News and Events

  • The online edition of the NY Times has been running a series of articles exploring the beauty of many different types of music and instruments with short blurbs by leading composers, writers and musicians. The latest in this series is on the trumpet and accompanied by short audio clips. Among the excerpts chosen were the "Itrada" by Honegger played by Hakan Hardenberger, Terrence Blanchard chose his own performance of his "Funeral Dirge". Louis Armstrong would, of course be on the list and he was chosen twice. A NY Times writer chose a 1947 recording of "Dear Old Southland" rather than the famous virtuosic recordings from the late 1920s and early 1930s. The second selection was Armstrong's 1929 recording of "Black and Blue." Joan Tower chose her own composition "Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, No. 5" performed by the American Brass Quintet. Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith chose Miles Davis's "Calyspso Frelimo". The Post Horn solo from Mahler's 3rd played by John Ware with Bernstein conducting the NY Philharmonic was another great choice. Perhaps a surprising vote was "I had the Craziest Dream" played by Kenny Dorham. No list of great trumpet music could be without "The Trumpet Shall Sound" from the Messiah and the recording selected was by Dunedin Consort with Chris Dicken doing the honors. The conductor Leonard Slatkin chose "Bugler's Dream" by Leo Arnaud, a piece that was commissioned by Felix Slatkin. This piece has gained universal acclaim as "The Olympic Fanfare." Two more surprising choices were Witness" as performed by Ron Miles and Johnny Coles playing Sunken Treasure"  by Gil Evan. A transcription of an oboe concert by Marcello as interpreted by Tine Thing Helseth on piccolo trumpet was on the list.  Susan Slaughter's recording of "A Trumpeter's Lullaby" was next and the last selection was Markus Stockhausen's performance of his father's "Michaels Reise um die Erde".

    Now, if you don't end up loving the trumpet after hearing those wonderful recording, well, ... I just don't know.

     

    Jeff Nussbaum

  • On the Breath of Angels is the second release from Bruce Dickey, Hana Blažiková, and the Breathtaking Collective dedicated to exploring the natural and much sought-after affinity between the cornett and the human voice. To read Helen Roberts's full review, click here: The Breathtaking Collective: On the Breath of Angels.

  • Dr Peter Downey was a dedicated music educator, scholar, researcher and composer. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on 14 February 1956, the son of Gerard and Elizabeth (O’Neill) Downey. He began his musical career in the Belfast City Youth orchestra playing the trumpet moving to become a brass instrument teacher in the Belfast School of music from 1976–1981. He gained his Diploma in Trumpet Performance in 1976, a BSc Hons in Physics in 1977 from Queens University Belfast – a slight detour in his musical career – followed by his Diploma in Music Education from the University of Ulster in 1978 and finally his PhD in Music Research from Queens University Belfast in 1983 during which he was a recipient of a research scholarship from the Danish Government in 1978. He spent 6 enjoyable months in Copenhagen, researching the musical repertoire of the Danish royal trumpet establishment in the second half of the 16th century; returning to visit there following his retirement for a fantastic visit to share his love of the city with his children.

  • In case you are looking for something to add to your summer reading list, the University of Illinois Press has just published long-time HBS contributor Doug Yeo's new book, co-authored with Kevin Mungons, Homer Rodeheaver and the Rise of the Gospel Music Industry. Students of gospel songs may remember Rodeheaver’s name for the many hymnals and songbooks he published in the first half of the twentieth century, and some may have read that he was Billy Sunday’s trombone-playing songleader. But for most people, Homer Rodeheaver is the most famous person they never heard of.

  • Christopher Michael Larkin was born on 1st  September 1947 in Wigan, Lancashire. His father was a schoolmaster and an amateur pianist, whilst his mother, a nurse, was busy bringing up their two daughters and three sons. Chris attended Thornleigh Salasian College in Bolton aged 11 and sang in the school choir. He started playing a cornet in 1959 and was given free lessons from a Mr. Murphy. Many years later Chris wrote this memory of going to a concert at The Royal Albert Hall as a twelve-year-old. “In 1959 my father took me to my first Prom concert during what was also my first visit to London. All that I remember now about the holiday was that I divided my time between a long-established interest in the doings of steam locomotives and a new love – music”.