Kensington Brass Ensemble promise Christmas fun in Arundel

Kensington Brass
Kensington Brass

There’s just something magical about brass at Christmas.

So say the Kensington Brass Ensemble, and they will prove their point when they return to Arundel following their highly successful evening there four years ago.

The Friends of St Nicholas Church are organising a Christmas Extravaganza concert in St Nicholas’ Church, London Road, BN18 9AT on Friday, December 13 at 7pm.

It will last approximately two and a half hours, including an interval with bar, to raise funds for the ongoing restoration of the ancient parish church.

Formed in December 2011 by ten students at the Royal College of Music, Kensington Brass are a versatile brass dectet, covering repertoire of all genres, from Baroque and Renaissance to jazz and film music.

Ryan Linham, trumpeter and one of the founders, has happy memories of that Arundel date in 2015.

“The Christmas show we do is our absolute favourites that we do. We can really have fun with it. Brass at Christmas is just great for a lot of reasons. One of the them is that great British tradition of brass bands at Christmas, though we are not a brass band.

“We are more of a symphonic ensemble. But there is also that great Christmas tradition of music and also the fact that brass can sound a bit like an organ.

“We can use the orchestral traditions and also the Christmas traditions, and we can take the brass band tradition in different directions and really expand the repertoire.

“Within the group we have got four people writing all the arrangements, all original arrangements, so we will probably have four or five new pieces from last time we were in Arundel.

“We were thinking that four years ago is a bit of an odd amount of time because there will probably be plenty of people who remember us from last time, so we don’t want to bore them with lots of old stuff that they have already heard from us, but at the same time we definitely want to include some of the classics that people always love and that we love playing.

“We have been doing our Christmas Extravaganza shows since 2012. We formed as a group in 2011.

“We have been doing the Christmas show a long time, and over the years, we have tried lots of different things.”

Ryan is promising an informal atmosphere: “We chat and we tell some jokes and there is a bit of Christmas humour.

“It is a fun family thing. It is not a serious recital and it is not a carol concert.

“It is a showcase for the beauty and the versatility of our brass instruments and it is also showing the talents of the wonderful players that we have got who have all gone out now into their professional careers and all come back to it from different backgrounds.

“We have got people who play in all sorts of places. We have got people who play in brass bands and orchestras and also people who play freelance.

“It is something that we set up when we were still students and it is something, as we have all progressed and made our own way as young professionals, that we have really kept together.

“And it has got better, we have found, as we have got older and have found our own feet.

“There will be solo moments.

“It is almost like a sharing between these people who are not just wonderful musicians but are also really great friends that love to play music together.

“We tell some jolly jokes and we have some gorgeous lush arrangements and we all have a really good time together.”

Tickets cost £10, £15, £20 and £25.

Children under 16 accompanied by an adult are half-price.

Tickets are available from the Parish Office on 01903 882262 or office@stnicholas-arundel.co.uk.