James Nash trumpet
Holly Clark trumpet
Johan Stone horn
Hannah Rebecca Stell trombone
Christopher Barron tuba
W1 Brass was formed in September 2018 by friends who are all currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London. The members have all known each for a considerably longer time, however, as they have all previously been members of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Members of the quintet have held principal positions with the orchestra, and they have performed in all the major British concert venues and in events such as the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
Individually, members have been involved in many projects such as the First Night of the BBC Proms, playing with the Commonwealth Festival Orchestra, and the BBC Young Brass Award. They have also been active members with local and regional orchestras and ensembles including Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra and Liverpool Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. On a more international scale, members have taken part in festivals such as the prestigious Hector Berlioz Festival, Singapore Lower Brass Festival, and the World Music Contest Kerkrade.
In July 2019 W1 Brass qualified to compete in the inaugural Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Competition. This competition brings together young brass groups and showcases excellence and enterprise in brass chamber music performance, building on the legacy of Philip Jones CBE.
Also, in July the quintet travelled to Sweden to participate in the Stockholm Chamber Brass Academy. Whilst in Sweden the quintet performed in concerts and lunchtime recitals alongside Stockholm Chamber Brass at Leksand Musikskola and Leskand Kyrka.
In March 2020, the quintet won the Worshipful Company of Musicians Brass Ensemble Prize, and as a result became Young Artists of the Company. Also, the quintet was invited with a full scholarship to participate in the Aspen Music School and Festival 2020. Furthermore, the ensemble was selected to participate in the semi-final of the Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition which took place in October 2020.
Whilst at the Royal Academy of Music the ensemble has been coached by many leading brass professionals including Simon Cox, Matt Gee, Patrick Harrild, Bob Hughes, John Hutchins, Matthew Knight and Jim Maynard.
W1 Brass enjoyed a busy Autumn as they performed at the Royal Academy of Music in a live-streamed concert and worked with the composition department in a new music workshop. In November the ensemble worked with Jeroen Berwaerts ahead of a performance at the Academy. They will be performing at Wigmore Hall as part of their outreach program in May 2021.
As an ensemble, W1 Brass hopes to develop further and explore the repertoire available to brass quintets. They want to share their passion for brass chamber music to as many people as possible.
Musicians’ Company Award: RAM Brass Ensemble Prize 2020
Page updated: December 2020
Photo Credit: None