Happy New Year!

Wow, the rest of 2021 slipped by in the blink of an eye. No sooner had we all got used to being back out playing again, then things started to close down towards the end of the year. Many thanks to all those who managed to make it to West Road for our family Christmas concerts. We hope they will be back in full swing this year!

Following a restful festive break, we start back rehearsing this week and have a few engagements in the diary for 2022. Bar Hill Church will be our venue on 27th March, playing a farewell concert for Charles, the Vicar. Bar Hill has been our rehearsal venue over the past few years, and Charles has been an avid supporter of the group.

We then look forward to performing once again at St Albans Cathedral on 2nd May, having last played there in 2018.

For more information on our concerts/performances in 2022, please visit the 'Concerts' section of the website.

JULY 2021

Hello Everyone

Summer is nearly upon us, and we are preparing for our usual summer break.

There was some concern amongst a few of us over how quick we might get back into our stride after the enforced lay off. But I am pleased to say that we all seem to have found our brass mojo’s, and we are firing on all cylinders (or should I say valves!).

Really looking forward to sharing with you all at our first concert on 18th September at Harston.

In other news, we would like to congratulate Ryan Higgin (Trombone) for becoming a fully qualified Teacher! He has been working hard on his studies, which have paid off with a full time teaching post from September. Well done Ryan.

Have a fabulous summer, see you in September.

JUNE 2021

Hello everyone

Summer seems to be here, and we're enjoying the sun, and enjoying getting back to making music even more so. If you are free on Saturday 18th September then why not come along to Harston church to hear what we've been working on?

In other news, we are very proud to announce that one of our group has been honoured in the Queens birthday honours list, with none other than an OBE! Shaun Fitzgerald, (trumpet/flugel) has a day job, working as the Director of Climate Repair, at the University of Cambridge, and has been honoured for his services to the Covid-19 response. We are all incredibly proud of him.. well done Shaun!

MAY 2021

Well here we are already in May! Lock down is beginning to ease, and we are pleased to say that we will be starting back with rehearsals on 20th May, at our base in Bar Hill.

We have been catching up regularly over Zoom, and some of us have been getting together for some sectional playing in the back end of last year, but nothing beats the sound of the the full group.

As you will have seen, we have been busy during lockdown, releasing 3 videos in April to mark the 2 stages of lockdown easing, and the sombre occasion of the funeral of HRH Prince Philip.

If you missed our social media posts at the time, please head over to the Prime Brass YouTube Channel and check them out. You will also see our videos from last year too.

JULY 2020

As we ease our way out of lockdown, all of us here at Prime Brass look forward to getting back to playing live music once again. At an uncertain time for the industry, it’s important that musicians are able to get back to doing what they do best, although only in a safe environment.

As most of you will have seen, we have been busy during lockdown. Paul ‘the beard’ Garner, and Chris ‘Frosty’ Holt have been busy arranging new music for us, which we have enjoyed recording in remotely. We have then been very fortunate to call on the fine skills of our very own sound engineer Gareth ‘the wizard’ Williams, who has done a fabulous job putting all of our audio files together, and Tony ‘Exotogg’ Hawkins who has then stitched our video footage together, to make our combined showing of music videos, all of which you can find on our YouTube Channel

We continue to wish you and your families well, and hope to be seeing you in a live venue as soon as possible.

APRIL 2020

Hello Everyone

We all hope that everyone is staying safe during these times of self isolation, and social distancing.

These are indeed strange times we find ourselves in, and our hearts go out to all those affected by the COVID-19 virus.

All of us here at Prime Brass would also like to say a massive thank you to the NHS Staff, and key workers, who are working so very hard at this time to keep the nation safe and functioning. If this is you, THANK YOU.

Here is a little musical message from us all, from our living rooms to yours…

La Vie En Rose

Stay safe, and we look forward to seeing you all once it safe for us to do so.


Happy New Year to you all! We hope your festive season was a good one, and the January has not come as too much of a shock..

We had a busy end to 2019. November saw us performing in Bar Hill Church, where we rehearse each week, and then at Stapleford Granary for a very enjoyable brass training day, supported by some 45 students.

December started with a double helping of Rutter’s Gloria, with Choir 2000 in Histon, followed by a triple helping of Christmas fun, as we packed three family concerts into one weekend, in Stapleford and West Road. If you made it along to one of these, we hope you enjoyed yourself, and that it put you in the festive spirit!

We ended the year taking part in the epic ‘Hark the Herald’ Christmas concert in Ely Cathedral. This was the first ‘Hark’ under the baton of the new Director of Music, Edmund Aldhouse. The full cathedral were well entertained, and we congratulate Edmund on a job well done. We look forward to working with him and his colleagues in the future.

You will be aware that we were without our talisman, Paul Garner, during this busy period as he recovers from recent surgery. I’m sure you will join us in wishing him a continued speedy recovery.

And so we look forward to another year of brass music, and a new decade! Here’s to the next 10 years!


Having got back into the swing of things during September, after the summer break, we started October with a Brass and Organ ‘fest’ at Ely on 6th October. We were joined by our younger colleagues Junior Prime Brass for an evening of French and German brass and organ music. The program included some favourites (Bach’s Brandenberg Concerto, Lauridsen’s O Magnum Misterium) as well as some solo spots with Annemarie Federle (JPB) on Horn, ably accompanied by Aaron Shilson on the organ, and then Aaron himself letting loose on the organ with a fine rendition of Widor’s Toccata.

Whilst both groups were performing for the first time this season, JPB were also performing for the first time with their new line up. Several players moved on in the summer, including the conductor, Chris. Gavin Bowyer has taken over the reins and welcomed no fewer than 5 new players to the line-up. They did themselves proud, and its good know the future is in safe hands.

We are busy preparing for our next concert at the beginning of November, before we embark on our Christmas activities (sorry for mentioning that word …), but October sees one more activity for PB. On 20th October, we are looking forward to welcoming Richard Bissell (London Brass) who will be putting us through our paces in a workshop.


Earlier this year PB traveled up to Peterborough Cathedral teaming up with the Cathedral choir, organist David Humphreys, and their Director of Music Tansy Castledine to record music for their new CD 'Jubilate Deo'.
The CD is now available to purchase and the choir are having a launch event on Friday 8th November 2019, 7pm.

JULY 2019

Happy July everyone!

We had a very busy June, preparing for our family concert at the Thaxted Festival. We enjoyed getting dressed up as clowns (some more than others!), and had a fun morning entertaining families in the iconic Parish church. Good feedback all round, and we will back at the festival in 2021, this time not dressed as clowns!

We are very pleased to welcome our new Trombone player, Ryan Higgin. Ryan has come into the group following the departure of Sarah Minchin. Sarah has decided to explore other musical options, and we thank her for all the hard work, and amazing performances she has put in for the group over the years, and wish her all the very best in the future!

Ryan hails from Shropshire, and studied in Liverpool, and has played with the likes of the Liverpool Philharmonic, and Wingates brass band. He has now settled in Cambridgeshire, playing and teaching in the area. Look out for more about Ryan in the biographies section shortly. Welcome to PB Ryan!

There is one more opportunity to hear us before we break for the summer, and that is at St Peters Church, St Ives on Friday 12th July.

Finally, we see the end of an era on Sunday 14th July, as Chris Lawrence hangs up his baton as conductor of Junior Prime Brass. He will be conducting them for the last time at Robinson College, Cambridge, 1.10pm. Chris has been a driving force behind getting Prime Brass and Junior Prime Brass to where they are today, and we thank him for all his hard work and dedication over the years and wish him all the best in his 'retirement'!!

MAY 2019

March and April have been busy months, as we work on repertoire for 2019. As you know, we are blessed at Prime Brass to have very talented musicians, who are able to pen some amazing arrangements for us. This kind of arranging is special, because it means no-one else has the same music as us, making it unique. We are also dusting off some music from our library, and giving it a new lease of life under the new current Prime Brass membership. Results of our hard work will be on show for you all to hear at our next concert, on May 12th 2019.

The end of April saw Prime Brass celebrate its 30th Birthday! (Happy Birthday to us, Happy Birthday to us, Happy Birthday…etc). We celebrated the occasion with a get together of past and present members at Wolfson College on 27th April. A fun evening was had by all, especially when the old photos came out of the original group – oh the haircuts!

May sees the group get out for its first full concert, as we visit Haverhill for the first time in a long while (if not ever!). We will be helping to raise funds for the Old Independent Church, an amazing Victorian church, that serves as a very good venue for brass music. Tickets are available on the door, please see the concerts page for more information.

We can’t quite believe nearly half of the year is over already, and look forward to seeing you all soon!


Spring is on its way. And as it threatens to break through, so with it, comes the prospect of new Prime Brass ventures.

We are having a quiet start to 2019, with our first concert of the year currently scheduled for May 12th, but that hasn’t stopped us working hard on new repertoire. We’ve dusted off some music we haven’t played for a while, as well as tried out some new pieces, and we can’t wait to play them to you.

As mentioned, our first concert of the year will be in the May. We will be putting on a concert in Haverhill’s Old Independent Church, at 2.30pm on Sunday 12th May. This is a rare visit to Haverhill, and we very much look forward to it. Many of the group have played in the Old Independent on many occasions, but never as Prime Brass so this promises to be a ground breaking occasion. It’s a magnificent building, with good acoustics for brass. The proceeds of the concert will be going towards the upkeep of the church. More information will follow both here on the website, and via social media. As ever, we look forward to seeing you.


December is a busy month for everyone, especially brass players! Be it caroling in the local high street, accompanying choirs with their yuletide vocals, or entertaining crowds at family concerts, this is the time of year when everyone loves to hear the dulcet tones of a brass group. We are in the middle of a busy few days here at Prime Brass, having just completed a weekend of 4 concerts, in Stapleford and West Road, before we complete our 2018 Christmas schedule, with a much anticipated evening of music under the direction of John Rutter at St Johns Chapel, with the Bach Choir, on Tuesday 19th December.

It was great to see so many of our friends, who come back year after year to support the Christmas concerts at West Road, as well as welcoming many new faces. We hope you enjoyed yourselves, and look forward to seeing you again next year (date for your diary – 15th December 2019).

It is our great pleasure to welcome our newest member to Prime Brass - Tony Hawkins. Tony joins us on Horn from January, and we are looking forward to working together in the new year. Tony’s biography will appear on the site shortly but, in the meantime, welcome to you Tony!

So it just remains for us to say thank you to all of you for supporting us throughout 2018, and we look forward to seeing you all in 2019. Here’s wishing you all a very Happy Christmas, and prosperous New Year!


The clocks have gone back, and Autumn is in full swing. So it’s that time of year where we spend time to reflect on the sacrifice that has been made to make our modern lives possible. Saturday 10th November will see the group performing at Ely Cathedral as part of their Armistice commemorations. This year’s landmark of 100 years since the end of WW1 is a special one, and we are looking forward to sharing the stage with Junior Prime Brass, Edmund Aldhouse (organ) and Cor8 – a London based all-female French Horn Octet. Should make for very entertaining and moving evening and we look forward to seeing you there. Tickets are available here, or via 01353 660349.

At the beginning of November we held our brass day at Stapleford Granary. We were delighted to be joined by over 40 beginner and intermediate brass players. Each session gave the pupils a chance to experience brass ensemble playing. This is very important in a players development. It makes us all learn to listen to others, and understand where our instrument fits in within a group, and what our roles are. The groups worked very hard during the day, which resulted in a small concert at the end of each session to show off what had been learnt to expectant family members. We look forward to hosting a similar event next year. Watch this space for details.

See you all in December. Have you got 16th December in your diaries yet?! PB Family Christmas Concert


October sees Prime Brass return to the concert stage.

On 20th October we very much look forward to sharing that stage with the Cambridge Chord Company, and the Stellar Acapella Ladies chorus at St Paul's Church Centre, Hills Rd. Funds raised will go towards the Christian Blind Mission.

27th October takes us to St Ives, where we will be hosting an evening of true Prime Brass entertainment, at the All Saints church. We look forward to seeing you there from 7pm.

Check out our social media feeds for ongoing concert information and group updates.


What a summer! 3 months of glorious sunshine has seen us all through to the beginning of September. During this time, us ‘Prime-Brassers’ have been chilling on distant beaches, or more local river sides, sipping a beer or 5, reflecting on what a fun season 2017-2018 was. As you know, we all enjoy our playing and hope you have all enjoyed coming to see us, and if not, reading about what we’ve been up to!

Sadly, September is upon us. Time for children to prepare their school bags, teachers to prepare their lessons, and us at Prime Brass to prepare to get back together again, for our regular Thursday night rehearsals..

What can we expect this season, I hear you ask? Well, we look forward to seeing you all at our West Rd, Christmas concerts. We are also running a brass training day at Stapleford Granary, as well as the joyful prospect of joining forces with Junior Prime Brass, and the exciting Horn Ensemble, Cor8. Please visit our Concerts page on the website to see more details.

2019 sees us celebrating our 30th anniversary, so be sure to look out for some exciting events and come help us celebrate!

JUNE 2018

June saw Prime Brass preparing for our ‘Summer in the City’ concert that took place at Great Saint Marys Church on 16th. We are very pleased to include in this months news section a review of that concert, written by Olivia Seagrove, who attended the concert and is working towards completing her Arts Award (thanks for the review Olivia, and good luck with the award):

“On Saturday the 16th of June, I went to see a brass concert, ‘Summer in the City’, performed by Prime Brass in Great St Mary's Church, Cambridge.

I really enjoyed the wide variety of music they played; it provided something for everyone. One of my favourite pieces was performed using two flugelhorns. I also loved the music featured in the film The Incredibles.

There were many upbeat pieces, which felt right for summer, and we even got to hear some world premieres. The whole concert had an atmosphere of humour with the band members putting actions into their playing. I especially liked the fanfare at the end of pieces when they all stood, holding their instruments high in the air.

Overall, I loved the unique, more laid back approach to the concert which made the music more accessible. I thoroughly look forward to watching them again in the future." By Olivia Seagrove

MAY 2018

After a quiet April, May has seen Prime Brass travelling to St Albans for a bank holiday recital in the Cathedral, and over to Bury St Edmunds to take part in the Bury Festival. Guy Llewelyn, Prime Brass Horn player since its inception, has taken the decision to step away from the group, to concentrate on other opportunities. He has been an integral part of the group and has helped develop Prime Brass to the heights it has enjoyed over the years. We would like to thank Guy for everything he has done and wish him well with his new endeavours. To that end, we are pleased to introduce our new Horn player, Amanda Michell to the group. Amanda has already taken part in both concerts in May and has already provided her own stamp on the group. Please see her biography for more information. It has been a couple of years since we were in St Albans, and this month’s recital saw us perform ‘organ-less’. The cathedral is always a great place to play, and our programme was well received, including Koertsier’s ‘Don Giovanni’s Decent to Hell’. We finished the month with a rare visit to the Bury Festival. The Unitarian Meeting House was our home for the evening, and a near full house enjoyed a warm evening of brass music. Beethoven’s Equale was a particular highlight finishing with a rousing Hungarian Dance.

MARCH 2018

Spring is here, though you wouldn't know it. Luckily Prime Brass managed to avoid any travel issues on their mini tour of the north. We performed a brass and organ recital in the wonderful acoustic of York Minster, with Stephen Grahl conducting and Ben Morris at the organ. We were grateful to the audience who turned out on a chilly night and the group all warmed up nicely with a post-concert curry. Our next stop was at the wonderful Doxford Hall where we performed an evening recital as part of the Northumberland Music Festival. We were joined by our good friend, Tim Lihoreau from Classic FM who introduced the concert and entertained an enthusiastic audience. We are extremely grateful to the organisers and promoters of both concerts on our tour, which was a resounding success. We also congratulate Stephen Grahl on his appointment as organist at Christchurch College, Oxford and thank Tim Lihoreau for his 'I tiddily I' and mention of Prime Brass on his morning breakfast show.


Prime Brass start February with renewed vigour after having received excellent tuition from Tim Jackson (Principal Horn Royal Liverpool Philharmonic) in an all day workshop on 28 January. Tim's attention to detail and ideas about ensemble and intonation were inspiring and many in the group have said what a rewarding session it was.

We now focus our attention again on our mini-tour to York and Northumberland. We're very much looking forward to working with Classic FM's Tim Lihoreau again and he has kindly provided his own feedback about the trip at the end of the month:

“This promises to be a fabulous weekend : full of music and culture – and featuring my favourite brass ten-piece, Prime Brass. What’s not to like? I’m so looking forward to it.” Thanks Tim and we're very much looking forward to it too !

If you're around in York on Friday 23rd February, then catch us at the evening recital at the York Minster.see our concerts page


Happy New Year from Prime Brass. We're already up and running with a busy rehearsal schedule for our forthcoming mini-tour of the northeast.

In the run up to Christmas, Prime Brass had a number of high profile performances and we were delighted to receive the following review of our Brass & Organ recital, which we gave in November:

A review of ‘Prime Brass’ in Ely Cathedral on Saturday 11th November 2017

Prime Brass is renowned as an excellent group of brass players and tonight the standard of music was as high as expected. Conducted by Paul Trepte they gave magnificent performances opening proceedings with the majestic but sombre ‘Marche Triomphale du Centenaire de Napoléon’ by Louis Vierne, This was followed by an original composition commissioned for Paul Trepte: ‘Fanfares and Chorale’. Paul’s composition was one of the highlights. He explored the contrasts of the more precisely articulated and triumphant fanfare and the more sonorous chorales intriguingly well while creating a cohesive and interesting piece as a whole. Other delightful pieces performed by this group were ‘Salvum fac populum tuum’ by Widor and ‘A night on a Bare Mountain’ by Mussorgsky arranged by K. Singleton. Later in the programme, Guy Llewellyn’s arrangement of ‘Mars the Bringer of War’ by Holst was especially effective and the sense of foreboding and the impending horror of war were never lost. The younger Prime Brass group excelled themselves. Under the baton of Christopher Lawrence they flourished and the pieces they played rang out beautifully and triumphantly through the magnificent vaults of Ely Cathedral. Their ‘Fanfare for a Royal Occasion’ by Ken Naylor, Rigaudon by Campra and ‘Remember’ by Jasper Eaglesfied were delightful. ‘Remember’ was especially interesting for it was commissioned from the young composer who could be found in the midst of Junior Prime Brass. He should go far. When the groups came together at the end of the concert, the impact of such a powerful sound and the amazing precision of their playing, especially in ‘A Poetic March’ by Alford was particularly noticeable. With fireworks resounding in the park next door before the concert began, the final piece, Handel’s ‘Fireworks Suite’ culminated the concert perfectly. This was a splendid memorable concert in keeping with this special day.

As always, December was a busy month for the group and despite some appalling winter weather, we managed to secure a warm and enthusiastic audience for our 'Christmas Cracker' family concerts in Cambridge. We also played to a packed out Ely Cathedral for their annual Carol Concert and put on a fund raising concert for our favourite rehearsal venue, Bar Hill Church. Guy Llewellyn has returned back as full time horn player in the group and we thanked David McLintock for being a fantastic replacement for Guy when he was indisposed.

Looking ahead to the end of the month, both Prime Brass and Junior Prime Brass have engaged the talents of Tim Jackson, Principal Horn of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, to do some coaching. Tim has worked with us before and we very much look forward to what promises to be a really fantastic collaboration. Don't forget to keep checking the Prime Brass concerts page for our forthcoming appearances.


As we move into the new month, we're putting the finishing touches on our great repertoire line up for Linton Music Society. Included in this programme will be a solo feature arranged by Paul Garner for Gavin Bowyer. Come and hear the concert to find out more ! We've also started rehearsing for our 'Brass and Organ Spectacular' in Ely Cathedral and we're looking forward to welcoming Junior Prime Brass to share the bill with us. Looking further ahead to next year, we're proud to announce our 'mini-tour' of the north east in February 2018, which will include performances in York Minster and at the Northumbrian Music Festival at Doxford Hall. We're delighted that Classic FM's Tim Lihoreau will be joining us for the trip and he will be compere at the Doxford Hall event. For details of all our up and coming events see our concerts page


Prime Brass are sad to learn of the recent death of Derek Bourgeois. The group consulted with the composer on their CD 'Spirit of The Age', which includes an updated recording of his 'William & Mary' Suite and it was a huge honour for us to record such a prestigious and well crafted work for brass.

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


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.


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


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: 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Happy New Year from Prime Brass and Junior Prime Brass!


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!


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.


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!


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


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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 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!


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!


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...).


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.


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.


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.