Background information to video interview by Andy Scott
As Composer in Residence with the famous Foden’s Brass Band since 2008, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with some wonderful conductors as well as the band itself; Michael Fowles, Garry Cutt, Allan Withington, Howard Snell, and not least Bramwell Tovey (for some reason I want to call him Sir Bram Tovey!).
Bram has a very special connection with Foden’s and Sandbach, which he tells us about towards the end of a very special evening that we had with him in Sandbach on Sunday 25th January 2015.
Briefly, a little background to how these videos and evening came about………
When Lauren (my wife) and I moved to Sandbach in 2007 we decided to give it a couple of years to settle in, then see if we could offer something musically to the town. The most appropriate way it seemed was to create the Sandbach Concert Series (now in its fifth season); eight concerts a year given by world class musicians, with a spotlight concert preceding the featured artist, that to date has seen hundreds of young musicians take to the stage for a solo or ensemble piece). To give credit where credit is due, the idea and concept came from Lauren!
I had often thought, as Artistic Director of the SCS, that it would be great to see if Bram was available to perform (piano) at one of our concerts, however we’re dealing with one of the foremost conductors/pianists/musicians in the world, and he hardly has time to visit a concert series in Sandbach!
However, this is different because of Bram and the Sandbach connection, and from a practical point of view I thought about chatting with Bram to discuss the possibility of him giving an interview (where he could play piano at any point if he wished to?), and where we gain a valuable insight into his personality and life as a musician.
The interview went ahead, the evening after Bram (along with Mike Fowles) had directed Foden’s at the RNCM Festival of Brass, and after a full day recording with Foden’s Band.
The committee of the Sandbach Concert Series were open to my idea of creating an extra event, fortunate as it happens as there isn’t usually a SCS concert in January.
Whilst coming up with an idea and realising the plan, there was the big question about who was going to interview Bram. I knew that I wasn’t the right person for this, and approached someone who has a great rapport with Bram via Foden’s and tutoring on NYBBGB courses with Bram, chairman of Foden’s Band, John Barber. The chemistry between Bram and John is great, and John expertly steered the conversation in ways that covered various and varied topics that will be of great interest to all.
Bram gave an honest, open and generous interview, talking about (amongst other things) his childhood, the Salvation Army Bands, starting his career as a musician, the brass band movement in the UK, conductors (brass band and orchestral), the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, the New York Philharmonic & Vancouver Orchestras, Leonard Bernstein, Simon Rattle, in addition to equality, fairness, kindness and passion.
These are two very powerful 45 minute interviews that to me are inspiring, and thanks must go to John Barber and Foden’s Band, Sandbach Concert Series and a huge thanks to Bram himself!
I hope that you enjoy watching and listening to the videos, which are being exclusively released by the brass band website and company 4 Bars Rest, in conjunction with Sandbach Concert Series.
Read the news item on the 4 Bars Rest website
Watch the video on the 4 Bars Rest website
news items and blog posts by Andy Scott