Saturday, September 21, 2013

The June Emerson Wind Music Launchpad Prize 2013/14

Prize Winners 2013/14

WESTGATE WIND QUINTET - Trinity College of Music & Drama
BOREALIS SAXOPHONE QUARTET - Royal Northern College of Music
NEW BRITISH WINDS - Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
KALEIDOSCOPE QUARTET - Guildhall School of Music & Drama
ESPER SAXOPHONE QUARTET - Royal College of Music


WESTGATE WIND QUINTET - Trinity College of Music & Drama
WESTGATE WIND QUINTET - Trinity College of Music & Drama
Katherine Birtles – Flute
Joe Harper – Oboe
Chris Hatton – Clarinet
Hannah Robinson – Bassoon
Hannah Key – French horn

Formed in October 2012, the Westgate Wind Quintet is made up of postgraduate and final year undergraduate students at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. They have enjoyed working towards competitions such as the Royal Overseas League Competition and performing at exciting venues around London, which include an upcoming début at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in September 2013.

In addition to the Wind Quintet, as individuals they pursue a busy schedule as soloists and with other ensembles. Several of them are recipients of generous scholarships through their studies at Trinity Laban. Their collective professional experience includes session work with Warner Music Ltd, work alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Gloucestershire Philharmonia among others. They are also individually prize winners or finalists of several competitions and have performed at venues which include the Roundhouse, Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Opera House. There have also been extensive travels throughout Europe to destinations such as Italy, Finland, Estonia, Switzerland and Poland.

With a wide variety of repertoire including works by Danzi, Ravel and Martin Butler, the quintet have performed at various private events. As an ensemble they have received coaching from eminent musicians such as Michael Whight and Steve Stirling. All members of the quintet are keen to pursue an interest in education with workshops, demonstrations and master-classes in schools throughout the country alongside performing.

We would really like Toby Young to write for us, and we are inviting Martin Butler to watch our performance at St. Martin in the Fields. Next academic year we are planning to audition for 'Live Music Now' and compete in the ROSL competition in February, but we would also like to perform on a regular basis with diverse repertoire

BOREALIS SAXOPHONE QUARTET - Royal Northern College of Music
BOREALIS SAXOPHONE QUARTET - Royal Northern College of Music
Alastair Penman - soprano sax
Mélna Zéléniuc - alto sax
Gillian Blair – tenor sax
Daniel White - baritone sax

The Borealis Saxophone Quartet is an award winning ensemble based in Manchester. They formed in 2009 at the Royal Northern College of Music where they have received tuition in both classical and jazz saxophone from internationally renowned tutors including Rob Buckland, Vincent David and Julian Arguelles. They regularly perform as members of RNCM ensembles, including the Concert Orchestra, Symphony
Orchestra, Big Band and Wind Orchestra, and are all members of the RNCM Saxophone Orchestra, with whom they performed at the World Saxophone Congress in July 2012. The quartet has been coached by chamber music specialists such as Andy Scott, Raaf Hekkema and Tim Reynish, and has performed in public masterclasses with Johan van der Linden and Peter Cropper.

Their debut recital took place at the Bridgewater Hall in December 2011 and they have since performed regularly in Manchester and the UK. In summer 2012, they performed Per Nørgård’s ‘Dancers around Jupiter’ as part of the RNCM ‘Ny Musik Dansk’ Festival, and again at the BBC Proms festival which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

In December 2012 the quartet performed Graham Fitkin’s ‘Plan B’ for saxophone quartet and string orchestra at the RNCM, conducted by Leo Geyer. In the same concert they gave the world premiere of their first commission; ‘Borealis (into blue)’ by Lucy Pankhurst, for the same instrumentation. This concert was a result of the quartet reaching the final of the 2012 RNCM Concerto Competition.

Recently the quartet has collaborated with RNCM composers and the Northern Ballet School on a number of new works for saxophone quartet and dancers which were performed at the ballet school in May 2013. Their dedication to supporting the work of RNCM composers has led to their second commission which will be written by award winning Scottish composer; Tom Harrold, and will be premiered at King's Place,
London in September.

The Borealis Saxophone Quartet won the inaugural Apollo Saxophone Quartet/RNCM Saxophone Ensemble prize which was sponsored by Vandoren and Selmer Saxophones, and the Trevor Wye Memorial Prize for Woodwind Chamber Music at the RNCM.

Following this success, they competed with other prize winning RNCM Ensembles in the Christopher Rowland Chamber Music Prize and were named 'RNCM Ensemble of the Year 2013'.

For further information and a list of forthcoming events, please visit:

NEW BRITISH WINDS - Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
NEW BRITISH WINDS - Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
Jemma Freestone - flute
Sam Baxter - oboe
Greg Hearle - clarinet
Gareth Humphries - bassoon
Tom Taffinder - horn

New British Winds (formerly The Rustic Quintet) is a young, multi-award winning wind quintet.
Formed in 2009 at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the group have since played in many venues across the UK and Europe, showcasing a wide variety of repertoire.

As well as formal concerts, the quintet take a very active role in performing educational outreach in schools and are heavily involved in performing contemporary music alongside Sinfonia Newydd.

Members of the group perform with the likes of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera and the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra in London.

Recently the quintet won the June Emerson Launchpad Prize, the McGrenery Chamber Music Prize and became one of the youngest groups to compete in the Henri Tomasi International Wind Quintet Competition in Marseilles.

This year New British Winds performed at the Welsh Proms in St David's Hall.

KALEIDOSCOPE QUARTET - Guildhall School of Music & Drama
KALEIDOSCOPE QUARTET - Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Ian Dingle - soprano sax
Guy Passey - alto sax
Sally MacTaggart - tenor sax
John Moore - baritone sax

The Kaleidoscope Saxophone Quartet is an innovative collaboration between four versatile young artists. The group's approach makes use of the diverse talents of its members, creatively combining musical performance, composition and film. Trained at top UK conservatoires including the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Northern College of Music, the quartet is steeped in the British saxophone tradition, with a broad, resonant, vocal sound and an energetic, communicative performing ethos.
The group encapsulates a vast array of artistic skills: Award-winning saxophonist and composer John Moore; multifaceted musician and photographer/film-maker Ian Dingle; folk and jazz-influenced contemporary saxophonist Guy Passey; and multiple-award-winning chamber musician and concert soloist Sally MacTaggart.

As well as their work in music and film, the quartet is committed to the creation and performance of new music, and has commissioned and premiered works from an array of composers, whilst also possessing an extensive repertoire of the best of traditional saxophone music.

The group has a number of exciting plans for the forthcoming year, including a collaboration with composers collective Chimera at The Forge in Camden, developing educational and outreach work across London, and recording material for a new album of British saxophone music.

ESPER SAXOPHONE QUARTET - Royal College of Music

Keziah Peel - soprano sax
Paul Lamstaes - alto sax
Lucinda Dunne - tenor sax
Damon Oliver - baritone sax

Winners of the June Emerson Launchpad Prize 2013, The Esper Saxophone Quartet was formed in 2012 at The Royal College of Music by first year students. The quartet is coached by Kyle Horch and has taken part in various masterclasses by prestigious saxophonists such as Rob Buckland and Gerard McChrystal. The quartet enjoys playing a variety of styles and have taken part in Woodwind open days at The RCM and in The Woodwind Ensembles Concert. The members come from around the UK and South Africa, creating a blend of cultural diversity. The quartet have formed a unique cohesion which is displayed in their energetic and lyrical performances. The future looks promising for this young and ambitious quartet who embrace performance opportunities with enthusiasm.

Keziah Peel is a Dr. Michael West scholar generously supported by The Oppenheimer Memorial Trust and The Apollo Music Trust.


About the Prize

The June Emerson Wind Music Launchpad Prize was an idea that began as a desire to help young musicians in some significant way. With only limited financial resources it was difficult to come up with something that would make enough of a difference to make it a worthwhile project. The idea of sponsoring a prize at one of the UK music colleges was something we just couldn’t afford, and we also felt that we’d like to be able to offer something to more than just one college and be a little more ‘hands on’. We eventually decided that we would assist one young (predominantly) final year wind ensemble from each of the major UK music colleges to launch themselves onto the professional circuit.

The Launchpad Prize consists of practical help including: a substantial JEWM music voucher; dedicated space on the JEWM website, with the opportunity to use it as a powerful marketing tool; publicity in the printed JEWM catalogues; editorial coverage wherever possible; free advertising flyers in JEWM music orders in order to publicise themselves; exclusive access to the JEWM shop with use of all music and facilities; complimentary copies of any Emerson Edition titles which fit their instrumental line-up (for the lifetime of the ensemble); anything else we can think of.

Previous Winners of the Launchpad Prize

Lekker Quintet - Royal Northern College of Music
Echo Trio - Royal College of Music
Animé Duo - Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
Prima Vista - Trinity College of Music & Drama
Wolken Recorder Quartet - Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Lekker Quintet - Royal Northern College of Music
Echo Trio - Royal College of Music
Animé Duo - Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
Prima Vista - Trinity College of Music & Drama
Wolken Recorder Quartet - Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Les Trois Canards - Royal Northern College of Music
Kudo Saxophone Quartet - Royal College of Music
Hafren Quintet - Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
Vesuvio Quintet - Trinity College of Music & Drama
HMS Quintet - Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Bells Up! - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Dolce Cinque - Royal Northern College of Music
Gelachter Trio - Royal College of Music
Meridian Brass - Trinity College of Music & Drama
Carter Quintet - Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Pure Brass - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Ellipsis Wind Quintet - Royal Academy of Music

Souza Winds - Royal Northern College of Music
Emerson Quintet - Royal College of Music
Crown Quintet - Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
Ayre Flutes - Trinity College of Music & Drama

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Midst of Life: Celebrating the Life and Music of Stephen Dodgson

The Midst of Life
Click here to book tickets

The English composer Stephen Dodgson sadly died earlier this year. He was a prolific English composer, and we were lucky enough to have published a few of his wind pieces.

The pieces we publish are:
  • O Swallow! for alto flute & piano
  • Bagatelles for clarinet quartet
  • Baermann's Treasure & Baermann: The Sequel for clarinet & piano
  • Gipsy Songs for mezzo voice, clarinet & piano 
To be published this October:
  • Five Occasional Pieces for flute & piano

The Midst of Life: A Hearty Celebration of the Life and Music of Stephen Dodgson, in aid of the MAE Foundation, will take place on Thursday, October 3, 2013 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm at 

The Tippett String Quartet
John Williams (guitar)
Maggie Cole (harpsichord)
Richard Harvey (recorder)
Zone 6 Brass Quintet
Benedict Cruft (violin) 

 and more... subject to availability.

The Tippett String Quartet, who have recorded all nine of Stephen Dodgson's quartets, and John Williams, who has played his music for 57 years, lead this wide-ranging celebration of his life and work.

This celebration of Stephen Dodgson is raising funds for the MAE Foundation, which aims to provide musical instruments and music teaching to thousands of refugee children from Burma in the jungle refugee camps along the Thai border.

Despite the changes now taking place in Myanmar, the children in these camps -- more than 60,000 of them -- will still be living in temporary, leaf-roofed huts in the jungle for years to come.

The MAE Foundation, set up three years ago by Richard Harvey, a former student of Stephen Dodgson, is already helping more than a thousand of these bright, enthusiastic refugee children learn to play music together.