Sample programmes

Any performance by Onyx Brass can be curated to each individual promoter’s or venue’s needs. Below are a few sample programmes to show the breadth of themes that we could offer, however we are more than happy to consult personally to arrive at something bespoke for any event.

Onyx Noir

Onyx’s jazz programme: inspired by the recent surge of excellent British jazz musicians, Onyx has commissioned some of the most exciting composers in the scene to write works for the quintet. Onyx Noir is a programme that blurs the boundaries between jazz and classical chamber music, and brings together these excellent new commissions with complimentary older works. Its tremendous variety guarantees audience enjoyment.

Bach – Fugue in A flat major BWV 862
Mick Foster – Hamlet Stories
Shostakovich – Fugue in A flat major Op. 87 no. 17
Trish Clowes – The Mighty Pencil
Shostakovich – Fugue in G major Op. 87 no. 3
Mark Nightingale – For Rosie
Bach – Fugue in G Major BWV 541
Kenny Wheeler – One for Five
Tim Jackson – Anything But
Mike Walker – Let Her Go
Bach – Nun Komm Der Heiden Heiland BWV 61
Jason Rebello – Inevitable Outcome

Balancing Act

Onyx would like to propose a programme containing both multiple styles of music for brass as well as balancing equally between male and female composers.  Therefore, a wonderful, varied cornucopia of compositions can reveal the joys, delights and complexities of the brass chamber music world.

Jenni Watson – Fanfare
Schumann – Selections from “Kinderszenen”
Imogen Holst – Leiston Suite
Jason Rebello – Inevitable Outcome
Charlotte Harding – Rhombus
Gershwin – Prelude “Novelette in Fourths”
Emily Hall – Blackcurrant River
Tim Jackson – Two Haiku
Roxanna Panufnik – Spirit Moves
Arnold – Quintet

The Golden Age

The Golden Age is one of Onyx’s most popular programmes: the five plucky brass players take you on an illustrated journey from 1612 to 2012, featuring spectacular music from the English Renaissance including Monteverdi, Dowland, Tallis, Purcell, Gabrieli and Holborne and some colourful and, perhaps, surprising latter-day responses from some of Onyx’s favourite living composers.

Monteverdi – Ritornello from the Vespers (1612)
Dowland – Three movements from Lachrymae (Flow my Tears)
Palestrina arr. Wright – Exultate Deo
Tim Jackson – Seventeen Variations on a Theme of John Dowland
Byrd arr. Powell – Sellenger’s Round
Holborne – Dance Suite
Byrd – Suite
Trad. arr. Jackson – Songs from Romeo and Juliet
Tim Jackson – Anything But
Tallis – Hymn Tune
Tim Jackson – Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis

Bach to Brass

From showcasing some of the best that baroque music has to offer through unique arrangements that bring out the quintet’s five voices, to works inspired by the baroque, this programme celebrates the era in Onyx’s unique way. From Bach to Duddell, the programme brings together centuries of incredible music.

Charpentier arr. Wright – Te Deum
Couperin arr. Hughes – Suite
Rameau arr. Gordon-Shute – L’ Entrée de Polymnie from Les Boreades
Bach – Two Fugues
Handel – Suite from The Water Music
Bach – Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland
Handel arr. Gordon-Shute – Eternal Source of Light Divine
Shostakovich – Two Fugues
Various – An Impressionist Selection
Joe Duddell – Still Life
Various – A Jazz Selection

A Special Relationship

A programme showcasing music from key British and American composers from the last century. The startlingly original voices of Ives, Copland, Arnold and Bernstein are coupled with works written for Onyx by some fantastic composers around today.

James Maynard – Fanfare
Bernstein – Dance Suite
Imogen Holst – Leiston Suite
Shostakovich – Two Fugues
Bernstein – Suite from West Side Story
Copland – Dance Episodes from Rodeo
Malcolm Arnold – Quintet no. 1
Charles Ives – Variations on “America” (God Save the Queen)
Tim Jackson – Anything But
Jason Rebello – Inevitable Outcome
Mark Nightingale – For Rosie
Various – A Jazz selection

Onyx and Ivory

A programme of some of Onyx’s favourite arrangements of mostly Romantic Era piano works, complemented by arrangements of piano pieces by jazz masters including Scott Joplin and Dave Brubeck. The brass versions of the works bring out a special quality to the hand-picked programme.

Giovanni Gabrieli – Sonata Pian’ e forte  
Brahms – Intermezzo and Ballade Op. 118
Chopin – Raindrop Prelude
Schumann – Scenes from Childhood 
Scott Joplin – Maple Leaf Rag
Dave Brubeck – Blue Rondo Alla Turk 
Simon Lesley – Time Out 
Bach/Shostakovich – Fugues

On an Overgrown Path

The clarity of texture and melodic line in the originals means that we fervently believe that everything here makes the voyage to brass very successfully, and will enhance the listener’s understanding and appreciation of these extraordinary masterpieces.

Brahms (arr. Maynard) – Intermezzo in E flat Op. 117 No. 1
Brahms (arr. Maynard) – Intermezzo in A Op. 118 No. 2
Brahms (arr. Maynard) – Ballade in G minor Op. 118 No. 3
Schumann (arr. Miller) – Scenes from Childhood
Janacek (arr. Hollings) – On an Overgrown Path, Book 2
Brahms (arr. Gordon Shute) – Three Motets, Op. 110
Mendelssohn (arr. Thomson) – Song without Words Op. 38 No. 7 ‘Duetto’
Chopin (arr. Maynard) – Prelude Op. 28 in D flat ‘Raindrop’
Brahms (arr. Thomson) – Geistliches Lied

Brass and Organ

The brass and organ combination has a special quality to it. With Bach as the central figure in the programme, Onyx has put together works from across the centuries to explore the different ways composers have worked with these forces. The programme occasionally scales down to a more intimate setting with two works for solo trumpet and organ.

Alan Hohvaness – Prayer St Gregory (solo trumpet + organ)
Giovanni Gabrieli – Sonate Pian’ e Forte
Bach – Chromatic fugue
Bach – Toccata and Fugue in D minor 
Monteverdi – Deus in adjutorium from the Vespers 1610
Poulenc – Suite Francaise
Flor Peeters – Aria (solo trumpet + organ)

Mussorgsky – The Great Gate of Kiev