Monday, October 14, 2019

Grade Five, then what?.

Grade Five - then what?

When a student passes the landmark of Grade 5 we thought it would be a good time to offer them the experience being a soloist. This was the thinking behind a phone call I made to Alan Ridout. He was a man who loved to write for actual performances, and spent a lot of time encouraging musical youngsters.
The result of a long and riotous conversation, which puzzled the people in my office at the time, was a delicious series of Concertinos. Each piece could be played with piano, but was also scored for strings, so that the player could have a first taste of performing with a small orchestra (or string quartet.)
Once he had started he kept going, completing Concertinos for:

Cor Anglais
Flugel Horn

Several of these have been on exam syllabuses over the years, but not everybody is aware that there are string parts available for performance. If you have a student who would benefit from a bit of stage experience, please give them this opportunity.

Monday, September 23, 2019

We, The Chorus


Checking in at a last-minute AirB&B in The Hague last week I was delighted to see a litter of music  stands. It transpired that my host was Andrius Arutiunian, the composer, who is published by Donemus - a publisher that we deal with. I looked him up online.

"Andrius Arutiunian (b.1991) is an Armenian-Lithuanian composer and sound artist. His practice is based on sound and hybrid forms of media, with a particular interest in identity, technology and sonic artefacts. Sonic appropriation and repurposing, as well the use of new technologies and media all form an important part of Arutiunian’s practice."

No wind music for us then!

However the wine bottle came out and we were soon having a good gossip about the music trade.

Looking online afterwards I came across 'We, the Chorus' and an image in the description of the work has stuck in my mind ever since:

"Watching today’s scandal-seeking mass media and scrolling through rather hysterical social networks, one may easily be reminded of the Greek Chorus in classical Greek theatre. The function of the Chorus is to explain the context and represent society”.

We, the Chorus

Andrius Arutiunian

Thanks for a great stay, Andrius!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Global Climate Strike September 20th

At the request of the children worldwide, who have been striking for action on climate breakdown for the last year, there is to be a Global Climate Strike on 20th September 2019

June Emerson Wind Music will be joining businesses throughout the world which are closing for the day. This will free our employees who wish to support young people in their call for meaningful action.

What is June Emerson Wind Music is doing to help the environment?
Doing our bit   '

Monday, August 26, 2019

2019 Launchpad Prize Winners #2


Blackweir Brass

Formed at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Blackweir Brass have gone on to enjoy performances such as at St John Smith’s Square, St David’s Hall and the Endelienta Series. An emerging group, its members look forward to studying at a postgraduate level at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the Royal Academy of Music. Major influences on the group are Onyx Brass, the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, and the poetry of Sir John Betjeman, all of which are evident in their most popular recital series, 'Music and Words'. The quintet has been appointed as Live Music Now artists and Making Music Selected Artists, and in 2019 won the June Emerson Launchpad Prize.


Blackweir Brass on Facebook

Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

Monday, August 12, 2019

2019 Launchpad Prize Winners #1

Ensemble Cosmopolitan


Lok-yin Hui - flute
Jessica Vinson - oboe
Michael Choi - clarinet
Robert Mehlig - horn
Leonardo Bizzotto - bassoon


Made up of Hong Kongese flautist Lok-yin Hui, British oboist Jessica Vinson, Korean clarinettist Michael Choi, Swedish/German horn player Robert Mehlig and Swiss bassoonist Leonardo Bizzotto, the group's name reflects the international nature of its membership.
Under the guidance of Laura Jellicoe and Stefano Canuti, the group has performed in various concerts, master-classes and competitions since its foundation in 2018. Notably the group performed in a master-class presented by the Haffner Wind Ensemble, and was recently awarded the Fewkes Woodwind Chamber Music Prize. Also Ensemble Cosmopolitan has been invited to join ChoiMan Company as their artist.
Ensemble Cosmopolitan is delighted and grateful to receive the generous support of June Emerson Wind Music, through their Launchpad Prize.

June Emerson Wind Music would like to thank Suzy Stonefield for organising
the awarding of the Launchpad Prize at the Royal Northern College of Music.


Royal Northern College of Music

Monday, July 29, 2019

Have you ever been to Vienna?

Have you ever been to Vienna?

Alfred Uhl - composer (1909 - 1992)
We were camping in Salzburg with our two children when my husband Geoffrey said 'We're not far from Budapest. Let's go and see the Oromszegis.' That's another story, but Vienna was on the way.
We hit the Vienna ring road in the rush hour. It was raining. We eventually found the exit for a campsite near a composer we knew about, Alfred Uhl. After much wandering we rang the Uhls to say we were completely lost. Alfred sent his grandson Michael to find us, and Michael, on his bicycle led us back to the Uhl's house. We were invited to camp in the garden.
There followed a riotous evening, with much red wine, good food and conversation. (It was around this time that some Austrian wine was found to contain anti-freeze, but I'm not sure that we mentioned it...)
Alfred's wife Frieda told us how their neighbour had recently been sunbathing in the garden with the radio on loudly while Alfred was trying to compose. The neighbour couldn't be persuaded to turn it down, so Frieda fired the garden hose over the hedge and sorted it. She was a loyal and loving wife.
The upshot of this visit was that we published Festfanfare by Alfred Uhl for 9 trumpets, 6 trombones, tuba and percussion. He also allowed Geoffrey to arrange it for 4 trumpets, horn, 4 trombones and tuba so that it would be easier to programme.
Over the following years Geoffrey kept asking him to write a wind quintet for us. Alfred liked the idea, but unfortunately died before he got round to writing it. 
Whenever anyone says 'Have you been to Vienna?' the whole evening comes back - the ring-road, the wine, the laughter and the rain pattering on the tent in the darkness.
June Emerson

PS sorry the photo is so blurred, but it is the most sympathetic picture I could find. He was such a dear man.

E46 Alfred Uhl - Festfanfare
9 tpt. 6tbn. tba. perc.

E235 Alfred Uhl - Festfanfare arr. G. Emerson
4tpt. hn. 4tbn. tba. (perc)

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Beethoven's 5th Bossa Nova

Terence Greaves, when we first met him, was Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. A quiet, unassuming academic we thought. However we soon found out about his naughty side. In his earlier life he had been a lecturer at the Birmingham School of Music, where he had contact with the CBSO - in particular the wind section.
It was the clarinettist John Fuest who encouraged him to write for the CBSO wind quintet, which is where Terry's mischievous side came to light. Beethoven's Fifth Bossa Nova is wicked fun to play, and audiences absolutely love it. He went on to write Rimsky's Rumba and Mozart's Turkey Rock Mambo, all of which are published by Emerson Edition. However it is the Beethoven that is the firm favourite, and inspired this jazzy cover from the cartoonist Bill Tidy.
Terence Greaves 1933 - 2009
composer, lecturer, accompanist, and music consultant on ABRSM examinations
E42 Terence Greaves - Beethoven's 5th Bossa Nova
E191 Rimsky's Rumba
E245 Mozart's Turkey Rock Mambo