Francis Johnson Book Released
Francis Johnson (1792-1844): Chronicle of a Black Musician in Early Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia by Charles K. Jones, published by Lehigh University Press, ISBN 0-934223-86-6, was given a publication celebration on October 24, 2006 at Lehigh University. Lorenzo Greenwich, a collaborator on this project and long-time friend of the author, Charles Jones gave a speech regarding the research activities for the book. The event had other speakers (Philip Metzger, Paul Larson and David Diggs) and performers (Diane Monroe [violin] with Paul Saline [piano]; and Jari Villanueva [cornet] with Helen Beadle [piano] in period dress). The musicians performed Johnson compositions and the speaker's remarks were Johnson tailored. Order information: Associated University Press, 2010 Eastpark Blvd., Cranbury, New Jersey 08512, Tele: 609-655-4770, Fax: 609-655-8366, Email:
Shofar Service Recorded
The Milken Archive series of Jewish Music on the Naxos label recently released the CD, Herman Berlinski: From the World of My Father, Naxos 8.559446, featuring the shofar in a recording of Herman Berlinski’s (1910-2001) moving work Shofar Service (1964). This three movement work features the shofar playing the traditional High Holiday calls which is, in the words of the composer, “surrounded by brass.” The two modern trumpets, played beautifully by Stephen Keavy and James Ghigi imitate the shofar calls in an imaginative manner. Tim Roseman is the able shofar player.
Call for Papers
The Cité de la Musique in association with the Historic Brass Society presents an international conference with concerts and other events on the topic Paris, the factory of ideas: The influence of Paris on brass instruments c.1840- c.1930, to be held at the Cité de la Musique, Paris 29, 30 June to 1 July 2007. The conference is intended to cast light on the main topic and the three themes of this event. All applicants should familiarise themselves with the stated objectives and present their proposals in a way that makes the relationship with the themes explicit. However, the organisers are keen to encourage a wide interpretation of these themes and to elicit a rich variety of presentations. The languages for the conference are French and English. Submissions can be for formally read papers or other presentations. There is a choice of 20-minute or 40-minute slots. All submissions must contain an indication of which type of slot is being asked for. Submissions must be in the form of an abstract of no more that 300 words. It must contain the title, the name of the presenter, summary information about the presentation and a statement of how it meets one or more of the themes for the event. All submissions must be sent electronically to
Natural Trumpet Cases
Trumpet maker Francisco Pérez reports that one of his customers, Renato Bajardo, is starting his own business in making cases for natural trumpets.
Via Lomellini, 5/2
Natural Trumpet Competition Applications
Stanley Curtis reports that there have been continuing problems this year with the online registration for the historic division on the NTC website. He is now personally accepting all applications. If you are interested in entering this competition, please send your contact information (including phone and address), your age, what categories you are entering, a recording on cd or tape, and a check for the fees of all the categories that your are entering (payable to National Trumpet Competition Association). Please do not record the arias with soprano (that is only for the live round). You may send this as late as Dec. 15, due to the technical problems encountered (originally the deadline was Dec. 1). The NTC hopes to have this smoothed out next year for online registration.
Please forward this information along to all interested trumpeters. More information about this competition is found at www.nationaltrumpetcomp.org.
Cassone Brandenburg Video
Trumpet virtuoso Gabriele Cassone is featured on a video recording the Second Brandenburg Concerto and is available to view online at www.rtsi.ch/barocchisti.
London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble
The Georgian Concert Society invited the LGBE to give a recital in St Cecilia’s Hall (second oldest concert hall in the U.K. after Oxford’s Holywell Room) and, of course, the spot where the Reid Collection houses their magnificent collection of keyboard and plucked instruments. Andrew Clark and Martin Lawrence performed on hand-horns and trompes de chasse. along with David Blackadder (trompette demilune, keyed trumpet and F trumpet) and Peter Harvey (1862 Courtois trombone). We gave a programme of original brass ensemble music dating from 1814 to circa 1830 entirely on period instruments. Arnold Myers allowed us to use his trompette demilune to give four of the Cherubini marches and also his trompe dauphine (the Le Brun which in fact dates from 1721 and not 1729 - the year that the Dauphin of Louis XV was actually born - thus exploding another myth - in this case perpetrated by Morley-Pegge), which I used to play one of the great Marquis de Dampierre’s fanfares, La Choisy.
Martin and I then used my Raoux (Napoleon III) and Bauer (1880s) trompes to give La Choisy in two-part harmony and then the three of us played Handel’s La Rejouissance and some Kozeluch fanfares.
Then came five Reicha horn trios (Andrew playing the 1818 Raoux that once belonged to Dennis Brain), the Beethoven Adagio (a self-contained sketch for 3 horns dating from 1815) and one of Dauprat’s trios with the horns crooked in three different keys). After the interval we did Neukomm’s Quatuor pour etre executer dans la Grotte Tuonante pres le Scoglio di Virgilio dans la Golfe de Naples but with Blackadder sounding the echo alone (rather than an echo horn trio) on his keyed trumpet. We finished up with a set of dances by the Erbprinz (Carl Friedrich von Lowenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg) dating (I reckon) from about 1830.
LGBE: L to R: Chris Larkin, Andrew Clark, Martin Lawrence, Peter Harvey, David Blackadder.
--- submitted by Chris Larkin
2006 Maryland Early Brass Day
The 2006 Maryland Early Brass Day was held on April 1 at Goucher College in Towson, MD (USA). This year's ensemble-in-residence was Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band, who offered a workshop on late 19th-century American brass band music and a short concert of the same. [Photo1] [Photo 2] For information on the 2007 MEBF, contact
The First Toulouse International Symposium of Ancient Brass Instruments, co-sponsored by the HBS and Les Sacqueboutiers, will be held April 20-23, 2006 in Toulouse, France. Registration for competition is now closed. Adjudicators will include cornettos: Bruce Dickey, Jeremy West, Jean-Pierre Canihac and sackbuts: Sue Addison, Wim Becu, Jean-Pierre Mathieu. Information for the competition at http://www.les-sacqueboutiers.com or e-mail
Herbert Trombone Book
HBS Board Member and trombone scholar, Trevor Herbert, has just released a book, The Trombone, published by Yale University Press. This looks to be the definitive study on the history of the trombone.
Phil Holcomb Website
Phil Holcomb has a new website with images of his amazing brass collection. Check it out. www.rugs-n-relics.com
History of the World from the Horn Section
That intriguing headline accompanied an article by Josh Kun in the April 9, 2006 issue of the New York Times. It’s not often that brass history is dealt with in the mainstream press, particularly the publication that purports to present, "All the news that’s fit to print," but this extensive article examined much recent brass activity. There was a focus on world music and how many brass music traditions were inter-related. It was demonstrated that the brass section is the common factor in music from diverse areas as; Macedonia, Mexico, India, Brazil, and Benin. Musical excerpts mentioned in the article are on the New York Times website [in the archive pages].
The International Trumpet-Making Workshop offered three courses this year, at Bloomington in Indiana; Rostock, Germany; and Kremsmünster near Linz in Austria. In the space of a week participants make a natural trumpet in brass by hand, from the flat sheet stock to a playable instrument. In recent years, with increases in efficiency and improved tools, some participants have even been able to finish their work in four days. We have noticed that decorative details and general finish have also improved over the time we have been teaching the course. As in the past few years, Michael Münkwitz joined Rick Seraphinoff and Bob Barclay again in teaching the workshops. Well over 250 people have now made natural trumpets under our direction, and the course appears to be as popular as ever. Often, the workshop is concluded with a concert on the finished instruments. This was especially the case in Kremsmünster, where the concluding reception in the courtyard at Schloß Kremsegg featured trumpet music by Paul Hainlein, (nephew of Hanns Hainlein, on whose design the workshop trumpets are based), Johann Ernst Altenburg, and pieces for trumpet ensemble by an anonymous composer of the 18th century found in the music archives of Kremsmünster, all played by the participants on their newly made instruments, and led by Jean-François Madeuf. It was exciting to imagine that this music could have been played in the same courtyard by trumpet players in the 17th and 18th centuries on similar instruments.
Interestingly, we hear rumours from time to time that European brass instrument makers feel our courses are in some way in competition with their products. Nothing could be further from the truth. Making one's own instrument in a course like this does not avoid the years of training and study that a true instrument-maker must follow. All it does is provide the participants with simple working tools for further exploration, and gives them a greater appreciation for the fine workmanship found on well made instruments. Often, they become customers of brass instrument makers, and few, if any, ever go on to make more instruments themselves. We have always maintained that our participants gain such an understanding of the instrument, and a heightened interest in the early brass world, that it can only benefit the whole community.
Details of future courses can be found at: