On Wed 6th March, 13 senior school brass students from John Hampden School and Langley Grammar participated in a Brass workshop organised by Dave Gordon-Shute, Head of Brass. The students were mentored by members of the Queen's Household Division Military Band, comprised of musicians from the Grenadier, Coldstream and Irish guards. After a 20-minute warmup, the group divided into two factions (trumpets in one group and horns/trombones in another) for separate rehearsal. Parents were entertained by the students playing alongside the military band at 4.30 pm in a 25-minute concert. To begin, members of the Military Band used fanfare trumpets to play the “Processional Fanfare”. Following on, we heard students and band members play “Pastime with good company” written by Henry VIII. In an embarrassing moment, Tanya Beeton led raucous applause between the first (Royal march of the Lions) and second movement (French Tortoises) of Saint Saens’ “Carnaval des Animaux”. She learned better after the third movement (Cuckoo) and fourth movement (Elephants) but it was hard not to clap in appreciation of such magnificent playing. Next on the agenda was a flamenco-style piece called Malaguena followed by the triumphal “March of the Resistance” by John Williams from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Tanya Beeton