You can find other articles by me tagged "trumpet" here, or cornet here.
About meIn the 1990's I did quite a lot of freelance/semi pro player but these days I spend my time working for a charity and playing the trumpet and cornet on an amateur basis in the Edinburgh area. I played the trumpet with the Open Orchestra for seven years until 2010 and then spent a year playing principal cornet with Penicuik Silver Band. At the moment I am playing solo cornet with Kingdom Brass, playing a bit of traditional jazz, doing occasional orchestra concerts or big band gigs.
I started playing at the age of 10 (french horn) switched to euphonium at 14 (because I really wanted to play in a brass band) and then trumpet and cornet at around the age of 19 (although I still doubled on euphonium for a couple of years). My brass band experience includes Stirling Public Band, Alloa Band (1st and 2nd section) and Alva Band (championship section), Livingston Brass Band, Newlands Concert Brass and a spell as principal cornet with Penicuik. I have played Bb cornet and Eb soprano cornet.
As an orchestral player I have performed a wide range of repertoire from baroque to modern works including concertos and other solos. This includes a lot of piccolo trumpet playing in baroque music.
In addition to playing trumpet, cornet and piccolo trumpet I play french horn to a level good enough for second or third horn.
EquipmentI have a range of instruments for different types of playing:
Bb Trumpet - Bach Stradivarius 43
I used to play on Monette equipment, but switched to this a couple of years ago. It has a larger bell tan the standard 37 Bach trumpet that most players use but it is still a medium large bore. It works well for orchestra and big band playing.
Mouthpieces: Bach 1.5C Megatone for classical; Jet-Tone MF for big band (one of the later ones, similar to the old style Jet-Tone MF3).
Eb/D Trumpet - Schilke E3L-4
|Schilke E3L-4 with Eb bell and slides|
|Schilke E3L-4 with D bell and slides|
This was built as a four valve Eb trumpet with an extra large bell, but I sent it to Schilke to have the smaller D bell and slides made. In Eb it is capable of playing most Bb or C orchestral trumpet parts. In D it really sings and is great int he upper register.
Mouthpieces: Bach 1.5C Megatone
Piccolo Trumpet - Hybrid Rotary
This is a four valve rotary trumpet made in China but modified with a Blackburn leadpipe for A. Although it looks like a Scherzer the bell is bigger. It seems to be a copy of the "Melton" rotary trumpet which was made by Scherzer in the 1980's. It plays very well in A and is the best piccolo trumpet I have ever owned in that key. In Bb it plays OK, but its not quite as good as it is in A.
Mouthpieces: Josef Klier 7DW (similar to a Bach 7DW but with a bigger backbore)
Flugel Horn - Boosey and Hawkes Imperial
This instrument is from the early 70's and is of the narrow bore style of flugel. It has the added advantage of using a cornet shank mouthpiece.
Mouthpieces: Denis Wick 2F; Denis Wick 2 (cornet)
Cornet - Yamaha Maestro
This is one of the earlier Maestro's without "UK" after the model number and with no engraving on the bell. I bought it second hand and had it overhauled to bring it back into new condition.
Mouthpieces: Sparx 2; Jet-Tone MF3 (occasionally)
Cornet - Blessing Artist
This is a long model cornet made in 1979 but kept in storage by a collector until it was sold to me in 2013. This is one of the last of the professional Blessing cornets. It has a copper bell with a wide flare, rather than a trumpet bell, and a micrometer style tuning adjuster on the main slide. The leadpipe is nickel silver and it has a very short valve throw with recessed finger buttons.
Mouthpieces: Curry 1.5BBC; Jet-Tone MF3 (occasionally)
Cornet - Douglas & Sons
This is a collectors item , made in the late 19th century in Glasgow.
Mouthpieces: Sparx 2; original 1890's narrow mouthpiece
This gives you some idea of the types of music I have performed in concerts over the years.
- Trumpet Concerto in Eb - J Haydn
- Trumpet Concerto in D - Telemann
- Trumpet Concerto in D - Fasch
- Carnival of Venice - Arban (Cornet)
- Trumpet Sonata - Purcell
- Suite in D - Jeremiah Clarke
- Most of the standard classical and romantic repertoire.
- Bach Mass in B Minor and Christmas Oratorio.
- Verdi Requiem.
- Vaughan Williams Symphony no 2 (London) (Trumpet and Cornet parts).
- Played with a 10 piece brass ensemble (using London Brass / PJBE arrangements).
- Marriage of Figaro - Mozart
- The Mikado - Gilbert and Sullivan
- West Side Story
- My Fair Lady
- Kiss me Kate
- Christmas Oratorio - Bach
- Messiah - Handel
- Played trumpet with Forth Dimension big band in the late 80's.
- Occasional recent playing in local bands.
Solo cornet or soprano cornet with:
- Alloa Town Band (1st Section)
- The Alva Band (Championship Section)
- Newland Concert Brass
- Penicuik Silver Band (principal cornet)
- Kingdom Brass B (second solo cornet)
ClipsHere are some clips of me playing (NB: variable quality recording qualities)
Ye Servants of God (hymn tune: Laudate Dominum):
Bring Him Home:
Goose Pimples (Bix Beiderbecke):
Vivaldi Concerto in D Minor (1st and Second Movements):
(normally performed on piccolo trumpet, this is a real test of control in the upper register on the cornet.)
Telemann La Majeste, from 12 Heroic Marches:
Neruda Trumpet Concerto in Eb - 1st Movement (excerpt):
Neruda Trumpet Concerto in Eb - 2nd Movement (excerpt):
Neruda Trumpet Concerto in Eb - 3rd Movement (excerpt):
A bit of fun
Four octaves on a cornet: