Trumpet Recital

Trumpeters from the Band of the Coldstream Guards, Royal College of Music and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Alan Thomas (trumpet and conductor); Jo Sealey (piano)
The Guards Chapel
Wednesday 11th December

This enjoyable concert recital was led by Alan Thomas of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with a group of talented students as well as former Coldstreamer Rob Barry, recently posted to the Scots Guards.

The programme opened with the 'Fanfare Stadt Wien', with three flugels providing a strong bottom line before continuing with Handel's 'Lascia Ch'io Pianga'; the group split into two quartets, with the use of mutes making for an effective contrast between tutti and accompaniment.


Alan Thomas's first solo contribution with Jo Sealey the admirable pianist was 'Sonata in F' (Baldassare), originally written for cornett, but more florid and complex than similar works for natural trumpet.

The students from the Royal College of Music were located in the gallery for their impressive rendition of the 'Grand March from Aida' before the Guards led up to the interval with 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' and Kevin McKee's 'Into the Blue' - an expansive, cinematic work, enhanced by the addition of percussion and bass guitar.

The second half opened with Simon Dobson's lively fanfare 'Crystal'; the lines moving from one side to the other and up and down in a blaze of sound.

Two Latin American numbers followed - the laid-back 'Orinoco Cocoa' and the lively paso-double 'Espana Cani', with all the excitement of the bullring.

Alan then presented 'Three Preludes' (Gershwin), and left the audience spellbound by the simplicity of Faure's 'The Secret'.


Alan then presented 'Three Preludes' (Gershwin), and left the audience spellbound by the simplicity of Faure's 'The Secret'.

Four students from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire also used the gallery for Gabrieli's 'Canzon Seconda' and the hypnotic 'Carol of the Bells' - their line-up of three trumpets and a bass trumpet making for an interesting contrast of sound.

For their finale, the participants combined in a suite from 'Messiah', together with a euphonium player. 

Following the sublime 'Pastoral Symphony' and 'Glory to God', Alan was the featured soloist on piccolo trumpet in 'The Trumpet Shall Sound'. Roy Parry then took up the flugel for 'I Know That My Redeemer Liveth' before the glorious sound of no fewer than six piccolo trumpets was heard in 'The Hallelujah Chorus'. 

The 'Amen Chorus' then brought an unusual but most enjoyable concert to a close with a neat encore arrangement of 'Deck the Halls', one of several contributions by the talented Ryan Linham.

Peter Bale

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