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A year at Tullis

2019 was the year of my first official appointment as Composer in Residence. Tullis Russel Mills Band celebrated their centenary year and wanted to give the role to me.

The first concert was in April, I flew over to attend the concert where Soaring the Sky was played. It was great to see my mate Ray again and meet the band. The concert was at St. Ninians Parish Church in Glenrothes, not the most ideal concert venue, but it had an intimate atmosphere to it.

After my first visit, the band played the premiere of One Night, One Tale played by their young star on tenor horn Samuel Duzinkewycz. And during the East Neuk Festival, the band played Eilean Nan Gobhar, which I wrote during my holiday in Scotland the year before.

Enjoyable evening at the first night of the East Neuk Festival with the Tullis Russell Mills Band , University of St Andrews Brass Quintet and Ensemble Marsyas at Bowhouse. It’s on until Sunday at various venues with musicians for all tastes.

Geplaatst door Willie Rennie, MSP for North East Fife op Woensdag 26 juni 2019

Fortunately, I got the chance to visit the band again in November. It was the final concert of the Fringe of Gold festival of St. Andrews University. I was invited to play along, which was my first time playing under Peter Graham who was also part of the concert. It was great being there meeting a lot of new people from the band, The Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland and the brass ensemble of St. Andrews University. At this concert, A Tallis Anthem was played which both the band and the audience seemed to enjoy.

During their Christmas concerts, Tullis played Carols of Old. And that concluded my year as Composer in Residence with the band. I am grateful for the possibility to have my music played and the lovely people I have met. Thank you Tullis Russel Mills Band and Ray! All the best for the future.

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2019 in 3 moments

I would like to take you back to three of my favourite moments in 2019. Even though the year had a lot of other great and less great moments involving playing, conducting and composing, these are the ones that helped me the most in my personal development.

Red Prince

Sometimes premieres can be very scary. During the first part of 2019, I had been working on Red Prince. A large work for fanfare band. It is the first work where I have been planning the structure of a piece of music in detail, really working efficiently with the material and not introducing new elements at the wrong moment. Also, my musical language was changed somewhat after a year of studying new music in Zwolle. So I was especially anxious for the premiere. The result was great, even though we had to omit a part of the piece because of the time restraints. A big thank you to Pieter Bosma and Oranje Grootegast for putting in the effort to understand my music and performing it with such confidence!

A great team

In November I had my first test with Harmonie Akkrum. We wanted to show the fourth section was right for our fanfare band. The last contest was already a few years ago and the rehearsals had to be kept to a minimum. In a great preparation, the ensemble became a team and we went above and beyond. After a great day in Enschede, we proved that we were worthy of the fourth section and already on our way to the third section.

Euphonium confidence

After a year as the principal euphonium with Soli Brass Leeuwarden, it was time for me to take a big step and play a solo with the band. Herman Palhuber’s For a Flower was my test. After a few lessons with a teacher and our conductor, I was able to become more confident and aware of my playing in general. The concert was great and I was happy with the performance. In the end, I was amazed that being more aware of my own playing could be such a boost. On to the next one!