On Friday 29th January at 3pm, Mirthy presented an online music concert featuring Queen Victoria’s Consort.

Who are the Queen Victoria’s Consort?

Queen Victoria's Consort is made up of some of the country’s leading early brass musicians and directed by Andy Kershaw (a freelance Tubist and early brass expert for film scores and period instrument orchestras). This concert features Robert Vanryne on Cornet, Jeremy West on Alto Saxhorn, Susan Addison on Trombone and Andy Kershaw on Ophicleide.

Why was your concert entitled ‘Brass from the Past’?

The ensemble brings to life a stunning collection of museum quality original 19th Century brass instruments including a set of seven brass instruments by Adolphe Sax. The group has unique arrangements of music of the time-period and performs dressed in Victorian Sunday best.

The wonderful collection of brass instruments played by the ensemble can be viewed on an online museum; these are one of the finest playing collections in private hands, it is a pleasure to introduce audiences to these antique musical treasures.

To make the concert look excellent and varied, we included some slide shows (over the music) of the ensemble rehearsing and performing at various events and also some close-up shots of the instruments and their Dates/history. Basically, a travel back in time!

Where have you performed previously?

To date QVC has performed at The London Transport Museum, Steam on the District Line, Buckingham Palace, Burgh House, Cambridge University and Alexandra Palace to name but a few. We have been featured at events reported in the Telegraph newspaper and on both BBC and ITV London news. The ensemble has also collaborated with historical companies such as English Heritage, Lincoln Castle and worked with the Acting Company ‘Time Will Tell’ and Globe actor Dickon Tyrrell.

Where did you record the performance for Mirthy?

The venues in the recording are The Forge, Reading (privately owned studio) and Girton College, Cambridge. Both are Covid secure and risk assessed: we stand to perform at 2 meters apart.

Being a musician during this pandemic must be incredibly tough, with concert halls and music venues closed. What are you currently working on?

Christmas 2020 saw QVC record a bespoke narrated version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ for Girton College, Cambridge and also some Virtual Victorian Christmas cards, after all the Victorians introduced many of our Christmas traditions.

Queen Victoria’s consort currently have a ‘Go fund me’ campaign running to record a concert to give virtually to care homes and those who may be isolated or lonely because of Covid. £2,500 will allow the musicians to record a fantastic concert that once filmed and edited can be shared and watched in an infinite number of care environments. This concert can be watched on television or tablet and also friends and family could join via Zoom.

The ensemble has the support of a number of care homes that have already given their support to the project and also the backing of a leading psychiatrist who has a special interest in the positive power of music, especially on those suffering with dementia.

That sounds fantastic! How can our Mirthy audience support this venture?  

All those who bought a ticket to attend our Mirthy concert already have! 50% of proceeds will be invested into this project. Any additional donations would also be much appreciated and can be made at our JustGiving page.

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