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What a buzz!

12 November 2013

Students were treated to a fantastic trumpet master class and workshops with Laurence Gargan in the auditorium on Monday 11 November. Former Principal Trumpet of the Hong Kong Philharmonic and Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Laurence has also performed with several BBC Orchestras and recorded for films. He gave a great demonstration of the different types of trumpet including a piccolo trumpet, bugle, Eb trumpet and the standard Bb trumpet.

Students were amazed at the different sounds and styles he could play. They also learnt about the different types of mutes such as a cup mute, straight mute, silent brass mute (great for the neighbours!) but by far the most popular was the Wah-Wah mute, better known for the ‘really cool Bugs Bunny’ effect! 

The Year 5,6, and 7 students guessed the film themes and even suggested other films which had used trumpets.  Meanwhile, the brass students had a private master class where they learnt about holding the trumpet, the ‘HUP’ breathing technique and playing phrases rather than just notes.  Gabriel Barrere 7I, George Gawthorpe 7I and Justin Graf 6U later performed in front of their year groups, displaying some of the techniques they had just learnt in the master class.  Students asked engaging questions about how to tune a trumpet and the senior students gathered some great tips about how to get into university and how to get auditions.  However, the biggest message of the whole day was how to create a sound from the trumpet: “buzz, don’t blow” Students were invited to give it a try.  The year 5, 6 and 7s were excellent at this; the year 11 and 12s need a little more work! Great fun was had by all and the students left the auditorium literally buzzing!

Special Mention goes to Ralph Gawthorpe from 5B, aged 10, who performed the Last Post on trumpet in front of the entire primary school for Remembrance Day.  Possibly one of the most nerve wracking experiences for a trumpeter, Ralph rose to the challenge despite the cold and a few nerves.

What our students thought…

George Gawthorpe 7S

“I was really inspired by how well he played with such confidence. I loved how he could play everything.”

Ralph Gawthorpe 5B

“I really enjoyed how well he played and it inspired me greatly. I really enjoyed listening to the different  mutes and how he could play a lots.”

Ellie Scott 13I

“I found the workshop really interesting because it gave an insight into what playing the trumpet was like and also how you can pursue music in the future. I learnt a lot of things about the history of the trumpet and also how difficult playing the trumpet can be.”

Virtual Tour

The British International School Shanghai, Puxi

111 Jinguang RoadHuacao TownMinhang201107Shanghai


金光路111号华漕镇上海市 闵行区201107

Nord Anglia Education

4th Floor, Nova South
160 Victoria Street
LondonUnited Kingdom

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