The Music & Arts Service offers schools a free educational concert given by one of our three concert groups. The content of these visits is for Key Stage 2 pupils with the purpose of enhancing their experience of live music.
The group were excellent musicians and also very able to engage and communicate with the children. We all absolutely loved it. The children got an awful lot out of the experience and were all discussing how much fun it was. I think it has inspired them to want to play a musical instrument. It was brilliant, thanks very much for offering it to us. We would definitely like to rebook Cobalt Brass in the future! – Low Ash Primary School
They were excellent. Prompt arrival, very engaging for the children, informative and fun too. – St Philips CE Primary Academy
Just a note to say how wonderful the concert was. Cobalt Brass are a fantastic bunch! They are excellent musicians, funny and great teachers. We had a lovely morning. – Green Lane Primary School
They played songs that the children were familiar with and so it encouraged our children to sing along. Each band member explained their instrument and gave an insight into how long they had been playing etc. The children were also fascinated with a trick of using a hose pipe with a funnel as a ‘make shift’ trumpet!!! I was impressed myself! We have a lot of brass players ourselves at Merlin Top and so the French Horn was always going to be winner as far as favourite instrument! – Merlin Top Primary Academy
Just wanted to say that the musicians who came in to Menston on December 10th were extremely good. I would even say the best we have ever had – their interaction with the children and how they taught them about pitch etc was brilliant. Please pass this on and thank them. Menston Primary School
Information About The Band Members
Aimée began violin lessons at the age of 5, after seeing a BMAS concert in her Primary School assembly. With a lot of hard work and practice, she progressed through the ABRSM graded exams, and performed in local music competitions and concerts. From the very start she joined the Music Centre’s beginner string ensemble on Saturday mornings, and then worked her way up through the groups, eventually joining the Bradford Youth Orchestra and becoming the leader in her final two years of secondary school. With BYO she performed in Paris, Austria, Luxembourg, and Germany and was chosen to lead the orchestra in a prestigious performance at the Royal Albert Hall.
As well as violin, Aimée took up flute and piano lessons and became involved in various music groups with these instruments too, including the Bradford Youth Wind Orchestra. At the age of 11 she was offered a place at Yorkshire Young Musicians, a Centre for Advanced Training where she received specialist tuition on violin and flute, as well as lessons in wider musicianship, such as theory, composition, aural skills, improvisation and Delcroze. Along with leading BYO, Aimée joined the City of Leeds Youth Orchestra and took part in various musical opportunities such as a come and play day with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
When she had finished secondary school Aimée went to the University of Huddersfield. Here she led the Symphony and String Orchestras and graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Music, as well as being awarded the Kaye String Prize. She also gained experience in Chamber and Solo settings, taking part in masterclasses with professional musicians such as David Greed and Benjamin Nabarro. Whilst in Huddersfield she joined Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra, who featured on the BBC’s ‘All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge’ and performed in Maida Vale studios. She performed in large orchestral pieces, such as Wagner’s Flying Dutchman and Britten’s War Requiem with SPO, and has even toured Normandy with the orchestra.
After graduating, Aimée gained a place at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to undertake a postgraduate diploma in performance. Here she was involved in the Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, along with a string quartet, and many recordings of new compositions. At the RWCMD she attended masterclasses with professional musicians such as Nicola Benedetti and received violin tutoring from specialists, furthering her level of knowledge and ability on the violin.
For the last year she has been sharing her love of music by working for Bradford Music and Arts Service as an instrumental teacher. This has mainly involved teaching children the violin, viola, cello, flute and recorder, but also includes working with Music Centre ensembles such as BYO, meaning she has come full circle.
Aimée’s love of both film soundtracks and the musical projects of Damon Albarn, have influenced her own compositions and research. She is currently a member of a string quartet who perform at weddings and events, along with occasional involvement in SPO and summer music courses. Aimée has interests in a mix of musical genres and aspires to make music accessible to all, wishing to work with people from all styles and specialisms. She is passionate that music should be accessible to all, no matter their background and has experienced first-hand the positive impact music can have on people, from its therapeutic health benefits, to the improvement of concentration in children.
The Wind Band
Leila grew up in Edinburgh and began learning the flute at the age of 10. She attended the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and was principal flute of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland – appearing on BBC Radio and at the BBC Proms. She is a previous winner of the Edinburgh Competition Festival concerto prize and a Live Music Now Scotland ambassador. Leila is soon to graduate from the Master of Music program at the Royal Northern College of Music – recent highlights include playing with the Hallé orchestra. Her studies have been generously supported by, amongst others, Help Musicians UK.
Ben started learning the French Horn aged 9 through the Wakefield Music Service and between 2005 and 2014 participated in many of the ensembles offered by the service, including twice being a soloist with the Wakefield Youth Orchestra and being a founder member of the highly acclaimed Hunt for Horns, a group which he also composed music for. In 2014 he went on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where he studied under Alberto Menendez, Johannes Hinterholzer and Stefan Dohr to name but a few. He has been a Musician in the British Army Reserve since 2015, performing across the UK and Europe, with Lithuania the most recent of his musical travels. Currently Ben is teaching brass instruments across West Yorkshire.
Katherine Blumer is a recent graduate of the ‘Joint Course’ between the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music, studying clarinet with Lynsey Marsh, Sarah Watts and Antonio Salguero, as well as learning the bassoon with Dave Chatwin. Recent highlights have been playing bass clarinet in Wagner’s The Ring – An Orchestral Adventure in the Cadogan Hall, live on BBC Radio 3, and performing as part of the VIRTUALREALITY contemporary music concert series. Alongside solo recitals, chamber music, contemporary and klezmer music, Katherine combines her love of performing with participatory music, academic research, teaching and community music. Highpoints so far include playing with Etherow reeds, LIME Music for Health, Music in Hospitals and Care, Special Virtuosi, No Dice Collective and Bright Sound.
Josh Hall is a freelance oboist based in Manchester having recently graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music having previously studied at Birmingham Conservatoire. He has performed with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Northern Ballet Sinfonia, Skipton Camerata, Welsh Chamber Orchestra & Mowbray Orchestra and has participated on schemes with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra as well as the Hallé. As a soloist he has performed Strauss’s Oboe Concerto, Finzi’s Interlude & Mozart’s Wind Sinfonia Concertante. During his studies Josh has participated in a number of masterclasses with international artists including Francois Leleux, Jonathan Kelly, Alexei Ogrintchouk & Nicholas Daniel.
Please copy and paste this link into your browser to watch a short video about the band:
The Brass Band
Hi! I’m Conall and I play the tuba in Cobalt Brass.
When I was younger, about 8 years old, I really wanted to sing so I joined a choir. One day at my choir everyone was given the opportunity to try an instrument and I chose the tuba because it was so big and shiny! I fell in love instantly and I haven’t looked back since.
I now play music as my job and I get to travel all over the world, playing in different venues all the time. Recently I have played in France, Spain, Italy, Lebanon, Bermuda, South Korea and the United States of America. I get to travel a lot, it’s great! I also play all over the UK with orchestras and bands and have played in The Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms, The Bridgewater Hall, Leeds Town Hall and Cadogan Hall.
I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without the teachers who first began my love of the tuba and who inspired me to practise every day and that’s why I love to show people how great the tuba can be!
I started playing the French Horn at about 11 years old, after watching loads of films, and realising that all the main tunes were played on the Horn! I loved playing and practising but wanted to play with other people too, so my teacher at the time said that I should join a wind band at my local music service, which is where I discovered my love for playing in groups. As I got older and better, I was able to join larger groups such as orchestras, and when I was 18 I got given a Scholarship to the Royal Northern College of Music, as I decided that I wanted to do music as my job.
At the RNCM I got involved in loads of orchestras and had a lesson from an expert teacher every week, which meant that I improved quicker than I ever did when I was at school, because all I did all day every day was music! I had some amazing opportunities and have played for some Professional Orchestras too, such as the Halle in Manchester, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Manchester Concert Orchestra, and the orchestra of the English National Ballet.
My job has also taken me across the world, including performing in Italy, France, the USA and Tanzania!
I think being a musician is the best job in the world, with every day being different, providing new opportunities and experiences. I am still practising every day now, as there are always ways to improve, so that one day I can achieve my dream of playing music in a film!
I was born in Harrogate and began playing cornet at the age of 8. I wanted to play trumpet when I saw the music teacher in my school play it in an assembly, and I basically just loved how loud it was! I started playing with my local brass band, the Knaresborough Silver Band, and I’ve loved playing and performing since then! At 16, I successfully auditioned for the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, where I was a member for 3 years, playing at venues such as the SAGE, Bridgewater Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.
I started at the Royal Northern College of Music when I was 18, and had lessons there playing loads of different styles of music, from classical to pop. One of my highlights there was performing as part of the Orchestra of Opera North, in a production of Madam Butterfly. I’ve also performed with the guitarist Cory Wong, Manchester Camerata and I will be starting my third professional pantomime production this Christmas, performing Aladdin in Sevenoaks, Kent.
My highlights of playing with Cobalt Brass are winning two prizes at the RNCM, as well as appearing on the ITV Christmas Eve Carol Service, alongside Alfie Boe, Rebecca Ferguson and Claire Richards. I really enjoy performing in our assemblies, showing what our instruments can do, and hopefully inspiring others to start playing brass!
My name is Adam and I’m a trumpet player, originally from Buckinghamshire. I started playing the trumpet at my primary school after seeing a brass ensemble play in assembly one day, and I was inspired to develop my skills when I heard brass players in various film soundtracks, such as The Dark Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Incredibles. I gained a scholarship to my local Music Centre and performed with the Buckinghamshire County Youth Orchestra, as well as the English Schools Orchestra before moving to Manchester to continue my studies. Whilst coming from a predominantly classical background, I’ve also had lots of experience of performing funk, ska, jazz and musical theatre, as well as playing with brass bands both in the South and North-West of England.
Since graduating, I’ve enjoyed a varied career of performance with professional orchestras including the Hallé Orchestra and Opera North, as well as bands across the UK and exciting projects such as the Ignition Orchestra, who sold out the Hammersmith Apollo in December 2018.
Hi! My name is Jack and I play the trombone with Cobalt Brass.
I began my musical journey at the age of 8, after being inspired by a group of musicians who visited my school to show us all how cool playing an instrument can be. After much thought, I decided that learning to play the trombone would be the best for me, as I was the tallest in my class and therefore had the longest arms (something that is very useful when playing the trombone!).
After practicing a little bit every day, I have got better and better at playing my instrument, and am now lucky enough to be able to do music as my job.
Even in the (relatively!) short time I’ve been playing a musical instrument, I have had some brilliant experiences. I have played in big venues, such as Birmingham Symphony Hall, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and even the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Last Night of the Proms! I’ve also travelled to play music in many different countries, such as Italy, America and The Netherlands.
I have gained a lot from deciding to learn a musical instrument: great friends, fantastic experiences, and a set of skills that can be used every day in lots of different situations. From practicing just a little bit every day, a whole world of opportunity has opened up to me!