1st Baritone – Jon Frank

Most memorable playing moment …

Playing offstage horn in Mahler 2. The offstage horns are not required until the very last movement, so my section colleagues and I were relaxing backstage, waiting. Somehow, we lost track of where we were in the piece, and had a mad panic as we heard the opening bars of the final movement being played. We sprinted to collect our instruments and arrived, breathless, in the wings with seconds to spare before our cue. This particular horn call ends with four horns in unison on a sustained top C – definitely not the best thing to play without a warm-up and after a twenty-second sprint! Somehow we made it through, and joined the orchestra and choir onstage for the remainder of the piece. The quality of players and singers was absolutely fantastic and the music so rich and stirring. Despite our near-miss, I always remember this concert as one of the finest and most enjoyable I’ve done. The orchestra and choir were all amateurs and it bears testament to the outstanding quality of amateur music-making in this country.

Proudest banding moment …

Playing in the National Youth Brass Band Championships with Berkshire Youth Brass Band.

Previous bands …

The Berkshire Youth Brass Band, and Royal Greenwich Brass Band, both on tenor horn. My decade in London was spent as an orchestral French horn player, and I was fortunate enough to play with the likes of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Johns and New London Orchestra.

Favourite piece …

Steven Ponsford’s Turris Fortissima has always been a band favourite of mine, and I enjoy most of the music from that Salvation Army tradition.

Musical ambition …

To continue being half-decent at French horn despite rehearsing on a baritone twice a week!

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