Horn, trumpet, cornet, trombone, baritone, euphonium, tuba, percussion
A good measure of the success of the Brass and Percussion Department at Chetham's is to simply look at the BBC Young Musician of the Year results for the last two competitions.
Not only did Peter Moore win the overall competition in 2009, but the 2007 Brass Grand Finalist was trumpeter Huw Morgan. Indeed Chetham's students have been fantastically represented in the semi-finals on both occasions, with six out of eight in 2009 and seven out of twelve in 2007. Chetham's students Lucy Beeson and Jim Molyneux were also the Percussion Grand Finalists in 2005 and 2009.
Students from the department have performed extensively overseas, with a recent collaboration in September 2010 & September 2011 with the Gabrieli Consort at the Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Poland being a memorable highlight (see video).
Chetham's Brass players travelled to Poland to appear for the second time in the Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Wroclaw at the invitation of Artistic Director Paul McCreesh. This short clip was aired on local TV.
In July 2011 the Symphonic Brass Ensemble and Brass Band travel to Ischia, an island at the northern end of the Gulf of Naples, to perform at the Giardini La Mortella as part of the Walton Foundation Summer Festival, and there is a repeat invitation for our students to perform in Wroclow, Poland, in September 2011.
To read Brass Band World's article about life at Chetham's click here - Article reproduced by kind courtesy of Brass Band World – the leading monthly magazine for the international brass market.
A student's programme includes weekly instrumental classes, chamber music and a variety of ensembles such as:
The Brass Band performs every term, conducted by Chetham's alumni and former Black Dyke Principal Euphonium David Thornton. Recent repertoire includes music by Howarth, Gregson and Heaton and students currently also play in bands outside of school such as Fodens, Marsden, Fairey's and Leyland... Read More
Symphonic Brass Ensemble
Chetham’s Symphonic Brass Ensemble features the school’s senior players from the Brass & Percussion Department. The Symphonic ensemble also boasts a number of smaller groups from within its midst to provide a truly varied concert experience... Read More
The Chetham's Big Band is a three time winner of the junior section of the BBC Radio 2 Big Band of the Year Competition, reflecting the established reputation of the Jazz Programme at the school. All brass players play in one of the two Big Bands which regularly perform with recognised jazz soloists... Read More
Symphonic Wind Orchestra and Wind Band
The prize-winning Symphonic Wind Orchestra and Wind Band were formed to further promote ensemble work in Chetham's Wind, Brass and Percussion Departments, which currently lead one of the country’s most dynamic music programmes in the field. The departments run two ensembles, with the Symphonic Wind Orchestra being made up of many of the older students... Read More
Chetham's Symphony Orchestra
Chetham's Symphony Orchestra has an outstanding international reputation as one of the finest young orchestras in the world. The CSO enjoys an impressive concert diary and has performed at venues including The Bridgewater Hall, the Barbican, Royal Opera House, Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Chester and Durham Cathedrals, Selby Abbey, and Lichfield Festival... Read More
Chetham's Brass Masterclasses are one of the Department's key focus areas and a shared city centre location with the RNCM means visiting world class musicians often couple their visit to both school and conservatoire. In the last year students have experienced classes with artists including Howard Snell, James Watson, Rex Richardson, Peter Gane, Richard Watkins, Hugh Seenan and John Wallace. We also have strong links with all the major conservatoires from around the country whose staff regularly visit to give such classes and act as external examiners. These links are important for students in terms of broadening their outlook to the widest range of options when applying for further education.
The Brass and Percussion Chamber Music programme is a key element in the education of our young musicians. Chamber music incorporates all the fundamental ensemble skills needed for life as a solo and orchestral musician, as well as honing more basic aspects of playing, such as intonation and rhythm.
There are currently seventeen different weekly Brass and Percussion chamber ensembles, grouped into instrumental classes (such as our Senior Trumpet Ensemble or the Euphonium Ensemble) and also by year groupings (such as the Middle School Symphonic Brass Ensemble and Junior Brass Quartet). Each group has two weekly sessions timetabled for them: a coaching session with a member of Chetham's staff and an un-staffed session for the students to rehearse on their own, enabling them to develop important team-work skills.
Performance opportunities are regularly available through the weekly Performance Classes and also through the school's daily Lunchtime Concert Series. We also collaborate with outside music societies. A recent project with St Georges Singers culminated in a performance in Manchester Cathedral of repertoire from 16th Century Venice, including Gabrieli’s Magnificat a 17 and Schutz's Psalm 150.
The dynamic nature of Chetham's Brass Programme is complemented by the Schools contemporary Manchester location.
"It's as much about learning outside the practice room as inside...Examples include students spending the afternoon in rehearsals with the BBC Philharmonic; the Wind Band performing at the RNCM International Wind Festival alongside the likes of John Harle and Rob Buckland, and one of our jazz ensembles playing in front of thousands at the BBC Proms in the Park in Manchester - it's these experiences that help students realise their full potential."
- David Chatterton, Head of Brass & Percussion