JUDE SMITH – TUBA LYNN HENDERSON – HORN
ALEXANDER MORGAN – TRUMPET NICHOLAS BUDD – TRUMPET
BEN HOLFORD – TROMBONE
Fanfare – James Maynard
4 Welsh Impressions – Morfydd Owen arr. Benjamin Pepler
Quintet – Malcolm Arnold
Folk Song Fantasy – Joseph Horovitz
Noson Lawen – Haldon Evans
Hymn to St Cecelia – Benjamin Britten arr. Benjamin Pepler
Motets – Bruckner arr. Benjamin Pepler
4 Welsh Songs – Beethoven arr. Benjamin Pepler
Suite Americana – Enrique Crespo
Blackweir Brass is an award winning brass quintet, sponsored by Making Music. They were formed in 2016 at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Since graduating, they have spread across the country, studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and performing across the UK.
Originally from Pembrokeshire in West Wales, Alex started playing the trumpet from the age of 7 with lessons from the local music service. After being fascinated by the instrument, he joined the local brass band and county music ensembles. Alex was a member of the National Youth Brass band of Wales and also Principal Trumpet of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales.
Alex studied his undergraduate degree at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama under the tutelage of Philippe Schartz and Dean Wright. Having recently completed a Master of Arts degree at the Royal Academy of Music, Alex is enjoying a varied freelance life with a mixture of performing, chamber music, teaching and outreach.
Alex has performed with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Philharmonia Orchestra, Sinfonia Cymru, Pegasus Opera Company and British Sinfonietta to name a few.
Having graduated in 2020 with a first class degree in Music from the University of Oxford, Nick Budd is currently a postgraduate student at the Royal Academy of Music where his studies are supported by Help Musicians UK and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust.
Since starting his postgraduate he has performed with the Academy’s Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of conductors Edward Gardner and Marc Elder, Chamber Orchestra and Symphonic Brass Ensemble.
As a soloist, Nick has performed recitals with both piano and organ. He has also featured as a soloist with the Chameleon Arts Orchestra, Winchester Symphony Orchestra and Alton Concert Orchestras, performing trumpet concertos by Haydn and Hummel.
Highlights from his time at university include performing solo recitals at Christ Church Cathedral and New College Chapel, student-led productions of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Blood on the Floor and Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress and recording a studio album with the Oxford University Jazz Orchestra.
As part of the Academy’s MMus postgraduate programme he is researching twentieth-century French music for trumpet and piano and hopes to perform a recital of little-known repertoire at the end of his studies.
Originally from Cornwall, Lynn Henderson is a horn player with a great interest in orchestral playing, chamber and community music.
She has performed with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Divertimento Ensemble, Orpheus Sinfonia and the St Endellion Festival Orchestra.
Lynn studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama for her BMus, graduating with the Principal’s Award in 2019. Having recently completed a Masters in Performance at the Royal Academy of Music, Lynn is currently a chamber fellow with Open Academy and Wigmore Hall as one half of MIZU, a horn and piano duo. They have performed recitals at the Wigmore Hall, as well as working in a range of settings, including women’s shelters, dementia groups and primary schools.
This year also sees freelance projects working with Sinfonia Cymru, Brixton Chamber Orchestra and creating a new album with Italian sound designer, Marco Caricola. Their first album, ALEAS 1, is available to stream on Spotify.
Outside of music, Lynn enjoys early-morning surfing, baking and pub quizzes. She is also currently a member of the TUC Women’s Committee and the Musicians’ Union’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Ben Holford started learning to play the trombone at the age of nine, inspired by his grandfather’s stories of his time in the Royal Air Force band during his national service. Shortly after taking up the trombone Ben started playing with the local brass band, performing with them regularly until moving away to start an undergraduate degree in music performance. He always returns to play with them when he is home, however.
In 2017 Ben started undergraduate studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Over four years he has had the privilege of playing in a wide range of ensembles at the college, covering many genres from jazz to orchestral and musical theatre to early music. A highlight of his time there was performing in the UK premier of the Hunchback of Notre Dame at the college.
Ben is currently in the first year of his postgraduate degree at the Royal College of Music in London. He appreciates all that college life has to offer, including recent performances of Vaughan Williams Symphonies at the college with Sir Antonio Pappano and Jac van Steen. He looks forward to what the next two years of study will bring, both in and outside of the college.
Tuba player Jude Smith is from Macclesfield, Cheshire. He grew up playing euphonium and tuba in brass bands across the north of England and became Co-Principal Euphonium of the National Children’s Brass Band of Great Britain in 2017, aged 14, before switching focus to tuba.
Jude was drawn to orchestral playing and became a junior scholar at the Royal Northern College of Music by the end of 2017. In 2018, He joined the Hallé Youth Orchestra on Principal Tuba and was accepted into the National Youth Orchestra, where he had the opportunity to play at some of the UK’s most prestigious venues, including Symphony Hall Birmingham, the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms playing Prokofiev’s ballet, Romeo and Juliet.
It was over these three years that Jude developed his passion for chamber music; playing in quintets, septets and symphonic brass projects. He is now entering his second year at the Royal Academy of Music where he will continue to study with Lee Tsmarklis and will develop his love for playing tuba in both chamber and orchestral settings.
A couple of the composers might not be familiar to you. Here is some information about them.
James Maynard began playing the Trombone in the Salvation Army at the age of 7 and went on to study with Dudley Bright at the Royal Academy of Music.
Whilst still studying at the Royal Academy he was appointed as 2nd Trombone of the London Symphony Orchestra, where he has been since 1998. With the LSO he has performed worldwide with the top conductors in the most famous concert halls. He has also performed abroad with the Vienna Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, The St. Petersburg Philharmonic as well as with various other orchestras and ensembles in the UK.
He can also be heard on many soundtracks including Star Wars (Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith) Harry Potter, Rise of the Guardians, The Twilight Saga, The Shape of Water and many more.
James is also very active as a composer and arranger, having been commissioned to write a number of original works, including by The London Symphony Orchestra, The Brighton Festival, Onyx Brass, LSO Discovery and most recently by Yamaha International for Trombonist Peter Moore’s debut recital at Wigmore Hall…
James is a very busy brass teacher. He has been a Professor of Brass at the Royal Academy of Music for 19 years, is a visiting teacher and ensemble coach at many other musical institutions, as well as teaching privately.
James has been commissioned to write original works for a number of ensembles and situations, including: The London Symphony Orchestra, The Brighton Festival, Yamaha Music, Onyx Brass and LSO Discovery.
Haldon Evans was born in Llanelli and grew up in Pontarddulais. He is a former lecturer in music at Swansea College, and a former head of faculty at Q E High School, Carmarthen. He is now a freelance composer, arranger, trumpeter and tutor.
A graduate of Cardiff University, he studied postgraduate composition with Alun Hoddinott, gaining an M.Mus in 1975. Detailed research into the compositional techniques of Béla Bartok prompted him to explore the possibilities inherent in Welsh folk music. This influence remains central to his output as both composer and arranger.
Haldon has written extensively for young performers in an educational career spanning over 30 years.
He has also composed and arranged several scores for Hallé Brass, London Brass and Cory Band.
Enrique Crespo is a trombonist, arranger and founding member of the German Brass Ensemble. He studied music and architecture in Montevideo and in Buenos Aires. He was was principal trombonist in the symphony orchestra there, as well as jazz soloist, arranger and bandleader for TV productions.
He was awarded a grant which took the spirited, thoroughbred musician to the college of music in Berlin in 1967. There he studied trombone and composition, in which he graduated with a music degree in 1969. In the same year he became principal trombonist with the Bamberger Symphoniker and moved on in 1980 to the same position in the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart.
During this time Enrique Crespo was principally occupied with his own compositions, which he personally presented. He cooperated intensively with the Bavarian broadcasting company, and set up a private recording and film studio from which numerous record, film and television productions emerged.
For one of his productions, and a consequent tour of France, Enrique Crespo formed in 1974 the German Brass Quintet (Deutsche Blechbläserquintett), with some ex-fellow students from Berlin, all of them now soloists in leading orchestras in Germany. The other members were Konradin Groth and Martin Kretzer (trumpets), Wolfgang Gaag (French Horn) and Dieter Cichéwicz (tuba). In order to be able to arrange the music of Bach without compromise for the EMI Classics production, “BACH 300”, he doubled the size of the quintet in 1985 and gave it the new name German Brass. It has become the most popular and successful professional Brass ensemble in Germany. The group
has produced more than 20 CD recordings and it regularly tours around the world.
From the beginning he dedicated himself to jazz and folkore with the same passion and enthusiasm as to so-called serious music. Enrique Crespo’s compositions are marked by this mixture of such diverse styles, and with his extensive knowledge of instruments he offers the brass players completely new scope. Their instruments, as a rule treated with some neglect by “classical” composers, are awarded the opportunity of entering into totally different dimensions of play. Crespo has also arranged a number of pieces in a variety of styles (including baroque, classical, jazz, folk and popular music from Latin and South America) for German Brass.