Besson Friday meets Misa Mead and Helen Harrelson

Philip Harper, Steven Mead and Roger Webster find out more tonight about the careers of Helen Harrelson and Misa Mead — two players who have made their musical mark far from their homes.

  Misa Mead and Helen Harrelson are the guests tonight on Besson Friday's at Home

For this week's 'Besson Fridays at Home' programme, the special guests are baritone star Helen Harrelson and euphoniumist Misa Mead.

The two Besson artists have gained widespread critical acclaim for their work and for the promotion of brass performances — both achieved from far their original homes.

Rochdale and Tokyo

Helen moved from Rochdale in the UK to Kansas City in the USA, whilst Misa moved from Japan to the UK via Paris.

Helen was going to be a town planner, but fell in love with playing brass instruments. She went on to study at the RNCM in Manchester, and played with Foden's, Leyland and Black Dyke bands before moving to Kansas initially as part of her teaching assignment.

There she not only linked up with the emerging Fountain City Band, but also met her future husband Lee Harrelson. Since then her pioneering work with youth — and in particular the National Youth Brass Band of America has seen her at the forefront of organisational management and creative work in the brass band scene in the USA.

Misa also speaks of her musical journey — and from enjoying exploring brass music making in Tokyo to studying and working in Paris and eventually finding her way to a small village in the English countryside with her euphonium playing husband Steven.

Her international travels have certainly coloured her musical approach — one that continues to make a mark with her innovative use of social media platforms.

We also discover how fish and chips play a role in their lives and how they look to explore new musical avenues.


All this and Philip, Roger and Steven find out more about their thoughts on the importance of solo and ensemble competitions in the development of young musicians and the mentors who they have learned from on their musical journeys.

We also hear some of Black Dyke's winning performance of 'Albion' at the Royal Albert Hall back in 2001 and from Fountain City Band at Brass in Concert as well as enjoying a short clip of Misa in a rehearsal conducted by the legendary tuba player and teacher Roger Bobo.

Become a supporter and help make our future secure.

4barsrest continues to be a proudly independent voice. There are no paywalls to overcome to be able to enjoy what we do to keep our journalism at the heart of the brass banding world. Support us with a one-off donation or subscribe from just £2.50 per month.

Support us    


Christmas is coming...

November 29 • Soon it will be that time of the year again... and hopefully there will some festive cheer for brass bands across the globe.


Grimethorpe launches fund raising initiative

November 29 • One of the world's most famous bands spearheads Crowdfunder appeal to raise vital funds.


Helping others leads Mode for value

November 29 • Mode for...Publishing will be able to help others if you donate to get some great music on your festive stands.


Filton look for festive boost

November 29 • Filton Concert Brass launches its own festive shop to help raise funds.

The Marple Band - Marple Band Family Christmas Concert

Friday 18 December • Marple Conservative Club, church Lane, Marple, SK6 6AY

Black Dyke Band - Brighouse & Rastrick, Huddersfield Town Hall

Saturday 27 March • Corporation St, Huddersfield HD1 2TA

Contest: 100thSpring Festival

Saturday 8 May • 97 Church St, Blackpool, FY1 1HL

Contest: Whit Friday March Contests

Friday 28 May • Saddleworth & Tameside OL3

Contest: 168th British Open

Saturday 11 September • Symphony Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA

Chadderton Band

November 17 • Chadderton Band is a non-contesting band playing at various events throughout the year. We are a friendly band looking for players of all ages and abilities on all sections + EUPH and percussion. Most welcome to come along and have a blow give us a try.

Crewe Brass

November 12 • Crewe Brass require an Eb or Bb Bass to complete the "engine room" line up. We are also seeking a Tuned Percussionist to complete our section.

Nicholas B. Hudson

Musician | Trombonist | Educator


 © 2020 4barsrest.com Ltd