Million Wind Philharmonic

Although the Million Wind Philharmonic is a relative newcomer to Bangkok’s vibrant music scene – the ensemble has only been together for four years – its first concert in nearly two years was eagerly anticipated by both players and audience alike.

The brainchild of Vichit Teerawongwiwat, piccolo player in the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, the Million Wind Philharmonic is a very special ensemble. It was formed to compete in a wind band competition in Thailand boasting a 1st prize of 1M Thai Baht (approx £23,500). Vichit (lovingly known as Yeah) invited all his friends and colleagues to join the ensemble and, after much rehearsal time, duly won the competition, and the ‘Million’ Wind Ensemble was born!

Yeah discussed the win with his colleagues and it was decided to put the winnings to good use and more concerts were organised along with the creation of the Million Youth Philharmonic.

I was thrilled to be invited to perform with the ensemble as guest principal trumpet and was immediately struck by the passion and commitment of the players and the high standard of performance by the students who were playing ‘side-by-side’ with the professional musicians.

The pro players are drawn from the Thailand Philharmonic, Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra and the talented pool of freelance musicians who give their time freely to rehearse and perform for the benefit of the Bangkok community.

The concert on Saturday 14th May 2022 took place in the Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University, showcasing some of the low brass principal players as soloists, culminating in an extraordinary wind band version of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite to a capacity audience of over 300 people.

For more information about the Million Wind Philharmonic please use the following links:

All photographs courtesy of Million Wind Philharmonic

Siam Duriyang Music Workshop 2022

I was thrilled to be invited by Dr Yos Vaneesorn, principal clarinet in the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra and one of the most highly regarded musicians in Thailand, to work with some of Thailand’s talented young trumpeters as part of the Siam Duriyang Music Workshops 2022.

Thailand is rapidly becoming a key player in the development of some of Asia’s best young brass players. The country boasts two superb symphony orchestras, a collection of excellent university music faculties, several specialist music colleges plus several stunning concert halls. Throw into the mix highly committed and experienced teachers it is no wonder that young Thai musicians are picking up some of the top orchestral positions in Asia.

The trumpet workshops were held at the Horwang School, one of the best schools for young musicians in Thailand, and it was clear all the students present were committed and determined to realise to the full their talents as musicians. Apart from covering aspects of basic technique we also rehearsed and performed two short pieces by Dr Yos, The Crocodile followed by The Spider.

Siam Duriyang Music Workshop 2022 also included masterclasses by Dr Daren Robbins (horn), Supat Hanpatanachai (saxophone) and Prapat Prateepphlipon (bass trombone)

Trumpeters (from left to right:
1.Loy Siang Kang (YST)
2.Chanun Mallanoo (YST)
3.Attaphat Khunrattanaprakarn (SatiKU)
4.Suraseth Prasunthawong (CU)
5.Chatchanok Pibool (CU)
6.Nunnapat Tanjitsatum (CU)
7.Wasin Chaiprasert (TUN)
8.Kanapod Wangtrakool (Horwang)

Peace for Ukraine on Spotify

Peace for Ukraine, featuring the beautiful Prayer of St Gregory by the American composer, Alan Hovhaness has been released on Spotify.

The performance by Paul Archibald (trumpet) and Mariko Ono (piano) has also been used as the music to accompany a film to highlight the work of The Salvation Army with refugees in Ukraine and bordering countries. The film also contains information on how to support the invaluable The Salvation Army is currently doing in the region.

Thailand Brass

It was a great start for the newly inaugurated Thailand Brass. A recording session for a new promo video saw some great music recorded by Samuel Scheidt, Victor Ewald and Leonard Bernstein.

Thailand Brass play Bernstein’s ‘Tonight‘

There’s plenty of activities planned for the group in the future starting with a Brass Day towards the end of June and educational concerts in schools around Thailand later in the year. You can keep up to date with future performances by following the group on its Facebook page which can be found here

Paul Archibald (trumpet), Wirote Srisununrat (trumpet), Krit Vi (horn), Thanapoom Sriwiset (trombone), Sittidech Saohong (tuba)

Thanks to Yamaha Thailand for the use of their superb concert hall and for facilitating the audio/visual recording and to World Group Thailand for design of Thailand Brass concert wear.

Free Downloads

Welcome to my new GIVEAWAYS page! There’ll be regular free downloads available and the process is very simple: go to the Giveaways page and click on the download link for the product you require. You’ll be asked to fill in your email address but this is only to allow the download link to be sent to your email address. You won’t receive any unwanted spam.


At the moment the complete series of three BREATHE books are available. Check out the downloads page here:

The BREATHE books are a complete practice method to get your playing in shape and to improve your range and stamina. Ideal for trumpeters and cornet players but can also be helpful for all treble clef instruments.

A selection of exercises from BREATHE Book 1

Each book is divided into 10 lessons so why not try Lesson 1 for a week and see how you get on? If you practice the method every day you’ll notice a difference by the end of the first lesson. The lessons are stand alone or can be used as a warm up regime to take you onto the next stage of your practice.

Continue reading

Great Conductors

I had the pleasure once again of talking to Phil Whelan, host of RTHK’s Morning Brew radio show, about the contentious subject of great conductors. It’s a difficult topic to discuss and every musician has their own experiences and stories, so giving a reasoned overview of the merits of the ‘great’ conductors needs thinking about.

However, I chose four conductors who, without doubt, have made a huge impact on music-making in the 20th and 21st century. Each of these conductors had their own style and focussed their attention on diverse repertoire but there is no denying they have left a remarkable legacy of recorded music for us to enjoy.

In the case of Sir Simon Rattle, I’m glad to report he is still active in making recordings so there is still plenty to come from this remarkable conductor. The four conductors I chose were:

Here is a list of the repertoire performed during the programme:

Carlos Kleiber
Borodin Symphony No 2 last movement
Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra

Sir Georg Solti
Puccini Tosca
Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore
National Philharmonic Orchestra

Claudio Abbado
Tchaikovsky Symphony No 4 last movement
Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Sir Simon Rattle
Rite of Spring ‘Sacrificial Dance’
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Discovering a Hidden Gem in Bangkok

A chance invitation by a student at the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music to attend a concert given by her wind trio introduced me to another hidden gem in Bangkok. Thailand Creative and Design Centre (TCDC) is situated at the side and back wing of the historical Grand Postal Building, itself one the most impressive post offices you’ll ever see

TCDC provides a broad range of resources and services including several libraries, exhibition spaces and workshops and it offers a place where people can connect, discuss, and work together.

Interestingly, this resource centre isn’t planned as a traditional ‘silence’ library. Instead, a large portion of the space is designed to encourage conversations in a setting more like a cafe or a co-working space.

It’s a bright, modern airy building with a very ‘creative’ feel to it. I signed up as member on the spot and I was delighted to find out the organic coffee in the centre’s cafe was just the best. By the way, the concert was fabulous and the students from PGVIM did themselves proud.

New Recording Gear!

A microphone fail during a live interview with Phil Whelan on RTHK’s Morning Brew this week has prompted me into action to upgrade some of my recording gear.

After copious amounts of advice I’ve settled for the Scarlett Focusrite 4i4 audio interface which sits on the desks of more musicians and producers than any other. It gives you studio-quality sound for a very reasonable budget.

The box comes with four line inputs for connecting synths or other line-level audio, and four balanced outputs, for monitoring and effects. It also comes with two of the best performing Scarlett mic preamps for miking up guitars or recording vocals and two instrument inputs.

Coupled up with this audio interface I also invested in a Rode NT2-A Condenser Mic. Rode NT2-A which is a studio microphone used in many recording studios. The main sound pickup pattern is Cardioid from the side, but can be adjusted to Omni or Figure 8. It’s fairly state-of-the-art and it’s designed and manufactured in Australia. I’m particularly impressed with its light weight, beautiful design and it really does give clear and resonant sounds.

Finally, I needed an excellent stand and boom for such a great microphone so I opted for the TASCAM TM-AM2. This mic stand has a boom scissor arm that keeps the mic positioned with real stability. It also has a 20″ long spring-balanced arm so that the microphone can be easily set in position wherever you need it. The TM-AM2 comes with a microphone stand that can also be attached to a desk or table and has a boom scissor arm that can be adjusted like that of a desk lamp. 

So, all-in-all it was a great shopping trip and I’m looking forward to uploading some of my efforts onto my website and my Soundcloud page. With this fabulous equipment I really don’t have any excuse now…

My Thank You To Roger Williams

A personal message to Roger Williams, a friend and colleague, who passed away on Thursday 19th January 2017.

Dear Roger

I first met you in September 1974 when I started at the Royal Academy of Music. You were extraordinary. Mildly eccentric, bubbly, enthusiastic, friendly, kind, thoughtful, generous, seemingly always laughing, slightly old-fashioned and child-like in your love of music. At 18, coming from the north where emotions were kept on a tight rein, your individuality and rather bohemian approach to life was something quite new. In short, I hadn’t really met anyone like you before.

During that first week you befriended me and invited me back to your flat in Bayswater to see your record collection and hear some of the recordings you had made on your reel-to-reel recorder. You cooked fried eggs and we listened to composers I’d never heard of and whose names I couldn’t pronounce. You seemed to speak of these composers as personal friends. At the time I couldn’t thank you enough. That’s how I feel now. So, here are a few more reasons why I need to thank you again. Thank you Roger for:

playing me the 13 versions you had of Adolph Herseth performing the opening of Pictures at an Exhibition. That sound, so noble and majestic, defined for me how orchestral trumpet playing should be.

dragging me along on cold, winter nights to the evening sessions of contemporary music at Morley College conducted by Michael Graubart to play music by Second Viennese School composers. I thought you were both nuts but you convinced me to be open-minded and to explore the unusual.

introducing me to James Blair and the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra to play -you guessed it – Pictures at an Exhibition. You were so supportive, so enthusiastically positive, always reminding me to have Adolph’s sound in my head during rehearsals. Your confidence in me even convinced me I could come close to that glorious sound of the great man.


inviting me to play with Richard Bernas and Music Projects/London in crazy, avant-garde programmes in strange venues. You convinced me that playing the trumpet whilst rotating in an office chair on stage at the ICA could be great art if you believed in it enough. I did it and you were right.

still retaining your incredible optimism when sitting in an open truck travelling to Warsaw overnight in temperatures of -20C after our tour bus broke down in the snow and we had to hitch a lift to catch the flight home. You said everything would be fine and it was.

for being the enthusiastic cyclist who thought it was perfectly normal to attach your bass trombone behind your bike and ride around London to your gigs – years before Boris had thought of his bikes and was still behaving like a prat at Eton.

for all the copying you did for me as I churned out brass arrangements, always behind schedule, always illegibly written, probably receiving better performances than they deserved because you presented the parts so beautifully.

introducing me to the world of folk music, playing at rain-soaked festivals in out- of-the-way places, allowing me to work with some of the most creative musicians imaginable and to reignite my love of community-inspired music. That’s where I came from after all.

for never losing your boyish-ness, your extrovert-ness, your playful approach to every situation, your eccentricity, your love of reading and podcasts from unheard-of music stations, and, of course, your love of music

for your fabulous playing, the humility and sincerity you brought to your professional career, your goodwill and sense of humour amongst your friends and colleagues and for your support and encouragement to just about every musician with whom you performed.

for showing how to balance the difficulties of a professional career with family life, for being a caring and loving father and husband and for always having time for everyone whenever they needed it.


for the final years of your life. For the grace in which you carried your burden, for the dignity you displayed throughout the slow, relentless march of your cancer, for the bravery you showed in the face of a terminal illness and for the zest for life that you maintained through to your final hours.

Thank you Roger, thank you, thank you, thank you….

Take your rest now my dear friend and know that you made a difference. You made your mark and you influenced all of us.

Thank you Roger