News

JULY 2017

We're at the end of our season now and about to take a break for the summer holidays. We've had a fantastic year so far and performed again in some of our favourite venues, King's College Chapel, Ely Cathedral, Peterborough Cathedral, West Road and more. Thanks very much to everyone who has supported us and to our families who endure our absences.

Looking ahead, we have quite a lot booked in the diary already and please visit our concerts page for further details. We also have a potential brass and organ recital lined up for York Minster, as well as our now regular slot at St Alban's Cathedral.

Reflecting back on the personnel changes this year, we are delighted that Paul Farr and Chris Holt have made such a positive impact to the group, not just with their fantastic musicianship, but their overall enthusiasm for Prime Brass. Also, we would like to thank our regular deps, Darren Ashman and Phil Cambridge. A huge thank you to David McLintock too for looking after Guy Llewellyn's seat in the horn chair. David will continue to play with Prime Brass until Guy is back up to strength and it is hoped that Guy will return as full time horn player next year.

Other projects for the new season include more videos and recordings from rehearsals and concerts and moving more of our CD back catalogue on to digital platforms.

Thanks again to everyone and we look forward to seeing you again in September.


JUNE 2017

Some regular visitors to this page may have noticed that our website has been offline for a short while. We apologise for this and we are up and running again and itching to tell you about our exciting schedule over the coming weeks. Our most immediate performance is in St Andrew's Church in Swavesey on 10 June 2017 where we will be presenting a concert of family orientated music, with the usual flare and excitement that the group are known for.

Next up will be our participation in the Ely Cathedral Science Festival Prom on 17 June. This promises to be a really thrilling concert with a variety of repertoire celebrating science and science fiction. We will be joining forces with the Cathedral Choir and organ for some well known favourites including Star Wars and Mars from Gustav Holst's 'The Planets'. They'll be some surprises too in what will be a night to remember.

We are also in the process of producing some short film clips of rehearsals and performances. Meet our fabulous trombone section: PB Trombones

Whilst writing, we are grateful to horn player, David McLintock who is filling in for Guy Llewellyn who is unavailable to play at the moment.

All our forthcoming concerts are listed on the concerts page


JANUARY 2017

Happy New Year!

We've already started rehearsing for what is turning out to be a packed 2017, with a wide range of exciting concerts. Please don't forget to check our concerts page for our up-and-coming performances.

As well as our usual appearances at Ely Cathedral and the West Road Concert Hall, we're also delighted to have been invited to appear with Jersey Premier Brass and CSD Brass in Cambridge for a fundraising event for Sarcoma UK.


DECEMBER 2016

Special Announcement
Our recording of Liberty Bell, which was aired on Classic FM, is now available on Spotify. Search "Prime Brass".


OCTOBER 2016

It's been quite a while since our last news update, but there's been a lot going on. Prime Brass were delighted to be able to perform in Bar Hill Church (our weekly practise venue) on Saturday 24th September and raised some money towards the church funds. We love rehearsing there and the acoustics are terrific, in addition to being a few hundred yards from a chip shop.

We are also delighted to announce that our development group, Junior Prime Brass have earned themselves a place at the Music for Youth prom at the Royal Albert Hall on 15th November. The group, under the watchful eye of their conductor Chris Lawrence, have gone from strength to strength and we look forward to seeing their progress.

Prime Brass have done some further recording and recently released a version of the "Liberty Bell" march which was aired on Classic FM on 14 October 2016. This track is now available for download at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/primebrass2. Further work is being done at the moment to make our CD back catalogue available on streaming platforms, so watch this space!

On 15 October 2016, Prime Brass raised the roof of Ely Cathedral with a "Brass & Organ Spectacular", joining forces with Junior Prime Brass, The Cambridgeshire Caledonian Pipe Band and the mighty Cathedral Organ, played by Edmund Aldhouse. The sound was quite something and the audience reaction was overwhelming. Prime Brass regularly perform organ and brass recitals, so if you haven't been to one before and like the sound of it, why not keep an eye on our concerts page for future performances.

For those of you who use social media and in particular 'Twitter', Prime Brass now have a Twitter account. Just look up Prime Brass or follow the handle @prime_brass. It's a great way of keeping up to date with all the latest news and events.

5 in a row for Junior Prime Brass! Congratulations to horn player Annemarie Ferderie who has been successful in getting a place in National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. She is the fifth consecutive musician from JPB to get a place and we're proud to support our development group, under the direction of Chris Lawrence.


JUNE 2016

We were truly bowled over by the positive response to our "Stage & Screen" shows which we put on this month. We were delighted to be joined by Prime Brass Friends for this show, the multi-talented Julian Landymore and his big band mates and the St Cecelia Choir from Swavesey Village College, directed by Audrey Caldwell. Sadly, this was to be Julian Jarvis' last outing as regular bass trombonist with Prime Brass and we will miss his witty banter and anecdotes, some of which would have us in complete stitches. Good luck Julian! So, after the excesses of "Stage & Screen" we look forward to rehearsing for our next line up of gigs. We have Chris Holt on board now as bass trombonist and look forward to his contribution to the band. Keep up to date with Prime Brass gigs on the concerts page and did you know, we also have a Facebook page?

On a sadder note, we were sorry to learn of the passing of Paul Garner's mum, Jean-Mary. Jean and husband Maurice supported Prime Brass in the very early years and were always to be seen at every concert and even in the crowd when we busked in Lion Yard, Cambridge. Jean loved hearing the group and always referred to us as 'her boys' and obviously took huge pride in seeing her son Paul entertaining the crowds. Prime Brass extend our deepest condolences to Paul, Maurice and family.


APRIL 2016

April sees Prime Brass back in the recording studio at Stapleford Granary, not on a new CD, but something a little more out of the ordinary. More about this to follow, once we are in a position to say more!

Sadly, more personnel changes are afoot, with our long-serving and beloved bass trombonist Julian Jarvis having decided to leave the group to dedicate more time to his teaching career. Julian brought so much to the group, not just musically, but with his ever cheerful demeanour and hilarious anecdotes. We wish him all the very best with his future endeavours and hope to be able to invite him back occasionally for our expanded brass outings. We are therefore delighted to announce that Chris Holt, a long serving extra and dep, has decided to accept the permanent bass trombone seat. Chris is also an accomplished euphonium player and we look forward to his involvement with the group.

The weather is getting warmer and there's no excuse to stay indoors, so go to our concerts listing and book up your tickets for our concerts.


MARCH 2016

Following on from our well received recital with Lucy Landymore earlier in the month, we're now rehearsing intensely for our King's College Chapel recital and looking ahead to our "Stage and Screen" family concert in June. We're particularly excited about the Shakespeare themed repertoire that Chris Lawrence has managed to unearth and much of it in keeping with splendour and majesty of the chapel. Some of the arrangements have been especially commissioned for the group and as always, we're indebted to Roger Harvey for skilful and challenging arrangements.

We're also happy to report that Paul Garner has recovered from his bout of Bels Palsy and is in the bosom of the group again and taking us through our paces. Welcome back Paul.


JANUARY 2016

So, we're well into the new year and Prime Brass have settled into their new rehearsal venue at Bar Hill Church which has superb acoustics and meets our every needs, including much needed coffee making facilities.

Paul Farr, our new tuba player is already cutting his teeth with the group and we're delighted at how easily he has slotted into the group.

Meanwhile, Paul Garner, our esteemed founder has unfortunately suffered from Bels Palsy, which has rendered him unable to play for a while. Not deterred by this set-back, Paul has been busy doing some new arrangements for the group and the results are fantastic. Paul has also had the opportunity to sit back and do some listening and coaching which we have also benefited from. Well done Mr Garner and we hope that you're back playing with us soon.

Following the release of our new CD, 'Spirit of the Age', we were delighted to hear that it got an airing on David Mellor's Classic FM programme and you can read his comments on the Contact page of this site. Our Christmas CD "Christmas Song" also got played on BBC Radio 3's "In Tune" programme.


DECEMBER 2015

Prime Brass would like to announce the retirement of Alan Sugars, our Tuba Player and the original player in the founding quintet. It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Alan, who performed brilliantly at his last concert with Prime Brass at our Family Christmas Concerts on Sunday 20 December. Alan's decision to leave the group has been taken on medical grounds and we will miss his musicianship, wit and general 'words of wisdom'. We know that his decision to leave to group has not been taken lightly and we respect his reasons for wanting to bow out on a high note (and some pretty low ones too).

Following on from Alan's decision, we are delighted to announce that Paul Farr will be joining us in the tuba chair in January 2016. Paul is a well known local tuba player and brings with him a wealth of experience from his participation in brass bands and brass chamber ensembles.

May we take this opportunity to welcome Paul and to thank Alan for his huge contribution to Prime Brass.


NOVEMBER 2015

Prime Brass are delighted to announce the arrival of their latest CD: "Spirit Of The Age". Details of how to purchase the CD will be announced soon. In the meantime we have been playing some of the repertoire from the recording in a busy schedule throughout November, which included a recital in Ely Cathedral and our CD launch recital at Wolfson College, Cambridge on Saturday 14th November. We're excited about the music on offer in the CD and consider it to be our best recording to date. But who are we to judge, pick up your copy soon!

Also in November, we learned that Junior Prime Brass first trumpet, Zoë Perkins has been selected as principal trumpet for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for 2016.


OCTOBER 2015

We had a great start to the new season last month with a rousing performance of John Rutter's evergreen "Gloria" in Cambridge's King's College Chapel , under the baton of Stephen Cleobury. We will be performing this popular work again in November - see here for details.


JULY 2015

JPB had a great day out in Birmingham at the Music for Youth National Festival. See here for some photos.


JUNE 2015

Prime Brass has finished recording its FIFTH (!) CD, and it's now in the editing suite ready for a launch in October, so watch this space.

Meanwhile, look out for JPB at the Fen Edge Festival on Sunday 21 June at 2.30pm, on Cottenham Village Green.


MAY 2015

Congratulations to JPB on getting through to the National Festival of Music for Youth, in Birmingham in July.


MARCH 2015

While Prime Brass are busy recording their new CD, Junior Prime Brass are preparing for performances in the Music for Youth Regional Festival (22 March) and at Wolfson College (4 April). The latter is in aid of UGive2Uganda, a charity supporting young brass musicians in Mbale, Uganda.


JANUARY 2015

Happy New Year from Prime Brass and Junior Prime Brass!


DECEMBER 2014

It's Christmas time again, the best time of the year to be a brass player! Prime Brass and Junior Prime Brass are both very busy this month, so do look at our concerts page to find out if there is a concert for you!


NOVEMBER 2014

Congratulations to new JPB principal trumpet Zoë Perkins who has gained a place in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for 2015. Having lost five members after their A' levels, the new JPB gives its first performance on 16 November at Wolfson College.


OCTOBER 2014

Tickets now on sale for our ever-popular Family Christmas Concerts on 14 December, this year featuring the big tunes from the Disney film "Frozen". And a big month for Junior Prime Brass, who give two performances at London's Royal Albert Hall on 13 October!


SEPTEMBER 2014

Big concert this month in Ely Cathedral - see here for details.


AUGUST 2014

Make sure you get hold of a copy of the Brass Herald magazine this month to read the feature on Prime Brass to mark our 25th anniversary.


JULY 2014

Education is the theme of this month. On 4 July, Junior Prime Brass performed to school children in various Cambridgeshire Village Colleges, in Bottisham, Sawston and Cottenham. Then on 26 July, Prime Brass will be giving a family concert - "Prime Brass in Space!" - as part of the Cambridge Summer Music Festival.


JUNE 2014

Exciting times for Prime Brass. This month we celebrate our 25th anniversary with a recital in King's College Chapel, Cambridge, followed by a special anniversary dinner next door at Queens' College.

And we have just heard that Junior Prime Brass have been invited by Music for Youth to perform in the Primary Proms this October at the Royal Albert Hall in London no less!


MAY 2014

Following the excitement of our joint concert with the up-and-coming Bold As Brass Ensemble at the end of April, PB performed in St Albans Cathedral at the start of May in its third brass-and-organ recital there, with good friend organist Tom Winpenny. Tom rejoins us next month for another such recital in the King's College Chapel, Cambridge, having been the organist in our very first recital there in 2005.


APRIL 2014

PB horn player Guy Llewellyn performs with the British Paraorchestra in Qatar on 4 April, sharing the stage at the Katara Opera House with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.


MARCH 2014

Congratulations to JPB on their first conductor-less performance, in the Music for Youth Regional Festival in St Albans. The MFY Music Mentor wrote of JPB: "A lovely glorious and controlled sound to revel in... Beautiful"; going on to say "You are a splendid group of players who make a fabulous sound and listen / phrase and interpret really well". Well done.


FEBRUARY 2014

We've just had our third brass-and-organ recital of the year confirmed, in King's College Chapel on 7 June, to add to recitals in St Albans Cathedral in May and Ely Cathedral in September.

Meanwhile we've been testing the acoustics of the new Stapleford Granary at Bury Farm.


JANUARY 2014

Happy New Year! This is the start of our 25th Anniversary Year - it's amazing to think that Prime Brass has been going strong ever since Paul Garner formed it in 1989. And along with Paul, two other founder members are still very much involved: Guy Llewellyn (horn) and Alan Sugars (tuba). Look out for plenty of anniversary-related activity in 2014, including the launch of our 5th CD.


DECEMBER 2013

PB and JPB have no fewer than seven concerts between them this December - the month when it is great to be a brass player, getting all the best tunes! There are concerts in Linton, Ely and St Ives as well as four in Cambridge in the West Road Concert Hall, St John's College Chapel and the Guildhall. And if you can't catch us live in concert, then you can always listen to us on CD - our Christmas CD makes the perfect stocking-filler!


NOVEMBER 2013

Congratulations to JPB on a great concert at the start of the month; and to JPB trumpeter Noah Lawrence on retaining his place in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for 2014. And congratulations also to James Davison, trumpeter son of PB trombonist Gary, on his first professional engagements with the London Symphony Orchestra while still a student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama!

Well done to PB bass trombonist Julian Jarvis and JPB principal trombonist Luke Fitzgerald on their broadcast on BBC Radio 3 this morning live from Snape Maltings as part of the Britten 100 celebrations. Julian was the conductor, and Luke the composer, of "A Wish", receiving its world premiere.


OCTOBER 2013

Another great recital for brass and organ, this time in Cambridge's King's College Chapel, under the baton of Stephen Cleobury. Meanwhile, JPB are rehearsing hard for their concert on 2 November.


SEPTEMBER 2013

A fantastic start to the new season, with two performances in Ely Cathedral. First it was the massed forces of Prime Brass and guests, conducted by Paul Trepte, with the highlight of the programme being Robert Davies' Proclamation Fanfare and Trumpet Mecahnism. Then a few days later it was the turn of the trumpet section to perform live on BBC Radio 3 in a special service from the cathedral. If you are in time, you can catch this on the BBC iPlayer.


JULY 2013

This is a busy month for Prime Brass, with no fewer than four performances in various festivals, including the Oundle International Festival and the Cambridge Summer Music Festival. For details of these performances, see our concerts page.

We also start rehearsing in earnest for our epic concert in Ely Cathedral on 8 September, which requires 10 trumpets, 7 trombones, 2 tubas, percussion, organ and piano.

Meanwhile, JPB has been busy recording a CD with the Huntingdon Male Voice Choir - watch this space for news of its release!


JUNE 2013

There are four performances in quick succession at the end of this month, two by Prime Brass and two by Junior Prime Brass. First up it is JPB on the 23rd, with a return visit to the Fen Edge Festival in Cottenham. Then the PB quintet performs at the Hilton Feast on the 29th, followed the next night by the PB octet accompanying Phoenix Chorale in Cambridge on the 30th. And then the following evening, Monday 1 July, JPB performs in the Chapel of King's College, Cambridge, appearing alongside King's Junior Voices. For details of all of these performances, see our concerts page.


MAY 2013

Congratulations to PB founder Paul Garner, who swam 5 km in the charity Swimathon, raising a four-figure sum for Marie Curie Cancer Care.


APRIL 2013

Happy Birthday to the JPB trombone section, all four of whom turn 16 this month!


MARCH 2013

March sees the first shoots not just of the glorious Spring flowers along the famous Cambridge Backs, but also of the fifth Prime Brass CD no less. The ensemble has decided that the time has come to add to its discography, and there is much to look forward to; watch this space! And come and hear how the talented Junior Prime Brass is coming on, at their concert on Friday 22 March in Impington.


FEBRUARY 2013

February is a good time of the year to try out new repertoire. We are using one of our regular rehearsals this month to try out the vast "Trompetermusik" by Karl Schiske. This requires 10 trumpets, 8 trombones, 2 tubas and timpani, and was written three years before that Everest of the brass ensemble repertoire by Richard Strauss, his "Festmusik der Stadt Wien" of 1943. Since that requires the same forces (well, with one less trombone), we will be rehearsing that epic work on the same night, to make the most of our assembled forces. Watch out for news of a performance in the future!


JANUARY 2013

Happy New Year! In 2012 Prime Brass performed in 17 concerts, including 3 in Paris, 2 in Ely Cathedral and 2 in the Chapel of King's College, Cambridge. Performances out of our home patch of Cambridge / Ely took us to St Albans and Northampton, and we worked with a dozen choirs over the course of the year.

Meanwhile Junior Prime Brass continued to flourish, including appearing at the National Festival of Music for Youth. We look forward to 2013 and wish all our supporters a Happy New Year!


DECEMBER 2012

Welcome to December! Celebrate the lead up to Christmas with Prime Brass, with a choice of several seasonal concerts, not least our annual Family Christmas Concerts on Sunday 16 December. See the concerts page for full details.

Congratulations to JPB trombonists Luke Fitzgerald and Ben Landymore, who have just gained places at the Royal College of Music Junior Department. There they will join JPB trumpeter Noah Lawrence and JPB tuba player Matt Grenz, who already attend the RCM JD. JPB conductor Christopher Lawrence also attended the RCM JD (but in the 1970s and 1980s...).


OCTOBER 2012

Congratulations to JPB trumpeter Noah Lawrence in gaining a place in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for 2013.

Prime Brass joins forces with no fewer than seven male voice choirs from around the country in Ely Cathedral on 20 October to mark the 50th anniversary of the Huntingdon Male Voice Choir.

Two members of Junior Prime Brass - trumpeter Zoë Perkins and bass trombonist Katy Surridge - perform this month with the Britten Sinfonia Academy.


SEPTEMBER 2012

The first concert of the new season by Prime Brass is on Sunday 9 September in Ely Cathedral.

The five oldest members of Junior Prime Brass all start their sixth-form careers at Hills Road Sixth Form College this month.


AUGUST 2012

On 29 August, our inspirational horn player Guy Llewellyn carried the Paralympic Torch as part of the Paralympic Torch Relay 2012 on its way to the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Guy was nominated by the Spinal Injuries Association.

Paul Garner and Sarah Minchin are coaching young brass players in the Cambridgeshire Holiday Orchestra Summer Course, 28 August - 1 September.

On 12 August, JPB 1st trumpet Noah Lawrence plays in the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain.


JULY 2012

PB starts rehearsals this month - before a summer break in August - for its annual recital in Ely Cathedral on 9 September. These concerts are always on an epic scale, and this one is no different. With 7 trumpets, 4 horns, 4 trombones, 2 tubas, 3 percussion and the mighty Ely Cathedral organ (played by Jonathan Lilley), conductor Paul Trepte will be kept busy marshalling these forces. There will be seven works, five with organ, and the finale will be a rare performance of Paul Patterson's "The Royal Eurostar".

JPB has just finished its first full season as a dectet. In July JPB appeared in the National Festival of Music for Youth in Birmingham, followed by making its debut in King's College Chapel in a concert promoted by King's Junior Voices (KJV). The PB quintet appeared on the same bill as their junior colleagues, performing Bob Chilcott's "A Sporting Chance" under the direction of the KJV conductor Lynette Alcantara.