Pond Life: British-American Crosscurrents in Brass

On April 17, 2020, the Historic Brass Society will be hosting the Symposium "Pond Life: British-American Crosscurrents over the Atlantic" in New York City in conjunction with John Wallace and The Wallace Collection brass ensemble. Paper proposals are warmly welcomed.

The Symposium will include presentations relating to:

  • Instrument design and development, and their impact on performance practices in the 19thC;
  • Repertoire, including composers and performers, for these new instruments;
  • Manufacturing and publishing exchanges and competition across the Atlantic;
  • Pedagogical methods and approaches for brass (similarities and differences);
  • British-American exchanges in the development of early jazz;
  • Brass ensemble and chamber music through the mid-1970s;

Other featured sessions will include:

  • Roundtable Discussion with current and former members of the New York Brass Quintet, Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, American Brass Quintet, and Gabrieli Brass;
  • Come-and-Play workshop session with The Wallace Collection on 19C chamber music and selections from the Cyfarthfa Band;
  • A Boat Tour around New York Harbor / Manhattan (weather permitting).

Proposals are invited for presentations of twenty-minute length plus ten minutes discussion. We also welcome shorter presentations (please indicate timing), musical performances, instrument demonstrations, and presentations in other formats suitable for an informal lecture space. Proposals should be sent as e-mail attachments (pdf preferred) to Sandy Coffin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  by 5pm EST February 15, 2020 (date stamped).

All proposals must include an abstract of not more than 300 words, a 75-word biography of each presenter, a list of A/V aids required, and e-mail information for a response, which will be forthcoming by March 2, 2020.

Presenters will be required to register for the Symposium. Membership in the HBS is encouraged but not necessary. Registration details will be sent upon receipt of proposals.

Questions may be directed to Sandy Coffin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..