Posted by Owen Morris
Friday 28th March, 2014

What an amazing experience it has been to travel abroad to the Gippsland region of rural Victoria with the AYO Brass Quintet. After spending two weeks on tour with this amazing group of musicians I feel that I have learned copious amounts about working in an intimate chamber music setting.

I would like to take some time to share some of my favourite highlights of our time away so you can truly understand what a privilege and delight it was to be a part of this tour.

For me, probably the most exciting part of being a member of the AYO Brass Quintet is having the opportunity to work with a group of absolutely amazing people and musicians. It has been such an inspiration to spend two weeks rehearsing and performing with a fine group of young brass musicians at the top of their game. I think it would be extremely rude of me not to name the members of the quintet. So here goes...

Dan Henderson – Trumpet

Jono Ramsay – Trombone

Alex ‘David’ Miller – Horn

Chloe Higgins – Tuba

Our incredible tutor for this Regional Residency in Victoria was world-renowned trumpet player, Tristram Williams. The wonderful thing about having Tristram as our tutor was that he is so experienced in chamber music, especially of the Brass Quintet variety. What’s more, Tristram could give us incredible insight into the music we were performing because he has performed all of it before, with the Australian Brass Quintet.

Another terrific aspect of this tour was getting to know all of the members of the ensemble. Whether it be in the palatial palaces of the Melbourne Short Stay Apartments or the vast 10 acre grounds of ‘Whitelaws Rest’, we were all hanging out and really getting along! It’s really amazing how creating a good relationship with everyone in such a small ensemble can make the music step up a level in energy and enthusiasm.

After doing several concerts and workshops at many great venues schools across the Gippsland Region, everything became much easier. We were able to learn how much we could give in each piece of every concert before our chops were busted and what the students at the schools tended to respond best to in our master class performances with them.

It has been such a joy to be a part of this Regional Residencies program. It has really motivated me to aspire to greater musical endeavours not only in a chamber music sense, but also in any music that I may be performing.

Finally, a special thank you to Jacinta Ewers who was our magnificent chauffeur on the tour.

- Owen Morris, trumpet