4BR Wednesday Interview with Emma Barnett

4BR finds out more about an exciting two day Brass Academy being hosted by Opera North — one which will give a fantastic opportunity for young players to work with their brass stars.

Opera North
  The Brass Academy provides a wonderful opportunity

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Emma Barnett, the Youth Orchestral Manager of Opera North has been talking to 4BR Editor Iwan Fox about their forthcoming two day intensive programme for young brass players to work alongside and learn from specialists from its Education Department and the professional players of the Orchestra of Opera North.

Brass Academy

The Brass Academy (as well as a Woodwind and Horn Academy) will focus on ensemble playing and developing and improving the skills used to play in different sized ensembles and the special relationships between instruments of the section.

Carefully chosen repertoire will allow participants to look closely at what makes a great wind ensemble and focus on developing specific playing techniques.


In addition to repertoire rehearsals, players will participate in intuitive music workshops as well as performance and technique masterclasses which give the opportunity for peer and professional feedback.

Trumpets: Murray Greig, Mike Woodhead, Shannon Gateley
Horns: Bob Ashworth, John Pratt, Alex Hamilton, Mike Arnold
Trombones: Blair Sinclair, Rob Burtenshaw, Christian Jones, Chris Guenault
Tubas: Brian Kingsley

Other attractions

In addition there is a Summer Orchestra Academy — an auditioned seasonal orchestra where young players from all over the north of England come together for an intensive week of rehearsals under the baton of Lee Reynolds.

The Academy will work on repertoire for orchestras and opera and will result in a final performance in the purpose built Orchestra and Chorus room in the Howard Opera Centre.

The Opera North Youth Orchestra is a pre-professional ensemble in the North of England for career-minded instrumentalists aged 16 — 21 and serves to help transition from further or higher education into the professional world of music.


Drawing inspiration from the orchestral and opera work of Opera North, the Youth Orchestra will prepare and perform two programs of challenging repertoire each academic year whilst learn the musical and non-musical intricacies of working within a high-level orchestra.

In each of these projects young people will work with the following Opera North Staff in side by side rehearsals, sectionals, workshops and masterclasses:

In addition to repertoire rehearsals, players will participate in intuitive music workshops as well as performance and technique masterclasses which give the opportunity for peer and professional feedback4BR

Brass Academy

3rd — 4th June
Yeadon Town Hall

Woodwind and Horn Academy:

1st -2nd June
Yeadon Town Hall

Summer Orchestra Academy:

23rd — 28th August
Howard Opera Centre
(Application to audition closes June 7th)

Opera North Youth Orchestra:

October — March
Howard Opera Centre
(Application to audition closes July 5th)

Photo credit: Justin Slee

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