StAMP Brass Camp 2020 Launched

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Local children have been offered the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, thanks to a new scheme at the University of St Andrews.

StAMP (St Andrews Music Participation) has filled nearly all 60 places for online trumpet lessons with just a few places available for a summer brass camp on Tuesday 14 July. The scheme is a flagship outreach project for the University’s new Laidlaw Music Centre.

The online brass camp will welcome participants of all ages and abilities from around the world to play together with The Wallace Collection, the University’s ensemble in residence, as well as a range of experts and acclaimed soloists.

As a key part of the camp, children in Fife, Clackmannanshire, Perth and Kinross, and Tayside were offered the opportunity to apply to start learning the trumpet at home.

Now 60 successful youngsters will receive a polycarbonate trumpet, delivered to their home, and begin learning with ‘Discovering Brass’, a pioneering method of teaching brass developed by The Wallace Collection. At the conclusion of the brass camp, arrangements will be made for anyone who wishes to continue learning at no cost.

Ellen Thomson, Head of Outreach at the Laidlaw Music Centre, University of St Andrews, said: “The StAMP Brass Camp is a fantastic opportunity for local children to take their first step in music.

The StAMP Brass Camp is a fantastic opportunity for local children to take their first step in music.

By receiving an instrument and lessons completely free of charge, we hope that StAMP will help young people focus on something positive during this challenging period. It’s a perfect time to learn an instrument and develop a new skill in a supportive and nurturing digital environment.

Ellen Thomson, Head of Outreach at the Laidlaw Music Centre, University of St Andrews

The camp will run on Saturday 11, 18 and 25 July with sessions from renowned brass experts Trevor Herbert of the Royal College of Music; Arnold Myers of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; and Peter Holmes of the European Music Archaeology Project.

Marco Blaauw (trumpet) and Christine Chapman (horn) from the Cologne-based Ensemble Musikfabrik will lead special ensemble performances with participants, and Ian Bousfield (former Principal Trombone of the London Symphony Orchestra and Vienna Philharmonic) will share his insights about solo performance and play for participants in the final virtual concert.

The camp will also include stimulating discussions simplifying ideas on how brass instruments work and how we play them, as well as presentations of new research into the archaeology of brass instruments and their place in society and culture.

In addition to ensemble playing, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of tutors and interact with each other, and everyone will have the chance to record a contribution to the final virtual concert.

“There is so much that we have all learnt recently about how online music-making can be fun and rewarding. It is going to be so exciting to have participants from around the world learning together, and I am absolutely certain that, although it won’t be anything like playing together in person, we will all find that it is something that is an altogether different experience and thrill.”

Dr Bede Williams, Head of Instrumental Studies at the University of St Andrews

StAMP and the StAMP Brass Camp have been made possible thanks to a philanthropic gift which aims to raise aspiration, attainment and wellbeing by providing opportunities for music-making. The project will primarily focus on brass playing in Fife but will also disseminate research about new models of teaching brass and brass performance.


More information about StAMP and its related activities can be found on our dedicated StAMP pages.

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