Houlding and Varley inspire on Jena Summer camp

Two leading British musicians help inspire brass talent in Germany.

Houlding and Varley
  Chris Houlding and Helen Varley inspired delegates from all over Germany

Two leading brass musicians have helped inspire players from all corners of Germany after joining forces for a special 'Summercamp 21' in Jena.

Chris Houlding and Helen Varley were the invited guest lecturers, with Chris telling 4BR: "I have to say that it was a fantastic musical experience — one based on incredible commitment from all participants with bags and bags of dedication, zeal and passion."


The course was organised by the brass music association Blasmusikverein Carl Zeiss Jena e.V., a non-profit organisation that is home to four brass bands (Brass Bands BlechKLANG and VielKLANG, Jugend Brass Band BlechKLANG and Junior Brass Band KLANGwelt), as well as its own orchestra school KLANGwelt and the competence centre for brass bands.

The Creative Director is the inspirational figure of Alexander Richter, who together with the Orchestra Director Katrin Weber and an international team of lecturers and supervisors, has developed the concept, which built on last year's successful 'Summer Brass Band Camp'.

Helen Varley told 4BR: "The enthusiasm of everyone involved was really overwhelming — it just had so much energy. It was a great pleasure to experience this first hand at such a wonderfully organised event."


More than 70 participants took the opportunity to be a part of the new six-day venture which combined tutti, sectional, ensemble and individual rehearsals, as well as various leisure activities.

There was a wide variety of repertoire on offer; from classic Salvation Army pieces to popular entertainment works, test pieces, various film scores and also classical transcriptions.

The enthusiasm of everyone involved was really overwhelming — it just had so much energy. It was a great pleasure to experience this first hand at such a wonderfully organised eventHelen Varley


Alexander told 4BR: "This gave plenty of music to explore and enjoy and it was fantastic that it could be done with Chris and Helen who brought so much experience and talent to inspire the delegates.

The atmosphere throughout the course was incredibly positive. The sense of community and togetherness across all age groups and the will for permanent development are the factors that make our entire structure something very special.

Our special thanks go to all the supporters and partners such as Besson, Denis Wick, the Sparkassenstiftung Jena-Saale-Holzland and the MAXX Hotel Jena — who made this possible."

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