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2015 Brass Festival

Now in its fourth year, the St Andrews Brass Festival continues to be the only brass festival of its kind in Scotland. The 2015 Festival, directed by John Wallace and Bede Williams, welcomes the Wallace Collection as an ensemble in residence to support four out of the six concerts planned over 13–15 November. Established in the 1986, the Wallace Collection has an international reputation for making new artistic discoveries; such discoveries will be shared during the Brass Festival when on Saturday 14 November at 7.30pm when the first performance in recent times of the 1815 Requiem for choir and brass by Sigismund von Neukomm will be heard. Neukomm’s Requiem was written for the 1815 Congress of Vienna and is one of a handful of pivotal pieces in the development of brass music: hearing the music sung by the St Salvator’s Chapel Choir 200 years after its composition accompanied by period instruments is not to be missed. As the headline concert of the whole festival, the same concert will also feature a performance of Ernest Sache’s Concertino by International trombone soloist Ian Bousfield. Bousfield’s virtuosity has done much to inspire composers and performers in the twenty-first century much like Sache did in the nineteenth century. Completing the concert is a performance of Beethoven’s Three Equali for trombones, performed by the Clydeside Quartet, an emerging trombone quartet from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

The Festival opens on Friday 13 November with a lunchtime concert of the massed forces of St Andrews Brass, a non-auditioned group of brass players of orchestral and band backgrounds from across Fife. The ensemble will perform a mixed programme of French and Venetian music and will be joined by John Wallace and Tony George who will perform music written for trumpet and ophicleide. Following on in the early evening will be a concert in the Museum of St Andrews of brass chamber music for many different combinations: a mixture of music for horn quintet, trombone quartet and trumpet quartet will lead to a performance of Field of Battle, a suite depicting war from the perspectives of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. A complete change in scene comes on Friday evening when the University Wind Band and Big Band bring the magic of Disney to St Andrews. The Disney theme will not only be realized musically: the University Disney Society will be on hand to add costumes and decorations so the audience can get up close to their favourite character.

On Saturday 14 November brass players from across Scotland are invited to come and perform with members of the Wallace Collection in a ‘Come and Play’ event. Participants will perform music inspired by the brass music of the Renaissance era with Tony George in his workshopped piece Gabrieli Re-imagined. Jazz pianist and educator Richard Michael will lead participants in a variety of jazz based improvisations, and John Wallace will direct music by Strauss and British composer Chris Wilcox. Making special contributions to the workshop are students from St Mary’s Music School, Sistema Scotland and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. The festival finishes on Sunday morning with brass again joining St Salvator’s Chapel Choir in the weekly University Service led by the Rev Dr Donald MacEwan.


Younger Hall, 13:10

Opening Concert 

Co-promoted with the University of St Andrews Music Society
John Wallace CBE (trumpet)
Tony George (tuba) 

St Andrews Brass
Bede Williams, director 

Admission: FREE

Canzon a 12 in echo – Giovanni Gabrieli (1554-1612)

Suite de Symphonies – Jean-Joseph Mouret (1682-1738)

Music for trumpet and ophicleide – Various

Sinfonietta – Howard Blake

Two Brass Cats – Chris Hazell 


MUSA, 17:30 

Field of Battle 

University Scholarship brass players with Bede Williams and John Wallace 

Admission: FREE

Canzon Pian' e Forte – Giovanni Gabrieli (1554-1612)

Music for horn quintet – Various

Music for trombone quartet – Various

Trumpet Quartet – David Johnson

Field of Battle – arr. Wright


Younger Hall, 19:30 

MusSoc's Magic of Disney 

Music Society Concert Wind Band and Big BUStA 

Admission: £5, £3 (students), FREE (17 and under)



Saturday 14 November

Younger Hall, 10:00-15:00 

Come and Play with members of the Wallace Collection and Richard Michael
to register, all welcome 

Admission: FREE 


Younger Hall, 15:30 

Brass Music for All 

Come and Play participants from across Scotland perform a short informal concert 

Admission: FREE


St Salvator’s Chapel, 19:30 

Resonances of Waterloo 

St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, Wallace Collection, Ian Bousfield (trombone), John Wallace (keyed trumpet), Clydeside trombone quartet, Tom Wilkinson (director) 

Admission: £10, £8 (concessions), £5 (Music Centre members and students)

Nonette – Felicien-Cesar David (1810-1876)

Concertino – Ernst Sache (1810-1849)

Three Equali –  Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Requiem in C minor – Sigismund von Neukomm (1778-1858)


Sunday 15 November

St Salvator’s Chapel, 11:00 

University Service 

Brass join St Salvator’s Chapel Choir for the festival service, led by University Chaplain, the Rev Dr Donald MacEwan 

Brass festival 2015 (PDF, 2,768 KB)

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