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Hirst to help keep musical focus on female achievements

Brighouse & Rastrick star Laura Hirst is to help Femmes Fortissimo keep a musical focus on women's achievements.

Millcent Fawcett
  The concert aims to keep a musical focus on women's achievements

Brighouse & Rastrick cornet star Laura Hirst is to be a guest soloist later this year for a concert in association with York International Women's Week.

The assistant principal cornet of the newly crowned Yorkshire Area champion will join 'Femmes Fortissimo' for the event in York on Saturday 13th April.

Strong focus

And although International Women's Day was on the 8th March, concert organiser Kate Lock told 4BR she was delighted that Laura would join them for a concert that keeps a strong focus on women's achievements.

"We couldn't be more delighted to have Laura join us for our concert," she said. "She broke through an all-male 'ceiling' that had stood for over a hundred years.

Even though women are much better represented in banding now, there's still a dearth in some of the higher section bands, and especially among MDs, composers and adjudicators.

We want to encourage women to reach higher, and to draw attention to the contributions they make as musicians. Femmes Fortissimo is about making women's voices heard through brass."

We want to encourage women to reach higher, and to draw attention to the contributions they make as musicians. Femmes Fortissimo is about making women's voices heard through brassorganiser, Kate Lock


The April 13th concert is the second outing for the all-women brass band, made up of players from across the north of England. The band originally formed for the 2018 York International Women's Week to mark the centenary of the start of women's suffrage. The concert was so popular that it was decided to do it again.

It was also revealed that the programme will include some historical female reference points, such as 'The March of the Women', composed by Ethyl Smyth for the Suffragette movement.

There will also be a performance of 'The Lost Chord' to celebrate cornetist Daisy Squelch who famously played the piece before the announcement of the results at the 1905 National Championships at Crystal Palace, having earlier challenged any other lady cornetist £500 to play against her.

Even better

Kate added: "We've already got 46 players signed up, so this is going to be ever bigger that last time. And with Laura Hirst joining us to play some solos, it's going to be even better."

To find out more information go to: http:/­/­www.femmesfortissimo2019.eventbrite.co.uk

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