Ray Thompson

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Country:
United Kingdom

I was born in 1947 in Gateshead,Tyne & Wear,U.K. As a child I learnt to play both the Piano and French Horn.

I taught piano and brass instruments for many years.

I am a composer and arranger of mainly classical music. My music is a mixture of all sorts:

The bulk of my music is for Wind quintet, wind dectet and horn quartet: I have been arranging music for wind quintet for some years.

My quintet arrangements do not simply transcribe the music giving the top voicing/melody to the flute etc, which many people seem to do. I attempt to move the melody amongst all the players dovetailing it where needed.

I have arranged a mixture of classical, romantic and modern composers

My classical arrangements:

These arrangements of Mozart,Beethoven etc. may differ from other people's wind quintet arrangements.

Neither Mozart nor Beethoven wrote a quintet with the instrumentation that we have today. Their music was written in general for sextet or octet.

It was Anton Reicha's twenty-four quintets, begun in 1811, and the nine quintets of Franz Danzi that established the genre, and their pieces are still standards of the repertoire.

I am a horn player and made the decision to write the horn parts,as far as possible, as Mozart or Beethoven would have written them.(in their sextets/octets etc)

So, the horn parts are written in the key of the piece Eb,G,D,C or whatever, and as far as possible I limit the notes to that of the natural horn (i.e. no valves).

In my opinion this gives a more authentic sound to the music.

Of course, sometimes, if the music needs a particular tenor part/melody or harmony, I will write it for horn. BUT AS FAR AS POSSIBLE, I write for natural horn.

I also provide F horn parts for those players who can't/won't transpose.

I have also noticed that arrangements by other people have the horn player playing fast moving passages in the lower octave.This is difficult to play,doesn't sound very good and doesn't carry!! Far better to give that melody to a low clarinet or the bassoon, or move the melody up an octave.

My arrangements include Schumann's Kinderscenen (scenes from childhood),Mozart's divertimento 8 K 213 (originally written for wind sextet) and all the movts from Peter Warlock's Capriol Suite.

Orchestral arrangements/transcriptions of Debussy/Brahms piano pieces.

Some music by Handel arranged for concert/wind band.

I have some original concert band music.

Brass arrangements of the music of William Byrd/Scarlatti/Muffat both for brass quintet and brass choir (dectet).

I have been the Band Leader of the Alnwick Playhouse Concert Band since it's inception in 1994.It is based in Alnwick,Northumberland.

I have also been musical director for a lot of amateur stage musicals. I also play keyboard and was the founder member of the Ray Thompson Big Band playing big band jazz. I am also a member of a Northumberland wind quintet called "Quintessential" I have also number of duets, trios,quartets and quintets.

Finally I have uploaded a selection of the scales and arpeggios for Grades 1 to 5 in respect of the ABRSM exams in the UK (for brass and the more popular wind instruments!! *IMPORTANT* The selection of scales and arpeggios on these pages were uploaded some years ago. You should check they conform to the current ABRSM syllabus (U.K. Music Exam Board) before purchasing. I do not have the inclination or the time to continually check they are correct. Thank you. They were uploaded some years ago!

Score catalogue

Masters in this Hall - Wind quintet
Coventry Carol - Wind quintet
Good King Wenceslas - Wind quintet
Il Est Né - Wind quintet
Lullay My Liking - Wind quintet
The Birds Carol - Wind quintet
Eine Klein Nachtmusik I.Allegro - Quartet (Clarinet in Bb)
Angels, From the Realms of Glory - Quartet (Clarinet in Bb)
The Cascades - Quintet (Clarinet in Bb)
Maple Leaf Rag - Quintet (Clarinet in Bb)
Debussy: "Reverie" (clarinet quintet) - Quintet (Clarinet in Bb)
Pachelbel: Canon in D (Clarinet Quintet) - Quintet (Clarinet in Bb)
Bridal Chorus - Quintet (Clarinet in Bb)
String Trio Op.9 No.1 III Scherzo - Trio (Clarinet in Bb)
The Easy Winners - Trio (Clarinet in Bb)
Maple Leaf Rag - Trio (Clarinet in Bb)
"The Entertainer" - clarinet trio - Trio (Clarinet in Bb)
Le petit négre (clarinet trio) - Trio (Clarinet in Bb)
Funeral Music from Gotterdamerung - Concert band / wind band
Marais: Le Basque (solo clarinet and piano) - Solo instrument + piano (Clarinet in Bb)
Marais: Le Basque (solo horn with piano) - Solo instrument + piano (Horn in F)
Satie: Gymnopédie No.1 (clarinet and piano) - Solo instrument + piano (Clarinet in Bb)
Satie: Gymnopédie No.1 (flute and piano) - Solo instrument + piano (Flute)
Water Music: Air - Wind quartet
Bridal Chorus - Wind quintet
Flower Duet (Lakmé) - Wind quintet
Meditation from Thaïs - Wind quintet