January 20th 2020 saw Onyx visit the Great Birmingham Brass Fest 2020 which was held at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and organised by our very own Amos Miller who is head of brass at the conservatoire. From performing two world premieres to appearing alongside horn playing superstar, Sarah Willis in one of her Horn Hangouts, it was an amazing event from start to finish.
Onyx commissioned Simon Dobson and Timothy Jackson to writing two contrasting pieces that were performed in the closing concert. Simon, who is no stranger to writing brass music, wrote his Quintet no.1 using inspiration from Malcolm Arnold’s piece of the same name and we hope will become a companion piece next year in what is Sir Malcom’s centenary year. Tim’s Three Worlds is a piece for triple quintet and we were privileged to be joined by Connaught Brass and Curzon Brass for its performance and who played with such skill and maturity. Based on the Escher lithograph of the same name, it involves the three groups to drawing lots at the beginning to organise the seating and order of performance.