About Austonley Brass
Austonley Brass is a 10-piece brass ensemble based in the North of England that proudly boasts some of the most sought after brass musicians and educators in the country. The group is the brainchild of trombonists Garrath Beckwith & James Garlick with the aim of entertaining audiences all over the UK and further afield with excellent brass music played by the best British Brass instrumentalists. There has always been a long standing tradition of high quality British brass playing and Austonley Brass endeavor to continue this British legacy by bringing together great brass players in special collaborations with music festivals, concert societies, concert promoters, choral societies, education establishments and recording companies. The personnel of Austonley Brass are equally at home on the concert platform or in recording studio having performed live and recorded numerous albums, TV shows and radio broadcasts with professional ensembles and artists such: the Hallé Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra of Opera North, the Remix Ensemble, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, Elbow, the Black Dyke Band, Liverpool based rock band The Wombats, Corrine Bailey Rae, Hallé Brass, the Brighouse & Rastrick Band, the Yorkshire Building Society Band, the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, the Andy Prior Big Band, Andrea Bocelli & abetment Terfell, Manchester Camerata, the Northern Sinfonia, Dame Shirley Bassey's Orchestra, the British Philharmonic Orchestra, numerous West End, UK & International Tour Theatre Orchestras and the Royal Variety Performance Orchestra amongst others.This gives you a real sense of the quality that is behind the ethos of Austonley Brass: to entertain audiences to the very highest standards. Our repertoire is varied spanning every musical genre literally from Bach to the Beatles and Handel to Hendrix – we have our own ‘in house’ arrangers but we are always looking to promote new material and musical arrangements. The ensemble are available to perform at any type of event and travel throughout the UK, Europe and further afield on a regular basis. If you would like more information about Austonley Brass or to read testimonials about the group please feel free to visit our social media channels.
Dear Garrath and fellow members of Austonley Brass I would like to say how impressed I was by the performance of the group at our annual Gala Concert at Ecclesall Church. The sound produced by the dectet was mellifluous and so all-encompassing. You drew the audience in to the musical experience you were offering, and presented music that was able to be enjoyed by every person who was there. For me the tonality was so important, and the intonation was just perfect – which all contributed mightily to the wonderful sound of the group. When the choir and band were performing together you complimented the choir totally, never drowning the sound of the voices and always giving support and depth to the items being performed. We were also very grateful that you produced fabulous arrangements of the pieces for your whole group from our vocal copy – very impressive! It was a pleasure to work with you all, your professionalism shone through every aspect of the time we were working together, and we certainly hope that we can come together again at some future date With very best wishes for your continued success
Since the 10-piece brass ensemble format was originally conceived and developed by Philip Jones in the early 1970’s, the ‘tentet’ has joined the ‘quintet’ to become a well- established form of brass chamber music. Since then many groups have appeared, with varying degrees of success and longevity, and I was intrigued to hear of the formation of a new group – Austonley Brass – under the leadership of Garrath Beckwith and James Garlick. The personnel boasts a host of young players from a wide variety of musical backgrounds, and they aim to carry the torch of brass chamber music to a wide audience nationally, drawing new audiences also through a comprehensive educational programme. Initial impressions are extremely positive; already they have achieved a pleasing homogeneity of sound and ensemble and – most importantly – approach their well-varied repertoire with an intelligence and musicianship which I find very encouraging, and which will doubtless develop further, as they continue to work and mature together as an ensemble. I was very proud to be a founder member of this tradition, and I wish Austonley Brass every success as they take it forward”
“All lovers of good brass music should watch out for the name, Austonley Brass. Founded by Garrath Beckwith and James Garlick, this 10-piece ensemble comprises some of the best brass players in the North of England and features hard- hitting jazz arrangements that will set the senses reeling. However, it’s not all razz and jazz, as they also include music from the classical repertoire as well as quieter arrangements of ballads which demonstrate that brass can be as sensitive as a string quartet. I predict that in a short while, this ensemble will be synonymous with first-class playing and quality arranging. Remember the name, Austonley Brass
“The opening notes of Ray Premru’s Blues March demonstrates the fine quality of the playing on this recording of stylistically diverse miniatures from Austonley Brass, the new 10 piece brass ensemble created by Garrath Beckwith and Jim Garlick. A conservative choice of music, showed a tight knit ensemble, with a very warm sound quality, particularly at the lower end, good intonation and idiomatic flexibility. I wish the ensemble success in an increasingly competitive and global market.”
You absolutely need to hear this group! If you’re a fan of big brass ensembles then this is for you. This a wonderful collection of some of my favourite brass players, making a beautiful and rich sound together. The ensemble exudes the varied and extensive experience of the players, giving a polished, tight and exciting performance.”
“After listening to a CD copy of recently recorded sound clips of the new 10-piece brass ensemble, Austonley Brass, I am extremely impressed with the very high standard of performance. On reading the personnel list of this group I suppose I should have realised there would be exceptionally high-level, musically, individual contributions offered into the mix and balance of the whole ensemble, but added to that there was a feel of great professionalism. I will look forward with eager anticipation to see and hear Austonley Brass in concert in the near future. This group must be successful
“When a group of good guys who are all great musicians get together as an ensemble, they make amazing music – and that is exactly what Austonley Brass are, and that is exactly what they make – brilliant musical performances
“Austonley Brass is a new star in the firmament of large brass ensembles. with a dark, rich sound, that is sure to excite audiences of all ages. I am sure these fine musicians would be a hit at any music club or festival.
It is with great pleasure that I write in support of this new and exciting group, having had the good fortune to work with most of its members at various points over a number of years. Austonley Brass is a 10 piece brass ensemble that boasts a line up of players with proud histories among some of the Uk’s finest brass bands and orchestras. Upon hearing this group the immediate impression that they make is through quality of sound. A rich and warm ensemble sound from the most gentle pianissimo through to a fortissimo that tricks the listener into believing they are hearing a group of musicians far greater in number. This quality of sound emanates from the very solid low brass line up which is equally at home providing some edge when necessary in the group’s “jazzier” repertoire. Given the background of this group of musicians it is hardly surprising that technical brilliance is also a feature. From the top end down, technical dexterity is of extremely high integrity and the challenges of extreme register playing are met with aplomb. This group is sure to be an absolute hit with its target audience and I have no doubt that Austonley Brass will be a name associated with high quality brass music for many years to come.
Over many years as a player and teacher I have been extremely fortunate in meeting and performing with some outstanding musicians. The UK has been, and continues to be, at the forefront of quality brass playing. Over the years it has produced some truly outstanding brass players and ensembles; Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, Maurice Murphy, John Iveson, John Fletcher, Howard Snell, Ian Bousfield and more recently Phillip Cobb and Peter Moore. Confirmation that this pedigree is still very much alive in the north comes in no better package than Austonley Brass. Their ensemble playing is vibrant, committed, exciting, sophisticated, engaging and sincere. The individual soloists are simply outstanding. I can give no better recommendation than to say Austonley Brass continue to produce and build upon performing standards created by those UK legends of brass playing. Personally I will be keeping a close eye on their career, it’s going to be a bright one!