2013 News Archive

His Majesty's Sagbutts and Cornetts Fundraiser

12/4 - His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts is running a fundraising campaign to support their next recording project. It is currently 75% funded through a Kickstarter campaign, but needs your help to nudge us towards that £5000 goal. For further information, please follow this link: http://kck.st/1aX7cPf. There are a variety of rewards and incentives for those who donate. The campaign will end on 12/12, so don't delay!

News from Christopher Monk Workshops

12/2 - Jeremy West and Christoper Monk Workshops has sent news of a number of items of interest to historic brass enthusiasts, including a new resin cornett, the publication of 15 duos from 1590, and the latest recording project from His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts. For more information, click here.

Sackbuts on Broadway

12/2 - In his review in the November 30th edition of the NY Times, of a pair of Shakespeare plays, "Richard III" and Twelfth Night", now running at the Belasco Theater on Broadway, critic Michael Cooper described the show pit band as "more Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, rather than Irving Berlin!" In a rare change from the usual musical forces in a Broadway pit band, this production is using a band of early music performers including two sackbut players, Greg Ingles and Daniel Meyers. To read the full article: click here!

An Open Letter of Thanks to the HBS from Vic Hobson

10/30 - My first involvement with the Historic Brass Society was at a joint international symposium of the society and the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, New Jersey in 2005. What I suspect nobody (including Jeff Nussbaum) knew at the time was that I was still a graduate student, and Jonathan Impett, my doctoral supervisor, had suggest the conference to me. Despite being surrounded by the world’s leading jazz scholars, I was scheduled to be the last speaker and to close the conference. If that wasn’t enough, I also got to publish my paper, “The Blues and the Uptown Brass Bands of New Orleans,” questioning how the blues became a part of New Orleans jazz, alongside these same luminaries in Howard T. Weiner ed., Early Twentieth Century Brass Idioms (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2009).

The conference put me in touch with Bruce Raeburn who, as curator of the Hogan Jazz Archive, suggested that the oral history interviews that archive held would be a good way to further my research. The following spring, as New Orleans struggled to recover from Hurricane Katrina, I made my first visit to the Crescent City. On my way back to the U.K., I met briefly with Lewis Porter to discuss writing an article “New Orleans Jazz and the Blues” Jazz Perspectives, vol. 5, no. 1 (2011). Although the essay established that the blues in all its forms was played around the turn of the century by New Orleans musicians, what this left unresolved was how they came to play the blues.

A Woest Fellowship in 2009 to the Historic New Orleans Collection gave me access to the original interview notes for the book  Jazzmen (1939). Much of the information for Jazzmen came from a highly controversial source: Bunk Johnson. He claimed to have played with Buddy Bolden, the legendary “First Man of Jazz,” and that together they had pioneered jazz in New Orleans. From the original interview notes for Jazzmen it was clear that Bunk Johnson did play with Bolden. This has profound implications for Johnson's recorded legacy in describing the music of the early years of New Orleans jazz.

New Orleans jazz was different from ragtime in a number of ways. It was a music that was collectively improvised, and employed the tonality of the blues. Part of the reason New Orleans jazz developed as it did is that all the prominent jazz pioneers, including Buddy Bolden, Bunk Johnson, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Johnny Dodds, and Kid Ory, sang in barbershop (or barroom) quartets. My forthcoming book, Creating Jazz Counterpoint: New Orleans, Barbershop Harmony, and the Blues (Jacksonville, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2014), describes in both historical and musical terms how the practices of quartet singing were converted to the instruments of a jazz band, and how this, in turn, produced the collectively improvised, blues-inflected jazz of New Orleans.


I am currently working on a paper for Jazz Education Network Conference in Dallas, Texas, January 8-11, 2014, exploring how Louis Armstrong developed the musical language of jazz through the application of quartet vocal practices on his instrument. There is still a long way to go, but I got off to an auspicious start at the HBS/IJS symposium back in 2005.

New Cornett "G2" from Christopher Monk

9/26 - At Christopher Monk Instruments we have very good news regarding the resin cornetts: after some 18 months of research and development the all new resin instrument, happily nicknamed the "G2", is about to be launched. If you have ordered, and are waiting for, a resin cornett, this is the model you will receive. As promised, you will get it at the price from the time of your order and not the price at the time of supply. New manufacturing techniques will also mean more reliable and quicker production; our aim is to clear the backlog of orders by early 2014 and then to hold a stock of these instruments for the future.

This marks the end of the line for the trusty 'G1' which has seen 50 years of service, enabling and inspiring players in dozens of countries across the globe. One example even found its way onto a nuclear submarine on patrol beneath the polar ice cap during the Cold War.

The G2 will carry on where its predecessor left off whilst embracing 21st century technologies and materials. Far greater precision in the manufacturing process will make for added stability and a more centred and brighter sound. I am extremely excited about this new instrument!

The cornettino will continue with the new model (launched 2012), but now utilising improved production methods which will render it better than ever. Again, instruments will be held in stock from early 2014.

Once again I should like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding whilst waiting for their instruments. Your loyalty means a lot and is greatly appreciated.

For further information: www.jeremywest.co.uk

Sackbut Workshop

9/25 - The first annual Indiana Sackbut Workshop will take place from Thursday, October 31st through Monday, November 4th outside of Bloomington, IN (at Waycross in Morgantown).  This year's theme for the workshop is late Medieval, Renaissance and early Baroque Italian music.  Sessions will focus on sackbut technique and repertoire, with discussions on performance practice and the sackbut in a historical context, small and large ensemble playing sessions (some combined with participants of the early double reed workshop happening concurrently), and masterclasses as a platform for solo performance of diminutions and madrigals.

For further information, please visit http://earlymusicinmotion.org/EMIM/Sackbut_workshop.html.

Cornetto Lessons On-Line

8/5 - Jeremy West, one of the great cornetto virtuosos and Director of His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts, is now offering online cornetto lessons via Skype or Facetime. As many potential cornetto enthusiasts are often hundreds or even thousands of miles from a good cornetto teacher, online lessons are the answer. For more details see Jeremy's website: www.jeremywest.co.uk.

New Military Music Book

6/28 -Oxford University Press has just published a new book by Trevor Herbert on the history of British military music. Herbert offers a new and fascinating view on the importance of this often overlooked area of music making. For further information click here.

New Weckmann Edition for Cornetto

6/20 - New music for cornetto published by Septenary Editions: Matthias Weckmann (c.1616-1674), Sonate à 3 e 4 istromenti, D-Lr KN207, Heft 14. This is a complete performance edition including score and parts. Click here for more information.

Purcell Opera Premiere Seeks Support

6/12 - Later this year, dynamic period instrument ensemble Spiritato! will be making the world-premiere recording of Daniel Purcell's The Judgment of Paris (1701) for the Resonus Classics label. As individuals the members of the group can be found working with many of the finest period-instrument orchestras in the world, but together they share a passion for music from the Restoration. The work is an exciting combination of Purcellian harmonies and virtuosic Italianate vocal forms. The opera, featuring the trumpet throughout, is a unique window into English music at the beginning of the 18th century.

Spiritato! are being supported in this unique project by public donations and are giving away fanfares, CDs and downloads to everyone who contributes. Even the smallest donation can make a big difference so to find out more about the group and Daniel Purcell's forgotten masterpiece please visit http://www.sponsume.com/project/judgment-paris.

Kentucky Baroque Trumpets Brings World Renowned Trumpeters to Lebanon, Kentucky

5/25 - Two of the finest trumpeters in the world, Friedemann Immer from Germany and John Foster from Australia, will be traveling to the United States to accompany Don Johnson of the Kentucky Baroque Trumpets in a concert held at St. Augustine Church in Lebanon, Kentucky on Saturday, 8 June at 7 pm. KBT will also be hosting a master class at Centre Square on Friday, 7 June at 7 pm. Anyone that can play a brass instrument is invited to come to the rehearsal and would be allowed to perform the selected piece of music at the concert the following day. Following the concert on Saturday night, the general public is invited to attend a reception at the Marion County Heritage Center, the old courthouse in downtown Lebanon on Main Street. The Marion County Heritage Center is home to Don’s collection of Civil War and J.W. Pepper instruments, light refreshments will be served.
For further information visit http://kybaroquetrumpets.com/

Biber in San Francisco

5/6 - On July 13 the period-instrument virtuosos of the American Bach Soloists Festival & Academy (July 12-21, San Francisco) will perform Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber's gigantic Missa Salisburgensis. Performed only a handful of times since its 1682 premiere in Salzburg Cathedral, this choral extravaganza for nine different groups of instruments is massive, beautiful, and sure to be an extraordinary musical event! At 53 parts plus continuo it is probably the largest-scaled surviving work from the Baroque period. There is an especially heavy contingent of baroque trumpet players involved.

English Brass Academy Summer Courses

4/30 - The English Brass Academy is offering high quality music training for students, aged 8 -18, this August. For information click here to go to their website. Based at the magnificent Shrewsbury School & Beechwood Park School, the week-long courses promise to be great fun as well as educational and culminate in a concert for family and friends on the Friday afternoon.

Brass Works is for all young brass players from beginner to grade 8 and the course contains small and large ensemble work; creative composition workshops, performance preparation and organised sports.

Brass Elite is for advanced players (grade 8+) who would like to take their playing to the next level. This course contains masterclasses, chamber music, orchestral excerpts, creative composition workshops, mock auditions, health & well being and early music performance practice.

Serpent Session and Masterclass

4/29 - La Cie du Globe has organized conference on the cornet and sacquebout from 15-22 August in Ardèche (France). Bernard Fourtet will be discussing Sacqueboute Serpent and Catherine Escure will be presenting on Cornet à bouquin. The session will coincide with a production of Lully's opera Cadmus et Hermione. For further information, please visit their website: http://www.lacompagnieduglobe.com/site.htm.


Sacqueboute - Serpent : Bernard Fourtet
Musicien de la fin du XXe et début du XXI siècles ; ses études de trombone et de musicologie le conduisirent à des activités professionnelles multiples d’instrumentiste (La Fenice, Ohimè, les Saqueboutiers, Hesperion XXI, Gabrieli consort and players, Amsterdam baroque orchestra, etc...), de directeur d’écoles de musique et d’enseignant au conservatoire de Toulouse, en stages et en collèges. Spécialisé en saqueboute, serpent, ophicléide, pour les répertoires sur instruments anciens, il fut professeur de ces disciplines au Département de Musique Ancienne du CRR de Toulouse à partir de 1994. L’un des «redécouvreurs» du Serpent à partir de 1984, il fut cofondateur du Trio de serpents «méandre», l’auteur d’une méthode de Serpent (2003), fondateur de l’Adonis et de la Facqoqcaf. 

Adolph Bud Herseth 1921-2013

4/26 - As many of you may already be aware, Adolph “Bud” Herseth, principal trumpet for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 53 years passed away on April 13, 2013. His orchestral playing inspired legions of trumpeters. In addition to his great career as a symphonic performer, he served as a Navy Musician during WWII. RIP Bud Herseth, Trumpeter and Navy Veteran. Click here to read his obituary in the Chicago Tribune.

Anneke Scott Teaching Natural and Modern Horn this Summer

6/5 - Anneke Scott will be teaching one-week natural and modern horn courses at Malvern College in the UK from 3rd - 10th August 2013. For further information see: http://www.cuillinsoundmusic.co.uk/CuillinSound/Malvern_Summer_Course.html

New Nartiss Tenor Sackbut

3/27 - George Butler has sent news about a new tenor sackbut by Lativian maker and trombonist Vairis Nartiss:

First impressions from a tourist friend from England tell me that the bore size is on the large side. Vairis Nartiss wanted to offer something that modern players could pick up and feel comfortable with right away, or something for the modern player to double with. The bell lines up with third position, chrome-nickel inner slides and there is a water key. They are lacquered. The mouthpiece rim is rounded, the cup is a funnel, the backbore is big, and it's gold plated. Apparently the source of manufacturing is wide and  some bits are from China, some from eastern Germany, some from Czech Republic, and some from Latvia. It comes with a nice, light, black-canvas-over-styrofoam case and the price until the end of March is €990.

More info: http://nartiss.lv/en/news/article/lorem-ipsum-dolor-sit-amet

Wind Band History Books Reissued

3/15 - David Whitwell's 13-volume History and Literature of the Wind Band and Wind Ensemble is now available in a new second edition.  The individual volumes can be seen and ordered from www.whitwellbooks.com  Also available on this site are his modern editions of early German, Italian and French original compositions and transcriptions for large wind band.

Cornetto and Sackbut Study in Madison

3/12 - Kiri Tollaksen and Greg Ingles will be teaching at the Madison Early Music Festival from July 6 - 12 (http://continuingstudies.wisc.edu/lsa/memf/).The ensemble Dark Horse Consort will also be featured on the MEMF concert series.

Madeuf Ventless Brandenburg No. 2 Video

3/19 -  Last year's release of a recording of Bach's Second Brandenburg Concerto played on a ventless natural trumpet by J. F. Madeuf created quite a stir. For those of you who do not believe it possible, there is a video on Youtube so you can see it with your own eyes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEJ-xcblCMo.

Walter Salmen (1926-2013)

3/15 - We regret to report the passing of German musicologist Walter Salmen. Salmen studied musicology (under Besseler), philosophy, and history at the University of Heidelberg from 1944 to 1948, earning his doctorate from the University of Münster in 1949 with a dissertation on the German Tenorlied. After holding positions in Freiburg (research assistant at the German Folksong Archive), Saarbrücken (adjunct professor from 1963), and Kiel (full professor and director of the musicology department from 1966), he was appointed to the musicology chair at the University of Innsbruck in 1974. Following his retirement in 1992, he returned to the Freiburg area and was made honorary professor at the University of Freiburg in 1996.

A prolific author, Salmen was active in many areas of musical research, including the social history of music, iconography, the history of dance, and music and musicians in Goethe's circle. Salmen also maintained an association with the Historic Brass Society, presenting a paper at the HBS sessions of the Musical Intersections Conference in Toronto in November 2000, contributing an article to the 2002 issue of the HBS Journal, and attending the 2004 HBS Symposium in Basel/Bad Säckingen. Walter Salmen died in Freiburg on 2 February 2013.

A Darker View of Wobisch

3/15 - A new examination of the the famed trumpeter of the Vienna Philharmonic Helmut Wobisch (1912-1980) has revealed some disturbing information. According to a news article in the March 12th issue of the New York Times by James R. Oestreich, the Vienna Philharmonic commissioned three historians to conduct an independent study of the orchestra's Nazi past. The study revealed that Wobisch joined the Nazi Party in 1933, while it was still illegal in Austria, and the SS in 1938, and spied on and denounced fellow musicians in the orchestra. He was fired by the orchestra after the war, rejoined it in 1947, became its executive director in 1954 and played in it until 1968. After convicted war criminal Baldur von Schirach was released from Spandau prison in 1966, Wobisch presented him, in an allegedly "private initiative," with a replica of the orchestra's “Honorary Ring,” as a replacement for Schirach’s original that was confiscated by US troops after the war. Wobisch's artistic activities were more noble than his personal ones. Wobsich made the first LP recording of the Haydn trumpet concerto, paving the way for the trumpet as a solo instrument, was a noted performer of the music of Bach and helped develop early attempts at designing Baroque trumpets.

Edingurgh Serpentarium 2013

3/7 - The Edinburgh Serpentarium 2013, hosted by Arnold Meyers and Murray Campbell will be held on 24-27 May. Further details and a schedule of events are available on their website: http://www.homepages.ed.ac.uk/am/.

Historic "Lincoln's Own" on the Silver Screen

2/19 - Don Johnson, who led "President Lincoln's Own Band" in the recent blockbuster movie "Lincoln" wrote up the story about his involvement with the movie for us. It has been posted under our interviews section.