On Monday 18th May, the East of England Co-op band held an online Zoom discussion with the renowned composer Edward Gregson. This was kindly organised by band member Keith Moye who is acquainted with Edward Gregson through his work in the music publishing industry.
Edward Gregson is an English composer who has written works for orchestra, choral, chamber and brass ensembles. He has composed commissions for the BBC Philharmonic, Halle Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.
Some of Edward’s brass band compositions are familiar to the band, including ‘Variations on Laudate Dominum’, which is currently featured in the Co-op Band’s repertoire and ‘Of Distant Memories’, which the band played at a recent contest.
During the evening Edward talked extensively about his career but focussing mainly on his Brass Band work, the motives behind his compositions, some of his favourite pieces to listen to and where he gets his inspiration from. When asked about his favourite Brass music heavyweights, Edward recounted his love for the Moorside Suite by Holst, Heaton’s Contest Music and also music by Elgar and Vaughan Williams.
As well as performing, Edward also talked about the techniques when playing. For example, he said “vibrato is a colour – you either turn it on or off as the music demands”.
The East of England Co-op Band are most grateful to Mr Gregson for spending two hours with us in what was a very informative session and the band thoroughly enjoyed talking to such an accomplished composer.
The band are looking forward to organising more discussions in the future!