There was a long-awaited return to brass banding in central Germany recently, when a one-day course was hosted at the Landesmusikakademie Kloster Michaelstein — a historic local monastery.
Sounds of Brass
Under the direction of Alexander Richter, the well-known conductor of Brass Band BlechKLANG and Creative Director of the Competence Centre for Brass Band Jena, it was the third time since 2018 that a brass band based on the British model was formed as part of a 'Sounds of Brass' initiative.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions the course was limited to a single day this year, but it still allowed Alexander Richter, who is also the principal trumpet of the Clara Schumann Philharmonic Orchestra to provide a series of masterclasses and communal activities.
In addition to working on various chorales and course repertoire, the players were encouraged to 'think like brass band' in respect to tonality, balance and ensemble cohesion.
Speaking about the day, Alexander told 4BR: "What the participants achieved was simply unbelievable. It was so inspiring to be back playing and this has given us all a huge boost."
"Even before the first break, you could experience the proverbial 'living organ sound' of a brass band again — and it was perfect to hear in this wonderful setting."
What the participants achieved was simply unbelievable. It was so inspiring to be back playing and this has given us all a huge boostAlexander Richter
Alexander also revealed that given the surroundings it was felt that the perfect choice of repertoire to perform was Leon Boellmann's 'Suite Gothique'.
"One thing was certain", he added. "The Kloster Brass Band is back on track and my thanks go to the Saxony-Anhalt Cultural Foundation and the organisational team led by Petra Penning for helping us do it."