Hello Tabby - answers as requested!|
1. Our Saudi trip was fantastic. You can read Angela's report of it on our news page. There aren't many photos because taking photos in public in Saudi is frowned upon. The photos we do have are on the out and about page - you get to this from the News page too. It came about because we were booked by a variety of music clubs in both the UAE and Saudi. As regards the illegalities, as you say, it's basically a man's world there. Women are very much second class. Quite right!
2. The object of the Saudi tour was to perform concerts to both schools and music clubs - and to make some money for us all - we do do this for a living you know! There are a few ëirons in firesí regarding our next trips - 'Mumís the word' about them for the time being though, me thinks!
3. Yes - very much so and now more than ever.
4. Well, this is tricky one in a way. In many ways the importance of education in brass playing is vital. The fact is, that brass playing is hard. We all know that each individual's ability is entirely down to how much (correct) practice they do. Our job, is to try and make sure that students we work with do this to the best of their ability without being hampered by suspect practices - i.e. bad technique. Unfortunately, so many players develop bad habits that end up staying with them throughout their playing lives. Problems starts when they are young and they never get sorted. Itís also important that we ëeducateí our next generation of audience. Why would you want to come and listen to a concert, or play a brass instrument, when thereís a PlayStation to take your time up instead? Surely, itís our job to convince otherwise. We are just developing a special site on our website for all players. Itíll take full shape over the next few months; www.fineartsbrass.co.uk/tooters.html - be sure to check it out!
5. Probably everything you'd expect ! It's difficult to answer this though as we ëtailor makeí every schools workshop/concert to the individual requirements. If our audience is predominantly brass players we make it more technical - use of hose pipes, natural trumpets/horns and cornetts/sackbutts etc . If they are non players, we have a bit of fun showing them what we can do musically. If they are young we get them all to join in. As I say it depends who/what they are....The fact is we play to ALL ages and ALL standards. In the last few months alone we have played/given masterclasses to the students at the Royal College of Music, London to playing tunes like "Bob the Builder" to the local primary in Bridport Devon. Have a look at our out and about pages and youíll see what I mean; fineartsbrass.co.uk/outandabout.html
6. At last an easy question! We play and concentrate on GOOD music. We play music from every period and every style. It's not enough to play the notes either for us! If we play Renaissance/Baroque period music we try and get the ornamentation right etc - and if we play something like jazz-fusion we aim to get in ëthe grooveí. I like to think we are ëmusical chameleonsí in concert. There is nothing worse than playing Good music incorrectly in my book.
8. Absolutely. I'll talk more about this when I get to question 10, but we are very aware of the effect the British Brass Band tradition has on our brass players. We always provide parts for band players in our ensemble work. If you go to our tooters page on our website you'll see the music we offer free to download for people taking part in our masterclasses. We have parts for ALL brass band instruments.
9. At the moment a new album as well as all our concerts. It'll be our 27th. We've nicked the title from elsewhere, but it'll be called "..we get requests". Itís going to be a compendium of all our American popular tunes so it'll feature the works of Fats Waller, Irving Berlin, George Gerswin, Harry James, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny and Frank Zappa. We reckon we'll have covered virtually every style of music coming from every decade of the 20th century out of the States by the time weíve finished.
11. All based in the Midlands. Rehearsals? What are they?