Alison Balsom performs with 70 players of mixed ages

A large brass band with 70 musicians of mixed ages performed a fantastic concert in February at the Cambridge Corn Exchange of music composed by a local 19-year-old. This was part of Cambridge Live’s prestigious Classical Concert Series.

The musicians, who ranged from beginners to professionals, had been chosen from a range of local orchestras and brass bands. They played a new piece by local young composer Jay Richardson called Jay’s Distraction, commissioned by Cambridgeshire Music and Cambridge Live. The piece was conducted by trombone player Becky Smith. Trumpeting star Alison Balsom – the Corn Exchange Artist in Residence for 2016-17 – played solo trumpet. Cambridge News reviewed the concert, saying: “The performance of this challenging and exuberant composition, full of contrastive moods, pointed up the essential democracy of music (…) we were reminded that this is how all musicians begin their careers and from where would-be musicians most likely take their inspiration.”