H. Finke Coiled Trumpets

On Wednesday 1st July 2015, I finished teaching for the day and I noticed a missed call on my iPhone. It was from my former teacher Michael Laird. I called him back as I walked to the railway station and he told me, now that he had turned 75, he would be retiring from trumpet playing entirely. He explained that he had played since he was 15 years old and now, 60 years on, it was time to stop playing
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Handel Messiah with Oxford Baroque and the Choir of Magdalen College

I performed Handel’s Messiah with Oxford Baroque on Monday 29th of June 2015 at the Church of St John the Evangelist on Iffley Road as part of the MCS Arts Festival 2015. The orchestra accompanied singers from the Choir of Magdalen College and the performance was directed from the harpsichord by Daniel Hyde.St John the Evangelist is a beautiful venue. It has a very peaceful courtyard garden
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Bach Vespers at St. Mary-at-Hill - Ein ungefärbt Gemüte (BWV 24) & Jauchzet Gott in Allen Landen (BWV 51)

One of my ambitions in life is to be able to play everything Bach wrote for the trumpet and associated instruments. This might sound like a fairly modest ambition - it’s not like I’m attempting to climb Mount Everest, win on centre court at Wimbledon or become a best-selling novelist - but you may be surprised by just how much is involved in this seemingly humble endeavour.The collected parts included
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'Sound the Trumpet' - Stroud Green Festival with Spiritato!

Spiritato! gave a concert of a programme entitled ‘Sound the Trumpet’ on Friday 26th of June. The performance was part of the Stroud Green Festival in London which took place in Holy Trinity Church in Stroud Green. The programme itself included works by Purcell, Corbett, Fantini, Rebel, Matteis, Albrici and Franceschini. We had performed a similar programme to this earlier in the year at the Forge
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Celebration for the Descendants of Thomas Marks at St. Martin-in-the-Fields

I performed the Last Post and The Rouse in a morning service on Saturday 20th of June, at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London. The service was entitled 'A Celebration for the Descendants of Thomas Marks of London [1780-1836]'. Several of his descendants had researched the Marks family history and they had organised a gathering of all of the descendants in this central London location. People had traveled
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Ars Eloquentiae in St. Andrews - Scotland

The London-based orchestra Ars Eloquentiae joined forces with the Fitzwilliam String Quartet to give several performances during a residency at St. Andrews University in Scotland. The project involved performing Gluck's 'Iphigéne en Tauride' with Byre Opera in the Byre Theatre in St. Andrews. There was a Bach project taking place simultaneously which included performing and recording the 'Credo' from
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Gorczycki in Opava, Bolesławiec & Łańcut

After the Göttingen Händel Festspiele, I embarked on a somewhat complex journey to Opava in the Czech Republic. The journey involved an overnight stay in a hotel next to Dortmund Airport, an early flight to Katowice and a critically-timed lift to Opava. We played in a beautiful, rustic church which had an elaborate painting on the ceiling.This church was the venue for the first concert in the Wrocław
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Göttingen International Händel Festival 2015

I was involved, for a second year, in the International Händel Festival in Göttingen, Germany. I performed with Festspiel Orchester Göttingen (also known as FOG) in the Opera ‘Agrippina’ (HWV 6) and the Oratorio ‘Theodora’ (HWV 68).We gave six performances of Händel's 'Agrippina' in the Deutsches Theatre in Göttingen. It is a large-scale, three-act opera with a running time of around 5
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Handel 'Deborah' - Göttingen, St. Johannis-Kirche

The Göttingen Handel Festival allowed the trumpet section from F.O.G. to join the Göttingen Baroque Orchestra’s performance within the Göttingen Handel Festival. The Göttingen Baroque Orchestra, under their concert master Henning Vater, performed Handel’s ‘Deborah’ (HWV 51) in the Marktkirche St. Johannes which is in the heart of the city of Göttingen. The performance of this three-hour
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Torgau

Playing Bach in Germany is always a pleasure. This time I played Bach's Ascension Oratorio (BWV 11) in the Stadtkirche Sankt Marien in Torgau as part of the Ascension day church service.Torgau is a beautifully restored old town in the region of Northwestern Saxony. It is situated on the banks of the river Elbe, Northeast of Leipzig. In the break between the rehearsal and the performance, we visited
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Swallows Oast - 'Perseus Cluster' by Alexis Bennett (Première)

One of the more interesting and wonderfully eccentric gigs so far this year took place on Saturday 2nd May 2015 in a treehouse in a field in Sussex, near Swallows Oast which is near Ticehurst. I played the modern Bb trumpet with Will Morley (Trumpet) and Barney Medland (Bass Trombone). We gave the Première of a piece entitled ‘Percius Cluster' written by Alexis Bennett, which had been specially
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King's Lynn - Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment - 'Water Cycle'

On Friday 1st of May, I performed with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in a concert and education workshop at the Corn Exchange in King’s Lynn, Norfolk. I played 2nd trumpet in Handel’s Coronation Anthem - ‘Zadok the Priest’. My part in the performance was very small, as I was only involved in this performance of ‘Zadok the Priest’. The rest of the programme included round-singing,
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St. John's Smith Square - Purcell, Rameau & Charpentier

I played with the orchestra 'Spiritato!' in a performance of music by Purcell, Rameau and Charpentier at St. John’s Smith Square on Wednesday 29th of April 2015. The performance was directed by Scott Price.Spiritato! began the programme with Henry Purcell’s ‘Suite from Abdelazer’. This set the scene for the first half of the concert which exclusively included works by Henry Purcell. The Schola
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Saarbrücken - Easter Oratorio & Ascension Oratorio

Over the weekend, I performed an all-Bach programme in Saarbrücken in Germany with Le Concert Lorrain. The programme included the Easter Oratorio (BWV 249), Concerto for Oboe, Violin, Strings and Basso Continuo (BWV 1060) and the Ascension Oratorio (BWV 11) and it had attracted a large audience to the Stiftskirche St. Arnual in Saarbrücken, Germany for a 5pm performance on Sunday 26th April 2015. The
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St. Martin-in-the-Fields - B Minor Mass

Bach's B Minor Mass was performed by candlelight at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London on Thursday 9th April 2015. The concert was part of the Brandenburg Choral Festival 2015. Rufus Frowde conducted the Brandenburg Baroque Soloists who accompanied vocalists: Nika Goric (Soprano), Charlotte Schoeters (Soprano), Laura Zigmantaite (Ato), William Blake (Tenor), Nicholas Mogg (Bass) and the Vivamus Chorus.I
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Dartington Community Choir - B Minor Mass

After the B Minor Mass in Chester Cathedral, I travelled down to Dartington in Devon with the Bassoon section, who were (as luck would have it) doing the same concerts as me this weekend.Dartington is a very familiar and special venue - I spent many summers there at the International Summer School at Dartington Hall, near Totnes in Devon. The hall itself is picturesque and it feels tranquil, with its
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Chester Cathedral - B Minor Mass

The first of two B Minor Masses this weekend took place in Chester Cathedral. I had organised a lift from London with the Bassoon section, who were doing the same two concerts as I was this weekend. They were fantastic company and the travel time flew by.I had never been to Chester before. I was impressed with the upmarket centre of Chester, with ancient buildings, Roman gates and old two-layered shopping
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Westminster Cathedral - B Minor Mass

Trebles and Altos from the Schola Cantorum of the London Oratory School joined the Westminster Cathedral Choir for a performance of J S Bach's B Minor Mass in Westminster Cathedral. Martin Baker conducted the orchestra and choirs. Kirra Thomas led the orchestra.The audience filled Westminster Cathedral and there was an incredible sense of calm silence from the large audience, that remained throughout
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The Sage, Gateshead - B Minor Mass

I travelled to the Sage in Gateshead to take part in my first B Minor Mass of the year. I was playing second trumpet to Crispian Steele-Perkins, with George Parnaby on third trumpet. One of George's students, Adam Wood, was sitting in with the section in the rehearsal to experience what it is like to be in a natural trumpet section. He will be going to the Royal College of Music in September.This was
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Chelmsford - Zelenka Mass & Fanfares

I performed a programme of music by Zelenka in Chelmsford on Saturday 14th March 2015. The trumpet section consisted of David Staff, Richard Thomas, Katie Hodges and Russell Gilmour. As there had been engineering work scheduled on the main line between London and Chelmsford, I had asked David Staff whether I could start my journey from his his home near Coddenham in Suffolk by departing a few
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writing on music, photography, travel and life as a freelance professional musician.