Byron Brass Summer School - A momentous occasion


Jack Hornsby, as a member of the group from Toronto Brass, writes on Australia's inaugural 2009 Byron Brass Summer School.

Learn from the Master, play with the Stars, explore new dimensions in self awareness; all offered to all brass players by the Byron Brass Summer School. And what an adventure it was for the eight players from Toronto Brass who made their way to the idyllic venue at Lake Ainsworth on the New South Wales north coast.

The 2009 Byron Brass Summer School band with David King
David King works with the Byron Brass Summer School brass band

...with David King

Having been held up by an accident on the highway on the way up, the Toronto mob arrived late. We had missed the induction briefing but were greeted by the ever cheerful Amanda Casagrande who quickly had us organised and before we knew it were sitting in a brass band in front of David King for the first rehearsal.

We did everything!
I'm so fit..look at me!!

Learning and having fun

From then on we were transported into a world of music making, physical training, Yoga relaxation and holistic instruction sessions for four days.

Evening workshop
Evening workshop sessions - 'dk and friends'

All our accommodation needs were catered for by the Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreation Centre including tasty, nutritious and plentiful food. All we had to do was concentrate on learning and having fun.


In band rehearsals David showed us, among many things, ways to improve the sounds we were trying to create both individually and as an ensemble. His ideas on moving air through the instruments were an inspiration and an awakening, and he quickly transformed pieces of music  into a concert grade performance.

On the tea tree lake
Yes - it was fun!


Whilst all the activities were conducted in a serious and professional manner, the whole atmosphere was friendly, encouraging and supportive no matter what one’s level of ability or experience was.

Rock climbing
Scaling new heights

The variety provided by alternating band rehearsals with ‘adrenalin’ sessions such as basket ball, canoeing, indoor rock climbing, ensured that our concentration could be maintained. And there was still plenty of time in the evenings for a social get together over a glass or two of one’s favourite beverage.

Targets achieved

Plenty of musical attention from the 'master'

David King gave his all, conducting two band rehearsals each day and providing one-on-one tutorials and lessons for each and every participant over the four days, then in the evenings hosting a ‘performance workshop’ to broaden our perspective of playing brass instruments.

Toronto Brass Members
The Toronto group strike a pose

Momentous Occasion

All in all the inaugural Byron Brass Summer School was a momentous occasion. Opportunities to experience the guidance of a teacher of the stature of David King come rarely in Australia and should be grasped by all serious students of brass instruments. Let us hope the opportunity will present itself again next year.

Yoga on the beach

Jack Hornsby

Photos: Amanda Casagrande


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