Monday, 6 July 2020 | 3.00pm – 4.00pm

Join us for a virtual brass concert exploring the various moods of lockdown, with music from Mancini to Gershwin and featuring brass players from the Royal Holloway Symphony Orchestra, Undergraduated Big Band and Brass Band. Ease the Madness of lockdown with this concert brought straight to your living room.

Event programme

Royal Holloway Symphony Orchestra Brass Players 

Leoš Janáček (1854-1928)
Fanfare from Sinfonietta

“Leoš Janáček was a Czech composer writing in the early twentieth century, with the Sinfonietta a notably popular instrumental work. Inspired after hearing a brass band, this first movement was written as a fanfare for an athletic organization for a gymnastics festival in 1926. Lockdown has a been a difficult time for many musicians, but they have persevered with what they have, just as Janáček once made do with a keyboard drawn on his desk. During his time, Janáček initiated many music festivals, and with a brass fanfare, what better opening to this online concert?”

Hannah Griffin (Trumpet & Event curator)

Undergraduated Big Band Trumpets

Harold Arlen (1905-1986) 
Somewhere Over the Rainbow

“Written for the 1939 film ‘The Wizard of Oz’, this piece is sung by Dorothy as she attempts to find somewhere where there is no trouble. The popular ballad has been covered many times by singers such as Eva Cassidy, Ariana Grande and Pentatonix. During this isolation period, the rainbow can be seen in windows across the country as a message of hope and gratitude to NHS workers, as we all wish to see a bright and colourful future after the pandemic.”

Hannah Griffin (Trumpet & Event curator)

Back to Brassics Quintet

Just a Closer Walk

“Arranged by the Canadian Brass Quintet, Just a Closer Walk draws its inspiration from God, using bible verses such as 2 Corinthians 5:7 which states, ‘We walk by faith, not by sight.’ In the uneasy state of the world, this sentiment helps people draw peace from faith as we travel onward. Although most often heard in New Orleans style funerals, this style of music is inherently happy as we celebrate life. Looking forward as the world finds a new normal, just as we walk close with God, we will walk close with our friends, our families and we will celebrate with joy and with music.”

Owain Davies-McCrorie (Trombone)


George Gershwin (1898-1937)
Someone to Watch Over Me
Featuring trumpet soloist, Daniel Gray

“George Gershwin was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1898 and was one of Americas most prominent composers. Written in 1926 for the musical ‘Oh, Kay!’, Someone to Watch Over Me was originally a piece for voice where the lead character Kay sings about an American Playboy who she is dearly in love with and she hopes she can see him again and win his affection. This piece relates to lockdown as in this time we are all apart from people we love whether they are family or friends.”

Dan Gray (Trumpet)

David Critchley (trumpet)

Otto Ketting (1935-2012)

Intrada is a work for unaccompanied trumpet and was written by Otto Ketting, one of the most famous Dutch composers to have lived. As a professional trumpet player in his early musical career, Ketting writes very idiomatically for the instrument in Intrada through both the lyrical atonal phrases in the opening lines to the dramatic triplet fanfares later on in the work. The work is dedicated to Theo Laanen, his former trumpet tutor and colleague in the Residente Orchestra of The Hague.”

David Critchley (Trumpet)

Flu Fighters Quintet

Claude-Michel Schönberg (b. 1944)
Bring Him Home

“As an ensemble, we felt Bring Him Home was a suitable piece to perform, not only being from the world-renowned musical, ‘Les Misérables’, composed by Claude-Michel Schönberg (adapted from Victor Hugo’s novel, 1862), but also sharing thematic links with the current climate we find ourselves living in. Whilst these times are not the French revolution of 1832, they are certainly testing for us all, as we too are battling against a formidable force. The song eludes to feelings of isolation, desperation and a longing to be at home again, as appropriate now, as ever.”

Lawrence Brody (Trumpet)

Royal Holloway Brass Band

Graham McPherson and Chris Foreman
Baggy Trousers (arr. Alan Fernie)

“’Baggy Trousers’ is a piece built around fun, something achieved within the brass band. It relates to a lot of lockdown experiences: bending the rules, for example eating all the food in the fridge and shouting “oi” as a parents’ Zoom meeting uses all the bandwidth we are using to revise (watching Netflix)!”

Eoin Ford (Cornet)

Eric Carmen (b. 1949)
All By Myself (arr. Alan Fernie)
Featuring tenor horn soloist Robert Williams

“We decided that ‘All By Myself’ would be a great addition to our lockdown concert as a lot of people have been stuck indoors away from friends and family during recent months. I had great fun recording this piece as I don’t get solos very often. It was a bit of a challenge however I certainly had plenty of time to practise!”

Robert Williams (Tenor Horn)

Richard Rogers (1902-1979)
You’ll Never Walk Alone (arr. Darrol Barry)

“You’ll Never Walk Alone is a Rogers and Hammerstein song from the musical ‘Carousel’. Michael Ball sang the song to Captain Tom Moore on BBC Breakfast. The performance was made into a digital single featuring the NHS Voices of Care Choir and Sir Moore’s spoken words, with proceeds going to NHS Charities Together. The track reached number 1 in the UK charts making Sir Moore the oldest UK chart-topper ever, at 100 years old! It has become an anthem of support and hope during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Emily Howling (Baritone horn)

Music at Royal Holloway MixTape

Contents of this event can also be listened to via the Department of Music’s new MixTape on SoundCloud. Please feel free to join us and subscribe to hear the very best of our students and staff.