Elevate brings together composer and brass band in nature exploration | Brass Bands England

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Elevate brings together composer and brass band in nature exploration

Elevate, the new development programme that pairs artists with bands
Thursday, 8 February, 2024

BBE has announced the successful artist and band pairing for the second round of its artistic programme ‘Elevate’, a collaborative programme bringing together brass bands and artists to challenge normal performance practice.

Composer, songwriter, choral activist, singer and synth player Rebecca Denniff has been paired with Weymouth Concert Brass to produce a compositional exploration of the medicinal plants and herbs of the Isle of Portland, which sits just south of Weymouth.

Weymouth Conert Brass Musical Director Keith Espin commented: “Brass banding in the British Isles is a remarkable institution, based on the principle of all-embracing community music, and I’m very proud to have been part of it for over 60 years.  One of its many strengths is maintaining the traditions of brass banding, whilst showing an eagerness to develop, change, advance, and to embrace new types of music. 

I’m delighted to be part of the Elevate project where we, Weymouth Concert Brass, will be collaborating with our chosen composer, Rebecca Denniff, in the creation of a musical performance revolving around the theme of medicinal herbs (ancient and modern) found on the Island of Portland.  We are indebted to Andrew Cowling, one of our cornet team, who is a qualified, practising herbalist, and who has immense knowledge and enthusiasm on the subject and is a leading participant in this project. Rebecca seemed perfect for this topic, and we’re looking forward to working with her on this unique collaboration.”

Rebecca Denniff is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in North Yorkshire and fashions compositions out of the sounds that she finds in the world around her. She has a deep love for the natural world and has spent recent years creating compositions that are inspired by the trees and hills that surround her home in the North York Moors National Park.

Rebecca commented: “I am excited about this amazing opportunity to create original music with Weymouth Concert Brass. I can’t wait to begin to explore the process of co-creation, and I love the ideas that are already emerging."

Find out more about Brass Bands England’s Elevate programme, including booking tickets for the first performance of the programme, Kinky Toots.