiers injured in the First World War.

Encyclopedia of British Amateur Bands

1/4 - Clifford Bevan has recently published the Encyclopedia of British Amateur Bands: Their Music, Composers, Conductors, Soloists and Patrons 1790-1914 along with an Addendum 1914-1919. It is published by Piccolo Press in printed and digital CD forms. The work is comprised of 6 sections.
1. Directory of British bands before 1914
2. Biographies of band arrangers, composers, bandmaster, conductors, patrons, players up to 1919.
3. Works for brass band published before 1914 (Title order)
4. Works for brass band published before 1914 (Composer order)
5. Directory of organisations and enterprises supporting bands before 1914
6. Summary
Appendix 1. Band musicians as amateurs
Appendix 2. Comparative wealth at death
Appendix 3. The Boosey family
Appendix 4. Calendar of band events 1790-1914 showing varied activities

Australasian Trumpet Academy 2016

12/18 - The Australasian Trumpet Academy 2016 will be held 28 September to 2 October in Gold Coast, Australia. For further information click here.

2016 Natrual Trumpet Building Workshop

10/29 - Details for the 2016 Barclay/Seraphinoff natrual trumpet building workshop held in Bloomington, Indiana, have been announced. The course will be held in August. For further information visit http://www.seraphinoff.com/itw/content.php?p=naw. The workshop has been held annually for many years and participants, including a number of HBS members, can testify that the course is not only educational, musical, and historical, but also a great deal of fun and a wonderful opportunity to make friends in the discipline!

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The Historic Brass Society is an international music organization of amateur and professional brass musicians and scholars concerned with the entire range of brass music, from Antiquity to the present.  Find out more about us by clicking here.

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The HBS President is Jeffrey Nussbaum and the website/newsletter editor is Bryan Proksch.


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Highlights

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Recent Reviews

We frequently post reviews of new recordings, music editions and book. Here are our latest reviews:

5/7: Recording review of Le Concert Brisé: The Art of Heinrich Scheidemann

 

5/7: Recording review of Ensemble Ventosum: L’Arte dei Piffari

5/1: Recording review of Three CDs by Don Johnson with the Kentucky Baroque Trumpets and President Lincoln's Own Band

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Looking for news about historic brass events and people but don't see it on our homepage? Only the most recent news items appear on the welcome page. Periodically, older news items are shifted to the News Archive, where news is archived and browsable by year.

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