2/17 - On 14 July 2009, BRaSS (Brass Research and Scholarship in Scotland) hosted a Trumpet Forum at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow with lectures and concerts exploring different aspects of the trumpet.
BRaSS is a group of researchers and performers gathered around John Wallace, Principal of the Academy. Its idea is to bring together the various strands of brass scholarship and performing activities to stimulate interaction between performance and historical research at the Academy. Organized by Verena Jakobsen Barth, the Trumpet Forum focused on the many facets of the trumpet. It brought together researchers and performers in a program of paper sessions and performances that gave a myriad of insights, including historical aspects, organological considerations, contemporary and historical performance practices.
Following a welcome by John Wallace, the keynote speaker Trevor Herbert, presented his talk “The Trumpet: The Unanswered Questions”, in which he gave an overview of the state of research into the trumpet as well as an outlook into the future. Invited guest Reine Dahlqvist from Gothenburg talked about the Regent’s Bugle and other English slide trumpets, and in a later presentation, about the trumpet as a solo instrument in Vienna from 1660 to 1830. Three members of BRaSS gave papers: Verena Jakobsen Barth, talked about soloist profiles, Ph.D. student Rui Pedro De Oliveira Alves, about the trombone in Portugal and the Charamela Real, and Sandy McGrattan on the 'Bach' trumpet in 19th-century Britain. Professor Arnold Myers, who came over from Edinburgh, gave an insight into considerations about the identity and convergence of the trumpet and the cornet, and PhD student Raymond Burkhart from Los Angeles gave an overview of cornet and trumpet quartets in the United States from ca. 1885 to ca. 1935. Mike Diprose demonstrated the natural trumpet’s practical assimilation into current Historically Informed Performance (HIP) and John Wallace and Sandy McGrattan gave an insight into their forthcoming book about the History of the Trumpet (“From Jericho to Jazz”). Special guest John Webb finished the sessions by talking about signaling brass, demonstrating with items from his collection.
During lunch and coffee brakes the participants could enjoy Tom Poulson playing “Four Maries”, a newly composed solo piece by Michael Bennett.
The highly successful day ended with a reception and conference dinner, to the sound of 19th-century brass chamber music performed on period instruments by Academy brass students, joined by Bryan Allan (head of brass) and John Wallace.
- Verena Barth