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Ida Holm Olaussen & the Alta Brass Quintet

Norwegian hornist Ida Holm Olaussen (principal of the Arctic Philharmonic) talks to us about the Alta Brass Quintet, with which she has several projects.
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Ida Holm Olaussen Alta Brass Quintet

Are there any projects outside of the Arctic Philharmonic that you are working on?

Right now, I am working with my brass quintet from my home town — the Alta Brass Quintet. Many musicians have been coming from there in the past, but not so many brass students in the last few years. Last year we did a series of concerts to try and inspire some brass players, and this year we are launching the Sommerlig Messing — a summer brass school with coaching opportunities. We will make a brass quintet from some young musicians, coach them, culminating in a joint performance. So, this is taking a lot of time at the moment — doing all the administration, applying for funding etc. We have our big goals artistically, but then we have to think down to earth, too — where are the kids going to eat, sleep, etc. We have found a place now so we will be able to play together, talk together and hang out. It will be pretty intensive but hopefully really beneficial for the young musicians. The county is paying for most of it, too, so it is a very accessible scheme.

This sounds great! How did you come up with the idea?

It came about through conversations with my trumpet player friend, who is living in Gothenburg. The tuba player is our old teacher, and we were all discussing how it is sad that far fewer kids are signing up to play in the wind band nowadays.

Is there any reason you can think of why the bands have declined?

It is hard to pin a reason, but when we did it as kids, there were loads of other like-minded kids doing the wind band, so it encouraged you to go to rehearsals. The lockdown has also meant the bands haven’t been able to meet, which has played its part in reducing attendance.

Alta Brass Quintet Website: altamessingkvintett.no

Full Interview: “Anything You Do That Makes Your Life Better Makes You a Better Horn Player”

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