Last Friday, local primary schools delivered 95 young brass players to Eton for a very special day of coaching from Onyx Brass, one of the country’s finest brass chamber groups. The idea was to learn four brand new pieces from scratch and the students ranged from beginner to grade 3.

Very deliberately, Onyx wanted to make the day as much fun as possible and, therefore, two of the pieces didn’t even involve actual sheet music. This gave a sort of freedom to the way the students could approach their music making whilst keeping the discipline necessary to play as a large group.

Families and friends arrived for a concert at 3pm where they were treated to extraordinary versions of Abide With Me, The William Tell Overture and the C Jam Blues by Duke Ellington. The students acquitted themselves superbly well and the sound was gorgeous (and loud!).