An Interview with John Miller about Wind, Brass and Percussion Day

Student Bradley Jones caught up with Professor John Miller to discuss our upcoming RNCM Wind, Brass, and Percussion Day:

Creating an event is hard work. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Professor John Miller and discuss his involvement in the creation of the RNCM Wind, Brass, and Percussion Day.


For those who may not know, could you give us a brief description of what the Wind, Brass, and Percussion Day is?

JM: For the last 25 years, we’ve had the well known RNCM Festival of Brass. This festival has been associated with the brass bands of the area. For a few years, I’ve wanted a festival where the students of the school of Wind, Brass, and Percussion could be fully involved in every activity. That is what this is!

Last year was the first year of the Wind, Brass, and Percussion Festival; What is changing for the festival in its sophomore year?

JM: This year will be very different. Last year’s pilot event occurred over two days, the first of which consisted of research in the morning, and an evening concert for brass. The second day had educational workshops in the morning, and a wind concert in the afternoon, culminating in a concert given by the ArkEnsemble, led by Rob Buckland.

This year, everything has been moved to one day. Holding the festival on one day allows people to come for the whole day and get a very rich and fulfilling experience. The problem is though, it becomes very hard to squeeze in everything that you want to do!

So, what is your involvement?

JM: My involvement has been to organise the day! I have organised it with a lot of passion, drawing on the ideas that have been brought to me by the staff and students of the school.  In other words, this day is very much owned by the students!

What are you most looking forward to?

JM: I’m going to go to everything. I’m very interested in just popping my head in to the classes. I’ll probably be teaching a few of them! Another big thing, is just watching the reactions of the young players. The overall aim has been to inspire, to educate, and to entertain! If we can achieve this, you can see it in the eyes of the young players who will really want to play again next year!

Who should come to the event? Why should people come to the event?

JM: All RNCM students, please! Come and support your peers! I think this may be of great interest also to teachers of instrumental music, to amateur musicians, and a wider public. It’s not every day you get to go to a concert given by massed bass clarinets!

Massed bass clarinets??

JM: Haha! Usually you only get to hear bass clarinets one at a time. You can often hear massed ensembles here, and they always come with a degree of virtuosity, and I’m interested to see how the massed bass clarinets match up. Probably very well!

It sounds interesting indeed! Do you have any final comments?

JM: Performance is not performance without an audience! Performers tend to up their game in front of an audience, so the audience is equally important! What I’ve endeavoured to do is provide a day with participation, a bit of learning in the middle, and some thought provoking entertainment!


Find out more about Wind, Brass and Percussion Day and see the whole programme here.

24 April 2017