Instrumental Ensemble


Pianos

SONATA FOR TWO PIANOS 'The Lord will be a Refuge for the Oppressed; a Refuge in times of trouble' Opus 40 (1987) 20' 
3 movements

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Sonata for Two Pianos

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This work was specially commissioned by Joseph Weingarten and Margaret Newman for their concerts in aid of the Interdenominational Society for Soviet Jewry. it was first performed by them on July 12th 1987 in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham. The recording of this first performance has been broadcast many times on Musicians Page Radio, Los Angeles, USA. 

Numerous subsequent performances of this work have been given. The Sonata was given its Israel premiere by Bracha Eden and Alexander Tamir on 31st January 1989 in the Israel Philharmonic Guest House, Tel Aviv, in a concert with members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, celebrating the return to Israel of the Refusnik, Elena Keiss-Kuna. The work was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 by Bracha Eden and Alexander Tamir in 1990, as part of a broadcast recital which they gave in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham. 

The Duo Scaramouche have played the work at several venues throughout Europe, including the Salle des Arts, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Paris (October 1995); on French Radio - 'France Musique' (November 1995); and on Italian Radio and Television, in a full length programme filmed at the Chiesa Sant'Andrea, Barletta, and featuring an interview with the composer (March 1996). 

Julian Hellaby and Peter Noke performed the work in the recital hall of Coventry University in 2005, and at the CBSO Centre, Birmingham in 2008. They recorded the work for their CD, entitled British Doubles, in 2006.  

Margaret Newman and Duncan Honeybourne performed the Sonata as part of the 150th anniversary concert of Singers Hill Synagogue, Birmingham, in June 2006.  This performance was also produced on CD, entitled Singers Hill Synagogue.   To purchase the CD, click on the link above.

With Katharine Lam, Duncan Honeybourne gave two performances of the Sonata at Tincleton Gallery, Dorset, in June 2016.

'Downes has taken Psalm verses as his inspiration for a deeply felt lament. The music, with its use of Jewish religious musical idioms, is beautifully written. There is poignancy, great dramatic tension and an overwhelming tenderness...'
THE BIRMINGHAM POST

SONATA FOR EIGHT PIANISTS PLAYING FOUR PIANOS Opus 76 (1999) 25' 
3 movements

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Composed for an international group of pianists for concerts in celebration of the millennium. First performed on 4 Steinway grand pianos at a special millennium event at Birmingham Conservatoire on 6th December 2000. The first Italian performance took place in The Conservatorio di Musica "Nicolo Paganini" of Genoa on 21st July 2002. Malcolm Wilson, Paola Biondi, Debora Brunialti and the Duo Scaramouche, who played in both premieres, were joined by Mark Lockett, Cecile Deneau and Laure Pinsmail in the British premiere, and by Philip Martin, Gisela Herb and Naoko Shibayama Aarnio in Genoa. At both performances the pianists were conducted by Neil Aston.


'As with much of Downes' music, the Sonata is a combination of large-scale gesture and delicate rumination. It exploits its resources effectively, layering texture and sonority with great imagination.'
THE BIRMINGHAM POST 


CONCERTO FOR TWO PIANOS AND STRINGS 

FIVE MOVEMENTS FOR PIANO AND STRING ORCHESTRA

FIVE MOVEMENTS FOR PIANO QUARTET 

LOST LOVE - voice, piano, flute, cello 

A SAINT LUKE PASSIONpiano duet with string orchestra, percussion and SATB chorus


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String Quartets 

STRING QUARTET No.1 Opus 14 (1977) 17'
3 movements

First performed by the Perry student quartet (Adrian Perry and Helen Bevington - violins, Helen Davies - viola, Amarylis Reynolds - cello) from the Birmingham School of Music (now Birmingham Conservatoire) on 15th May 1980 in Blakedown Church, Worcestershire.  This quartet gave a repeat performance in the same month in St George's Church, Edgabaston, Birmingham.

The first professional performance was given by the Arioso Quartet, (Jeremy Ballard and Brian Horgan - violins, Gwyn Williams - viola, Simon Clugston - cello) at the Birmingham and Midland Institute in February 1983.  The Arioso Quartet gave a repeat performance in a Concert for Peace, entitled 'World in Harmony', in Moseley Parish Church, Birmingham, in June 1984.

Numerous subsequent performances have included a performance by the Belgrave String Quartet, which won the inaugural Andrew Downes Performance Prize at Birmingham Conservatoire in February 2014.  The Belgrave Quartet performed the work again in their prizewinners' recital in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham, in December 2014.

Many performances of individual movements have been given: notably by the Thomas Quartet in the Master's Lodge of Trinity College Cambridge (movement 1, February 1999) and in the Frazer Room of Trinity College, Cambridge (movement 1, November 1999); and performances by the string quartet of the Central England Ensemble in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham (movement 3) and the Crescent Theatre, Birmingham (movement 1), as part of the 2004 and 2006 Birmingham Artsfests, in the Eglise de la Madeleine, Paris (movement 1, February 2007), at the Coventry School of Music (movement 1, April 2007) and St Georges Church Edgbaston, Birmingham (movement 1, May 2007). The first movement has also been included as part of GCE 'A' level ensemble recitals.

The work has also been performed as a string orchestra piece by such ensembles as: the Hagley String Orchestra, directed by Joan Best (movement 3 in Hagley Community Centre, Worcestershire, in March 1992); Hagley Free Church Pupils Orchestra, directed by Cynthia Downes (movement 2, April 1997); The Mozart Orchestra, directed by Gordon Heard (movement 3, which they entitled Scherzo, in Stratford-upon-Avon Civic Hall in December 1996 and December 1998, in the Countess of Huntingdon Hall, Worcester, in December 1996, and in Walsall Town Hall in October 1998); and Volante Strings, led by Angela Richey (movement 2, in September 2006, in St Peter's Church, Martley, Worcestershire, and the whole work, in August 2007, in St Helen's Church, Worcester, as part of the Worcester Music Festival).  Volante Strings performed movements 2 and 3 of the work on their tour of Corfu during Autumn 2006.  The Oldswinford Hospital School String Orchestra, directed by Anna Downes, performed the second movement, which they entitled Andante with Jazz, in June 2011 at three venues in Berlin: the Spandau Freilichtbühne an der Zitadelle; the Heilig Kreuz Kirche, Kreuzburg; and the Kaiser Willhelm Gedächtniskirche.

'Downes has written a joyous piece ... rich in melodic invention and constructed with a closely-knit musical sensibility. His three-movement piece is music of substance with ideas which are directly and effectively worked through without padding or pretension... not for the first time the composer has drawn on jazz idioms within a classical framework. The Arioso, equally impressive in its precise treatment of the pungent rhythms, particularly in the middle movement and the exciting finale, as in its appreciation of the music’s intrinsic lyricism, brought this performance to a most satisfactory conclusion.'
THE BIRMINGHAM POST



STRING QUARTET No.2 Opus 41 (1987) 
25'
4 movements

Commissioned by the Exton Quartet (with funds from West Midlands Arts) for first performance in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham, Summer 1988.

Performed by the Isis String Quartet at venues throughout Britain, including the Fifth International String Quartet Week (Countess of Huntingdon Hall, Worcester, April 1990) and 2 performances at the London International Opera Festival (The Place Theatre, June 1990).

The Almira String Quartet performed the work in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in January 1992 and in the Church of the Christian Community, Stroud, in February 1992.

'Downes's style seems to combine the least cloying aspects of English pastoralism with dashes of European eclecticism. He is also an unashamed romantic, and is not afraid to use words like aggression, tenderness and dreamlike to convey his intentions.
'Yet there is no sentimentality or self-indulgence. The musical points are made with terse cogency and economy of means - quite brilliantly so in the finale. With the Andante Downes shows that traditional beauty of expression still has a place in late twentieth century music, and need not sound derivative.'
THE BIRMINGHAM POST



STRING QUARTET No.3 Opus 54 (1994)
 25'  
1 continuous movement

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Commissioned by the Almira Quartet and first performed by them at the Birmingham and Midland Institute in Birmingham on March l6th 1995. The Almira Quartet subsequently played the work at numerous venues throughout the UK.

Performed twice at Cambridge University in 1999 by the Thomas Quartet: in March 1999 in the Music Room of St John's College Cambridge, and in May 1999 as part of their recital in the Chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge.



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8 Cellos and 5 Timpani

MUSIC FOR 8 CELLOS AND 5 TIMPANI opus i (1969) 8'                                                                                                                                        
1 continuous movement

This work was written when the composer was 18, and first rehearsed by the cellists and timpanist of the BBC Midland Light Orchestra. The manuscript was un-earthed and typeset many years later by Cynthia Downes (the composer’s wife), with the result that the first public performance was given by L’Octuor de Violoncelles and Percussions de Strasbourg on 10th May 2005 at the 13th Rencontres d’Ensembles de Violoncelles, Beauvais, France.


FIVE MOVEMENTS FOR PIANO QUARTET 

LOST LOVE - voice, piano, flute, cello


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Flutes

SONATA FOR 8 FLUTES OR FLUTE CHOIR Opus 58 (1996) 27' 
5 movements
5 concert flutes, piccolo (written in the flute 2 part - in the choir version, when the piccolo is playing, the other second flutes are redistributed) 2 alto flutes, 1 bass flute.

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Purchase James Madison University Flute Choir CD entitled Sounds and Colors II,  (devoted entirely to the flute choir music of Andrew Downes)

Purchase Massachusetts Flute Choir CD entitled Pastorale Sounds, (featuring the flute choir music of Andrew Downes)

Purchase CD by UpTown Flutes

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Sonata for 8 Flutes or Flute Choir
Score
Parts Bundle (optional parts not included)
Score & Parts Bundle 
(optional parts not included)
Individual Parts (+ optional parts)

This Sonata for 8 Flutes or Flute Choir was commissioned by Margaret Lowe in recognition of the great flute maker, Albert Cooper, with funds contributed, with affection and esteem for Albert, by numerous eminent flautists, groups and businesses, including Brannen Brothers Flutemakers Inc. and James Galway.

The world premiere was given on 18th August 1996 at the Convention of the USA National Flute Association, at the Mariott Marquis, New York, by the Association's Professional Flute Choir, conducted by Carol Kniebusch Noe. The first British and first solo octet performance took place in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham, on 20th October 1996. This performance was given by the Birmingham Flute Day Professional Flute Octet, conducted by Carol Kniebusch Noe.

Many performances of this work have since taken place throughout the world, particularly in America North and South, for example by Flute Choirs at the Universities of Michigan, Oregon, New Mexico, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin, Iowa, California, Toronto (Canada), by Flute Choirs in Houston, Portland and Washington, Boston, New Jersey and by the National Flute Orchestra of Venezuela. Performances have taken place in Japan, Australia, France, Norway and Germany, as well as many in the UK.  It has been performed at two Stratford International Flute Festivals, in 1997 and two performances in 1999, three times by the National Flute Choir of Great Britain (2010, 2011 and 2013), and several times at the USA National Flute Association Convention in different cities in the USA, for example two performances in Las Vegas - by the USA National High School Flute Choir (2003, mvts 1 & 4) and by the Pacific Flute Ensemble from Long Beach, California (2012, whole work in Caesar's Palace). 

In April 1999 the James Madison University Flute Choir of Virginia visited England and played the work in Birmingham, Henley in Arden and Worcester Cathedral. The following January (2000) they made a CD of Andrew Downes flute music, including this work, and in March 2000 performed the work in a concert devoted entirely to Andrew Downes flute music. To purchase this CD, click here. This recording of the Sonata was broadcast on Rhubarbradio.com in October 2011, and the work has been broadcast many times on Musicians Page Radio, Los Angeles, USA.                                                      

The Massachusetts Flute Choir also recorded the work on CD in 2000. To purchase this CD, click here.

UpTown Flutes, virtuoso flute ensemble from New Jersey, recorded the sonata for CD in 2009. To purchase this CD, click here.

'Its cool, chaste sounds rhythmically spiced, the Sonata is yet another example of how aptly Downes' music sits in its chosen medium.'
THE BIRMINGHAM POST

'..truly a masterpiece in flute ensemble literature... He writes with a clear understanding of the flute's melodic and technical capabilities as well as the variety of colours and contrasts possible in the flute family of instruments... In harmonic, rhythmic and formal content the piece is well crafted and the melodies linger long after hearing. This is the first work of major length written for flute choir. All flute choirs are encouraged to enjoy this fine composition, as it is accessible to choirs of varying standards.'   Carol Kniebusch Noe for PAN and FLUTEWISE magazines

'This Sonata will be a success wherever it is performed, whether for flute choir or for 8 players.'   Derek Haylings PAN and FLUTEWISE magazines

'The commissioning of a substantial work for flute choir is quite a landmark.  Andrew Downes' Sonata for 8 Flutes or Flute Choir seems to have achieved the impossible with all parts of equal importance and audibility - the bass flute can show off in all three octaves...   Christopher Paul Money, PAN magazine

'The performance (by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Flute Choir) went very well.  The audience was thrilled with the Sonata, and much praise was received afterwards.  You have composed a major addition to the Flute Choir repertoire.  Our thanks!'   Letter to the composer from Mark Thomas, Founder of the USA National Flute Association.

See also Discography for details of the CD recordings of this work by the James Madison University Flute Choir, conducted by Carol Kniebusch Noe, the Massachusetts Flute Choir, conducted by Danielle Boudrot, and UpTown Flutes, virtuoso flute ensemble.



FANTASIA FOR ALTO & BASS FLUTE SOLOS

WITH 5 PART CONCERT FLUTE CHOIR ACCOMPANIMENT Opus 63 (1998) 16'

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Purchase James Madison University Flute Choir CD entitled Sounds and Colors II,  (devoted entirely to the flute choir music of Andrew Downes)

Purchase Massachusetts High School Flute Choir CD entitled Pastorale Sounds, (featuring the flute choir music of Andrew Downes)

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This work was commissioned by Margaret Lowe for the 'Birmingham Flute Commission' and premiered on l8th April 1999, at a special Flute Day at Birmingham Conservatoire, by soloists Clare Southworth and Gary Woolf and the Birmingham Flute Ensemble, conducted by Carol Kniebusch Noe.

'I had the great pleasure of coaching a flute choir on this work at Margaret Lowe's excellent Birmingham Flute Commission Day... This is an entrancing work, rhapsodic in style and exploring a wide range of tone colours from both the low solo instruments and the accompanying five-part concert flute choir.  The sound world is tonal and lyrical, the challenges for the performers being rhythmical rather than technical... shortly after the Birmingham Day I played his Symphony No.4, one of the most rewarding works for symphonic wind ensemble of recent years.'
                                                            Kenneth Bell PAN MAGAZINE

The first American performance was given by the James Madison University Flute Choir of Virginia, directed by Carol Kniebusch Noe, in the Wilson Hall of James Madison University, on 11th November 1999, with a subsequent performance at the same venue on 31st March 2000. It was performed by the Massachusetts High School Flute Choir, directed by Danielle Boudrot, in April 2000. In the spring of 2000 the work was recorded for CDs by both of these American flute choirs. The recordings have been broadcast many times on Musicians Page Radio, Los Angeles, USA.                                                      

Subsequent performers of this work include the West Michigan Flute Orchestra in their Fall Concert, November 2003.


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Tone Poem: Song of the Eagle - Flute Choir
Score
Parts Bundle
 
(optional parts not included)
Score & Parts Bundle 
(optional parts not included) 
Individual Parts (+ optional parts)

This work was commissioned to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the James Madison University Flute Choir, one of the oldest flute choirs in the USA, founded by Carol Kniebusch Noe.  The choir recorded the work for a special CD devoted to Andrew Downes' Flute Choir Music in January 2000. This recording has been broadcast many times on Musicians Page Radio, Los Angeles, USA.                                                      

To purchase this CD, click here

The first concert performances of this work were given by the James Madison University Flute Choir, conducted by Carol Kniebusch Noe, on 31st March and 1st April 2000 in the Wilson Hall of James Madison University, Virginia.

The work was subsequently performed at St Paul's Episcopal, Brookline, Massachusetts, in June 2002, by the Massachutts Flute Choir, conducted by Danielle Boudrot. 

The UK premiere was on Sunday 13th November 2005 as part of the First National Flute Choir Day in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham. The performance was given by the Birmingham Flute Ensemble with American guests and augmented by students from Millikin University, Illinois and Birmingham Conservatoire, and was conducted by Carol Kniebusch Noe. 

The work was performed at the Convention of the US National Flute Association in New York by the Texas Woman's University/Brookhaven Flute Choir, directed by Pamela Youngblood, in 2009. 

In June 2013, ‘Flautissimo’ – Southampton Flute Orchestra -  conducted by Joanna Price, performed the work in a British Flute Society event at Winchester Discovery Centre, Hampshire.

'It is an extraordinarily beautiful work, with moods alternating between calm reflection and wilder moments of joy.  Piccolo solos float above the lower flutes, suggesting the freedom of the eagle soaring above the vast open spaces of America.  There are amazing rhapsodic arpeggio figures in the main body of the choir, rippling rivers of sound which never seem to end, or leave time to breathe, but the phrases are so well dovetailed between the parts that no-one has to last for more than two bars at a time.'  Alison Uren for 'PAN' MAGAZINE


SYMPHONY No.5 Scored for Flute Orchestra Opus 79 (2002) 35'  
4 movements

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Listen to a performance by the Columbia Flute Choir (Washington DC)(look under 2003 CrossLink Benefit Concert - it is the fifth piece down (this link will open a new browser)  

This Symphony for Flute Orchestra was commissioned by Margaret Lowe, with funds from the Awards for All programme. Premiered by the Birmingham Flute Ensemble, conducted by Carol Kniebusch-Noe, at the Birmingham Flute Day at Birmingham Conservatoire on March 17th 2002, with financial assistance provided by the Brannen-Cooper Fund.

The American premiere was given on 18th August 2002 at the Convention of the USA National Flute Association in Washington DC by the US National Flute Association Professional Flute Choir, conducted by Carol Kniebusch Noe.

Numerous subsequent performances have taken place: for example two performances by the 2002 Stratford International Flute Festival Flute Orchestra, conducted by Jenny Brooks (in the Guild Chapel, Stratford upon Avon and in St Edmund’s Church, Shipston-on-Stour); performances of individual movements by the West Michigan Flute Orchestra, conducted by Darlene Dugan - at Jeanne Baxtresser’s International Masterclass in Pittsburgh PA in June 2003 (mvt 2), at the Royce Auditorium, Grand Rapids, W.Michigan in November 2002, May 2003 and May 2012 (mvts 1,2,3 & 4), and at the 2004 USA National Flute Association Convention in Nashville, Tennessee (mvt 2); by the UNC Charlotte Flute Choir, directed by Mark Thomas, in the Rowe Recital Hall of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte NC (whole work, April 2003); by the Space Coast Flute Orchestra, Florida, at Eastminster Presbyterian, Indialantic (mvt 1, April 2004); by the Northwestern University Flute Orchestra, directed by Walfrid Kujala, at Regenstein Recital Hall in Evanston Illinois (whole work, March 2007 and May 2011); by the Central Washington University Flute Choir, directed by Hall Ott, in the Music Building Recital Hall of Central Washington University (mvts 1 & 4, May 2008); and by the Monash Univerity Flute Ensemble, Melbourne Australia, directed by Peter Sheriden (mvt 1, May 2015).

The National Flute Orchestra of Mexico, conducted by Jenny Brooks, gave the first Mexican performance of the Symphony at the Xochipilli Concert Hall in the Escuela National de Musica, Mexico City in April 2004.

Excerpts from the symphony, conducted by Jenny Brooks, were performed at the first National Flute Choir Day in the Adrian Boult Hall Birmingham (November 2005), and the whole work was performed by the USA National Flute Association High School Flute Choir, conducted by Jenny Brooks, at the USA National Flute Convention in Albuquerque in August 2007.

'... the daring idea to compose a work for large-scale flute orchestra... the talented forces of a special ten-voice ensemble, some 30 strong, assembled to premiere Andrew Downes Fifth Symphony. Commissioned to crown Birmingham Flute Commission’s Flute Day.., this substantial piece is immediately attractive, often minimalist in its rhythmic patterning and had the visual delight of featuring two contrabass flutes' - THE BIRMINGHAM POST

'... Andrew Downes’ voice is very much his own. We must be grateful to him for a major contribution to the flute ensemble repertoire.'  Kenneth Bell PAN MAGAZINE

'... Andrew Downes again demonstrates his deep appreciation for the instrument.'  Chris Wilson PAN MAGAZINE

'... We were all sent our parts ahead of time... there was no way we could have known how glorious this piece would be ... Putting it all together in that first rehearsal was unforgettable!'  Sharyn Byer THE (USA) FLUTIST QUARTERLY




MOUNTAIN SONG Tone Poem for Flute Choir, Harp (or Piano) and String Bass Opus 84 (2003) 10’

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Commissioned by Nancy Spidel and the Colorado Flute Orchestra, and first performed in the Vance Brand Civic Auditorium, Longmont, Colorado on 20th December 2003, with a subsequent performance in December 2006.  The Colorado Flute Orchestra, with Kathy Moore, harp, and Chris Engleman, basswere conducted by Nancy Spidel.  The Colorado Flute Orchestra performed the work again at the 2007 USA National Flute Convention in Albuquerque. 

The Columbia Flute Choir, directed by Sharyn Byer, gave performances at the Columbia Flute Choir Festival in November 2004 and at the USA National Flute Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in August 2006. 

The Texas Woman's University/Brookhaven Flute choir, conducted by Pamela Youngblood, performed the work at the Margo Jones Performance Hall at Texas Woman's University in October 2009.


SONATA FOR FLUTE & PIANO
SONATA FOR PICCOLO & PIANO
LOST LOVE - voice, piano, flute, cello

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Saxophones

EARTH DANCES Opus 47 (1991) 20'
for Saxophone Quartet 
5 movements

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Commissioned by 'Saxtet' with funds from West Midlands Arts and the Peter Whittingham Award, and first performed by Saxtet - Nigel Wood (soprano sax), Gerard McChrystal (alto sax), Andrew Tweed (tenor sax) and Lionel Ferer (baritone sax) - on 2lst November 1991 at the Birmingham and Midland Institute. Numerous performances by Saxtet followed: in Birmingham (Adrian Boult Hall), London (Royal Festival Hall foyer, extracts, January 1992), and on Saxtet's 1992 world tour, in Bombay, Los Angeles, Singapore, Malaysia, Borneo, Wellington, New Zealand, Perth and many other venues.

'...a fascinating series of 5 pieces which reflect this composer's developing interest in world culture and musics. The new work is especially successful in its rhythmic aspect, which leads the listener to a constant series of surprises and unexpected accents. It was extremely well received.'
THE BIRMINGHAM POST

The quartet was performed in the Recital Hall of Birmingham Conservatoire, in the final of the 2015 Andrew Downes Performance Prize competition, by the Nuance Quartet - Chloe Percy-Smith (soprano saxophone), Emma Jones (alto saxophone), Rachael Kendall (tenor saxophone) and Chalcedony Williams (baritone saxophone). 

In October 2015 the work was performed in the National Portrait Gallery, London, and in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham, by the Flotilla Saxophone Ensemble, directed by Andy Tweed.



DREAMLAND - 
for soprano, soprano saxophone and piano


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Indo-Jazz Ensemble

MELA KAMAVARDHANI Opus 57(a) (1995) 10'

Scored for flute, saxophone, trumpet, sitar, tabla, tampura, piano, drums, double bass

1 movement

This work was composed for Birmingham Conservatoire Indo Jazz Fusions for their tour of India in February 1996.  The work is dedicated to Air India and Indian Airlines, who sponsored the tour. 

The world premiere was given in a pre-tour concert, on 7th February 1996, in the Recital Hall of Birmingham Conservatoire, UK, by Indo Jazz Fusions: James McDowall (flute), Anna Brooks (saxophone), Dave Smith (trumpet), Jonathan Mayer (sitar), Ranjit Singh (tabla), Peter Moore (tampura), Steve Tromans (piano), Andy Bratt (drums) and Chris Featonby (double bass), directed by John Mayer.

The group gave the first Indian performance at the Air India Auditorium, Mumbai, on 12th February 1996; and subsequent performances at the Patkar Hall, Mumbai, for the Time and Talents Club (also supporters of the tour); the Dalhousie Institute, Kolkata, for the Kolkata School of Music (also supporters of the tour); Burdwan City Hall; the Sir Shankar Lal Concert Hall of Delhi University; and New Delhi YMCA, organised by Delhi Music Theatre and Air India. The tour was covered by TV and newspapers.

This short work, which develops the South Indian mode, 'Mela Kamavardhani', contains contrasting passages, illustrative of the peace and serenity of the Indian countryside, contrasted with the immense vitality of the city life.

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Sonata for 4 Horns
Score
Individual Parts
Score & Parts Bundle

This Sonata for 4 Horns was commissioned by the British Horn Society and first performed by Julian Faultless, Ruth Wilkinson, James Lowe and Richard Duckett at the Midlands Arts Centre, Cannon Hill, Birmingham, on October 18th 1981. These same players performed the work again in July 1982 at Birmingham University. 

The American premiere took place on 28th March 1995 at the University of New Mexico Composers' Symposium. The performers were Ellen and Doug Campbell, Stanislav Suchanek and James Lowe. 

Subsequent American performances at the University of Oregon in October 1995 by the Doug Campbell Quartet; at the University of New Mexico by the University Horn Quartet in April 2000; and at the 35th International Horn Symposium at Indiana University in June 2003 by David G.Elliott, Joanne Filkins and Mick & Karin Sehmann. 

The Vienna Horn Society (The 'Wiener Waldhornverein') gave the first Austrian performance as a Horn Choir at a Salon Concert at the Josefina Fraternity Hall in Vienna on 23rd January 1998, and as a result commissioned a Suite for 6 Horns or Horn Choir from the composer (see below). 

The Central England Ensemble Horn Quartet performed the second movement in the Eglise de la Madeleine, Paris, in February 2007. 

The hornists of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra gave performances of the work at Forest Theatre, Revnice, Czech Republic in June 2012 and at the Synagogue, Floss, Germany in September 2012.

A CD recording of the Sonata was made in February 2001 by the Vienna Horn Society  (performers: Roland Fritsch, Suzanne Langor, James Lowe and Roland Horvath).  The CD, on the Aricord label and entitled Messen und Sonaten (CDA 30111), also includes Andrew Downes' Piano Sonata No.1 performed by Anne Madison, and was recorded in the Baumgarten Studios, Vienna, and produced by Joseph Kamykowsky (click on the link above to buy CD).

In March 2008 the Horns of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra recorded the work for CD entitled Andrew Downes: Music for Horns and Wagner Tubas.  It is released on the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra Artesmon label (AS 729-2). This recording has been broadcast many times on Musicians Page Radio, Los Angeles, USA.

'The hornists of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra have produced a first-rate performance of three excellent works for horns or Wagner tubas by Andrew Downes...
'The Sonata for Four Horns... is beautifully written with many musical influences and inspirations ranging from hunting motifs to Gregorian chant, and jazz to native American.  It is well worth the time and effort of preparation for any quartet seeking to add a substantial, yet audience-friendly work to their repertoire.'  THE HORN CALL

To purchase this CD, click on the link above

An arrangement for violas of this work was played in the Recital Hall of Birmingham Conservatoire, in the final of the 2015 Andrew Downes Performance Prize competition, by the Saturday Bridge Viola Ensemble: Katherine Lambeth, Martha Evans, Katharina Von Colson and Lydia Handy.




SUITE FOR 6 HORNS OR HORN CHOIR Opus 69 (1999) 
20'  
5 movements: Prelude,; La Chasse; Romantische Mitternacht; Blazon;
Postlude

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Purchase Hornists of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra CD

Purchase Vienna Horn Society CD

Listen to a performance by the Horns of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra 

This Suite for 6 Horns was commissioned by the Vienna Horn Society ('Wiener Waldhornverein'). It was recorded for CD by Roland Fritch, Suzanne Langor, James Lowe, Roland Horvath, Jonathan Sharp and Michael Sollner, conducted by Franz Sollner, in the Baumgarten Studios, Vienna, in May 2001. The CD, on the Aricord label and produced by Joseph Kamykowski, is entitled Schlosskonzert, and also includes Andrew Downes' Sonata for Horn and Piano, played by James Lowe with Anne Madison. (Click to purchase CD).

The Suite was performed by Horns from Chethams School of Music also in the spring of 2001. 

The work was given its Czech premiere at Podebrady Castle, near Prague, by the Horns of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra on March 3rd 2009.  In September 2012, horn students of the Brno Academy, directed by Ondrej Vrabec, gave a performance of the work in the St Wenceslaus Concert Hall, Nove Vcelnice, South Bohemia, Czech Republic.  The Za rohem Horns Ensemble, directed by Ondrej Vrabec, performed the work at Brozny nad – fortress, Jamu, Brno, Czech Republic, in October 2012.

In March 2008 the Horns of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra recorded the work for CD entitled Andrew Downes: Music for Horns and Wagner Tubas. It is released on the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra Artesmon label (AS 729-2). This recording has been broadcast many times on Musicians Page Radio, Los Angeles, USA. 

'The hornists of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra have produced a first-rate performance of three excellent works for horns or Wagner tubas by Andrew Downes...
'The Suite for Six Horns... should be considered a strong addition to the Sextet repertoire...  Each (movement) has a strong individual character that blends into a cohesive whole work. Downes has used the six voices to create a wide-ranging spectrum of sounds and emotions.  This is a fine work which deserves many more performances.' THE HORN CALL

To purchase this CD, click here



SONATA FOR 8 HORNS Opus 53 (1994)
 22'
5 movements

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Listen to Sonata for 8 Horns, played by the Horns of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra


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Sonata for Eight Horns
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This work was commissioned by James Lowe, Janice Lee Sperling MD and the British Horn Trust, for Ellen Campbell and the Horn Octet of the University of New Mexico.  The premiere took place on 29th March 1995 in the Keller Hall of the University of New Mexico, as part of the 1995 UNM Composers' Symposium.  The performers, Stanislav Suchanek, Ellen and Doug Campbell, James Lowe, Cori Tardif, Jason Eklund, Derek Ross and Julie Rochau, were conducted by Alejandro Rutty.  Subsequent performances in USA at Interlochen Centre for the Arts in August 1995 and at the Grand Finale concert of the 1996 International Horn Society Convention in Oregon.  

The first British performance was given by students from Birmingham Conservatoire, conducted by Stephen Lloyd-Gonzales, on December 5th 1995 in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham. 

Stanislav Suchanek, who played first horn in the world premiere in New Mexico, introduced the work to his colleagues in the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, with the result that the first Czech performance, by the Horns of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, took place at the International Horn class '97 at Nove Straseci on 2nd August 1997 with further performances in the Suk Hall of the Rudolfinum, Prague (January 1998 and December 2001), at the Lichtenstein Palace, Prague (August 1998 and August 2002), Bertramka Mozarteum (August 2005), Nove Straseci (August 2002 and 2005), at the Church Stretton and South Shropshire Festival (UK) in July 2005, in Zamecku Hall, Revnice, Prague (October 2005) and at the Engelbert Schmid Concert Hall, Mindelzell, Bavaria, Germany in September 2008.  

The Czech Philharmonic Horns recorded the work in 1998 for Czech Radio and for CD, entitled Czech Philharmonic Horns (Classicprint label CPVP12CD - click to buy). An excellent review of this CD can be found on Musicweb by clicking here - the recording was awarded 5 stars and voted CD of the month (September 2000). The CD has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in November 2000, in December 2001 (movement 4), on Dutch Radio in April, July and August 2001, twice on Austrian Radio in 2002 and many times on Musicians Page Radio, Los Angeles, USA. To purchase the CD, click here

As a result of the CD, Andrew Downes was commissioned to compose a Concerto for 4 Horns and Orchestra, which was premiered by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Valek in the Dvorak Hall, Prague, on 28th February and 1st March 2002, and a work for 8 Wagner Tubas for the 2005/6 Czech Philharmonic season. Downes' Sonata for Brass Sextet, dedicated to Stanislav Suchanek and the Czech Philharmonic Brass as a token of the composers' gratitude for the wonderful interpretation of his Sonata for 8 Horns, was premiered in the Dvorak Hall, Prague, on 21st February 2001 (see below). 


'This is an excellent addition to the horn ensemble repertoire... has plenty to engage all eight players, as well as the listener.. a challenging and satisfying piece.'
John Pineguy - THE HORN MAGAZINE

'...25 minutes of real quality, immediately attractive, deeply-felt, elegantly idiomatic in scoring, and profoundly memorable.
'The music paints the wide open spaces of New World landscapes, buoyed up with the upbeat rhythms of Africa. Melodies ride broadly over compelling textures or dance gravely in echoes of the Renaissance. A scherzo movement revels in the horn's natural 'hunting' quality...'
THE BIRMINGHAM POST


An arrangement for Wind Band, by Paula Downes, of Movement 4 from this work, was first performed on 22nd March 2005 by the South Hampstead High School Wind Band, directed by Paula Downes, at South Hampstead High School for Girls, London.


CONCERTO FOR 4 SOLO HORNS AND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA


FIVE DRAMATIC PIECES FOR EIGHT WAGNER TUBAS Opus 80 (2002) 25'
5 movements: Prelude; Dawn of Love; New Life; Meditation; Jubilate

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This work was commissioned by the horns of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, who gave the first performance on 18th October 2005 in the Dvorak Hall of the Rudolfinum, Prague.

To read about this first performance, click on: 
Article and photographs by Rosemary Cooper

In March/April 2008 the Horns of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra recorded this work for CD entitled Andrew Downes: Music for Horns and Wagner Tubas.  It is released on the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra Artesmon label (AS 729-2). 

'The hornists of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra have produced a first-rate performance of three excellent works for horns or Wagner tubas by Andrew Downes...
... this interesting octet uses the sonorities of the Wagner tuba in very creative ways to describe the emotions of the five movements.  The Prelude begins with soft chordal writing that gradually builds to dramatic antiphonal passages. It becomes calmer before returning to the opening mood, and ends in a gentle coda.  Dawn of Love opens with long expressive melodic lines, then a hunting character emerges. Gradually intensity grows to an exciting and majestic end.  New Life is sprightly and joyful with some somber reflection in the central part of the movement.  Meditation includes solo passages and sounds influenced by Native American music. Flowing melodies with rich harmonies bring the movement to a close.  Jubilate: O Be Joyful has a pulsating energy, with the octet performing antiphonally in two groups of four. A chorale that is rich and sonorous gives a fine example of the beautiful full sound of the Wagner tuba ensemble. Increasingly energetic phrases grow to an exuberant close.'  THE HORN CALL

To purchase the CD click here.  

Meditation 
from this CD was broadcast on Rhubarbradio.com in July 2011, Jubilate, O be Joyful, from the CD, was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in May 2014, and the recording of the whole work has been broadcast many times on Musicians Page Radio, Los Angeles, USA. Movement 3 can be heard in the Czech Music Everything Radio Show, April 2016, as part of an interview with the composer. 

'Gorgeous writing!' Petroc Trelawny, BBC Radio 3 (May 2014)

An arrangement for mixed brass ensemble, by Rachel Coles, of the Jubilate, was performed, as part of Music for Youth, by the Northamptonshire Youth Brass Ensemble, conducted by Rachel Coles, in Cripps Hall of Northampton School for Boys on March 17th 2012.





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Brass and Brass Band 



SUITE NO.1 FOR BRASS QUINTET Opus 28 (1983) 15'
2 trumpets, horn, trombone, tuba

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Suite No.1 for Brass Quintet
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5 movements: Pastorale; Fanfare; Elegy; Folk Dance; Epilogue 

Dedicated to the memory of Bernard Brown.
Commissioned by the Cambrian Brass Quintet: Richard Adams and Martin Rockall (trumpets), Nicholas Firth (horn), Kevin Pitt (trombone) and Greg Tearnan (tuba). First performed at the Bernard Brown Memorial Concert in Birmingham Cathedral on 9th November 1983. 

Numerous subsequent performances by Cambrian Brass include ones at the Royal Festival Hall (Foyer Concert November 1983) and the Barbican Centre in London, the Recital Hall of the Birmingham School of Music (October 1984), The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (February 1985), the London College of Music (Febraury 1985), Birmingham Cathedral (June 1985) and several music societies around the UK.

Forum Brass Quintet performed the work in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham in May 1992

Arrangement for strings by Cynthia Downes of the Pastorale, Elegy and Folk Dance first performed by young musicians in Hagley, Worcestershire, in April 1998 and again in September 1999.

The Elegy has been recorded as a keyboard piece with flutes for CD by Ellie Brockman with the group 'Essence'.

'...individual style...immediately characterful'
BIRMINGHAM POST.

In 2016, Sennet Brass performed the work as part of Andrew Downes' 65th Birthday concert at Birmingham Cathedral. Read the Birmingham Post Review.


BRASS QUINTET N0.2 OPUS 57 (1995) 20'  (Suite No.2 for Brass Quintet)

2 trumpets, horn, trombone, tuba.

4 movements: Blazon; Queen Elizabeth's Fantasy; Scherzo; Finale

Commissioned by 'Brass Pages' for first performance at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at Birmingham University on 13th October 1995. The group performed the first movement as soon as it had been written on Canadian TV on August 14th 1994. 

The work was performed by Paradise Brass at the composer's 60th birthday concert at Birmingham Conservatoire on November 29th 2010. 

It was performed in May 2015 in the final of the Andrew Downes Performance Prize competition at Birmingham Conservatoire by Perfect 5th Brass Quintet: James Potter and Jonathan Sheppard (trumpets), Sian Collins (horn), Emily Tongue (trombone) and Ben Jones (tuba). This group, with Lauren Storey playing horn, gave a subsequent performance of the work in June 1915 in the Recital Hall of Birmingham Conservatoire as part of the Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Music Festival.

Arrangement for strings, by Cynthia Downes, of the 2nd movement, Queen Elizabeth's Fantasy, was first performed at the Clent Millennium Festival (Worcestershire) in April 2000; at the May Day 2000 concert at St John's Church, Hagley (Worcestershire); and at the St Saviour's Church, Hagley, Centenary Concert on 29th November 2008.  Full orchestral arrangement of the whole work, by Cynthia Downes, was first performed at the Hagley Music Festival by the Hagley Community Orchestra on May 11th 2011.



SONATA FOR BRASS SEXTET Opus 73 (1999) 
20'  
2 trumpets, horn, trombone, bass trombone, tuba.
5 movements

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Specially composed for Stanislav Suchanek and the Czech Philharmonic Brass Sextet, as a token of the composer's gratitude for the wonderful interpretation of his Sonata for Eight Horns by the Czech Philharmonic Horns.

First performed in the Dvorak Hall, Prague, on 21st February 2001 by Miroslav Kejmar and Marek Zvolanek, trumpets, Stanislav Suchanek, horn, Jiri Novotny, trombone, Karel Kucera, bass trombone and Karel Malimanek, tuba.

Extract from the concert programme: '....The composer was so pleased with their performance that he dedicated a new work for our artists - the Sextet for Brass instruments, the premiere of which we shall hear today. The music has contrasting parts and demands top qualities from all six players. The audience will appreciate its unusual sound and compositional brilliance. We can now look forward to a similar event in the next season of the Czech Philharmonic Concert Calendar - again a world premiere - Andrew Downes' Concerto for 4 Horns and Symphony Orchestra.' (See Solo Instruments with Orchestra)


SONATA FOR 13 BRASS INSTRUMENTS Opus 16 (1978) 18'
6 trumpets, 4 horns, 2 trombones, tuba.

3 movements

Commissioned by the Brass Ensemble of the Birmingham School of Music (Director Frank Downes), who gave the first performance on March 3rd 1978 in the Recital Hall of the Birmingham School of Music (now Birmingham Conservatoire), as well as subsequent performances in 1978, 1979 and 1980 in Hereford Cathedral, St Cuthbert’s Church Wells, Ludlow Town Hall, Birmingham School of Music (1979), the Bromsgrove Festival, Blakedown Parish Church (Worcestershire), all conducted by Frank Downes, and the Church of the Ascension, Hall Green, Birmingham, conducted by Andrew Downes. 

In March 1982, the BSM Brass Ensemble, directed by Frank Downes, performed the Finale from the Sonata twice in Lyon, France, in concerts with Lyon Conservatoire.  In March 1983 they performed the work again in the Recital Hall of the Birmingham School of Music and in Worcester Cathedral; in October 1984, they gave a performance of the Finale from the Sonata in Birmingham Cathedral; and in July 1985, the Finale in Birmingham Town Hall, in a joint concert with Thomas Trotter, City Organist.

In December 1990, the Birmingham Conservatoire Brass Ensemble, directed by Reg Reid, gave a performance of the work in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham, as part of the Birmingham Conservatoire Music Extra Festival, and a further performance in March 1991 in Birmingham Cathedral.  In March 1992, directed by Nigel Somerville, they again performed the work in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham. In December 1993, the Birmingham Conservatoire Brass Ensemble, directed by Nigel Evans, performed the work in the final concert of the Birmingham Conservatoire Music Extra Festival, again in the Adrian Boult Hall.

‘An excellent and integrated work … highlight of a lively evening’  Stephen Daw BIRMINGHAM POST following performance at the Church of the Ascension, Birmingham, March 1979.


FANFARE FOR A CEREMONY Opus 13 (1977) 3'  
5 trumpets, 4 horns, 2 trombones, tuba
(version for brass band also available)

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Commissioned for performance at the Degree Ceremonies of the Open University.  First performed on 15th July 1977 by the Brass Ensemble of the Birmingham School of Music (now Birmingham Conservatoire), directed by Frank Downes, in the Recital Hall of the Birmingham School of Music.  Subsequently, regularly performed at such venues as: the Wembley Conference Centre, Guildhall, London, Alexandra Palace, London, Birmingham Town Hall, Central Hall, Birmingham, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham, the Great Hall of Aston University, Birmingham, the International Convention Centre, Birmingham, the Colston Hall, Bristol, the Assembly Rooms, Derby, Wolverhampton Civic Hall, Cambridge Sports Hall, Guildford Cathedral, Ely Cathedral, Exeter Cathedral, York Minster, Leeds Town Hall, Civic Centre, Nottingham, Guildhall, Preston, Bradford City Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne City Hall, Derngate, Northampton, Southampton Civic Centre, Tunbridge Wells Town Hall, the National Exhibition Centre, Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Glasgow City Hall, Cardiff City Hall, Belfast City Hall and Coleraine Town Hall (Northern Ireland).  Performances have been televised.

The Birmingham School of Music Brass Ensemble, directed by Frank Downes, performed the Fanfare at the unveiling of the statue of Sir Edward Elgar in Worcester in June 1981, and the following March gave 2 performances of the Fanfare in Lyon, France, in concerts with Lyon Conservatoire.

On 19th January 1995 the Fanfare was performed by the Birmingham Conservatoire Brass Ensemble, directed by Reg Reid (who took over the direction of the Ensemble following Frank Downes' retirement in 1986), at the Opening of the new Birmingham Conservatoire Extension by HRH Prince Edward CVO. A leather-bound copy of the work was presented to Prince Edward at the Ceremony.

On 18th March 1995 the Fanfare was performed on the occasion of the Installation of  the Rt Hon Betty Boothroyd MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, as Chancellor of the Open University. The ceremony took place in Symphony Hall, Birmingham, and also featured Andrew Downes' Fanfare for Madam Speaker. Frank Downes returned from retirement to direct the Birmingham Conservatoire Brass Ensemble for these performances.

In 1998 the Fanfare was used in for Independent Local Radio commercials.

The work has also been performed as an organ fanfare by Marcus Huxley and by Paul Carr at numerous Open University ceremonies and University of Central England Graduation Ceremonies in Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

In 2016, the Central England Camerata performed the work under Anthony Bradbury as part of Andrew Downes' 65th Birthday Concert at Birmingham Cathedral. Read the Birmingham Post Review.


FESTIVAL FANFARE for SAVE THE CHILDREN Opus 34 (1985) 1'  
4 trumpets, 1 horn, 4 trombones, tuba

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Written to open Birmingham Children's Song Festival, in aid of Save the Children, on May 10th 1986 and in 2 subsequent festivals. Performed by Gemini Brass in the first and second festivals (1986 and 1987) and played by Birmingham Conservatoire Brass Ensemble in the 1988 Festival.


FANFARE FOR MADAM SPEAKER Opus 57 (1995) 4'  
6 trumpets, 2 horns, 3 trombones, tuba
Piano version also available.

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Composed for the Installation of the Rt Hon Betty Boothroyd MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, as Chancellor of the Open University. The ceremony took place on l8th March 1995 in Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Betty Boothroyd was delighted with the work and asked for the piano version so that she could play it on her piano in the House of Commons (See Instrumental Solo).

Andrew Downes' Fanfare for a Ceremony was also played at this Ceremony. Frank Downes returned from retirement to direct the Birmingham Conservatoire Brass Ensemble for these performances.

An arrangement for orchestra, by Cynthia Downes, of this fanfare was first performed by the Hagley Community Orchestra, conducted by Cynthia Downes, in a concert in St Saviour’s Church, Hagley, Worcestershire, on March 17th 2012.



TOCCATA FOR BRASS BAND Opus 7 (1975) 
12'

First performed by the Birmingham School of Music Brass Band in the Upton-upon-Severn Heritage Festival on 12th July 1975. 
Subsequently performed by the Bessies o' th' Barn Brass Band and the National Youth Brass Band.


FANFARE FOR A CEREMONY - Brass Band version


THE TEMPLE OF SOLOMON - Cantata for Baritone Soloist, Choir and Brass Band


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Brass with Organ

ANNA’S BRIDAL MARCH Opus 83 (2003) 2' 
Organ, 2 trumpets, 2 horns

Specially composed for the wedding of the composer’s daughter, Anna Rebecca, to Michael Jason Price, at St.John’s Church, Hagley, Worcestershire, on 27th December 2003. Performed by Duncan Honeybourne, organ, Ian & Jo Hattersley, trumpets, Claire Beckett and Phil Dawes, horns.


 

THE MERCIES OF OUR LORDorgan, 2 trumpets, SATB Choir


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