Brass Band Buizingen perform “Dial `H’ for Hitchcock” at the 40th European Brass Band Championships

Posted in News on May 5th, 2017 by Nigel – Comments Off on Brass Band Buizingen perform “Dial `H’ for Hitchcock” at the 40th European Brass Band Championships

A big thank you to Luc Vertommen and Brass Band Buizingen for letting me tag along with you all this past weekend at the European Brass Band Championships – I know it was a tough, tough challenge to start both days in draw number one position! – The sign of true and great champions and musicians is to bounce back stronger and better than before – I thank you ALL for your totally committed performance yet again and of course with “Dial `H’ for Hitchcock” – there have been so many positive comments about your performance of “Dial H……”, this weekend and certainly many of the experts and pundits rated highly what you did. What can a composer ask for, but total commitment and dedication and of course friendship and you delivered on all these qualities!

“Dial `H’ for Hitchcock”
performed live by Brass Band Buizingen under the direction of Luc Vertommen

Nigel Clarke: Music for Wind Orchestra – Toccata Classics TOCC 0412

Posted in News on April 25th, 2017 by Nigel – Comments Off on Nigel Clarke: Music for Wind Orchestra – Toccata Classics TOCC 0412

Very excited that Toccata Classics are in the final stages of preparing a disc of my most recent wind orchestra works which include my concerto “Mysteries of the Horizon” performed by Harmen Vanhoorne (cornet) and my Symphony No 1 “A Richer Dust” for Speaker and Wind Orchestra with text by Malene Sheppard Skaerved (TOCC 0412) – We recorded both works with the Middle Tennessee State University Wind Orchestra under the brilliant direction of conductor Reed Thomas – The CD is to be released in July this year and has been two years in the making. Thank you to all those that have put so much work in to this project. More to follow shortly.


`Mysteries of the Horizon’ at Northwestern State University (Louisiana, USA)

Posted in News on March 21st, 2017 by Nigel – Comments Off on `Mysteries of the Horizon’ at Northwestern State University (Louisiana, USA)

It is a short while since our extraordinary adventure whilst visiting your University! Thank you so much for this fabulous and enriching musical experience at your unique University. The commitment that the students showed when playing `Mysteries of the Horizon’ was total and resulted in a stellar performance of my concerto – I could not have wished for more! The Wind Symphony’s approach to rehearsal was always professional and hard working and again reflects on the good work that is happening in your school.

I have said this on many occasions to Jeff Matthews (Director of Bands) that Northwestern’s approach to music-making and education is exceptional and the students are most fortunate to be in this artistic oasis. Very few great achievements happen in life by accident, and it is obvious to me that the dedication amongst the University staff is the key to your institution’s ongoing immense success –  your winning formula is simple it seems, in that the students’ musical education and welfare always come first. I am continually impressed by your students’ inquiring minds and the way they ask pertinent questions, which is a great way to learn and gain self-confidence. Beyond my project, attending Northwestern’s production of “Next to Normal” showed another aspect of the creative work that it happening at your school.

A special thank you to Cornet soloist Harmen Vanhoorne, guest conductor Reed Thomas and to all for helping me understand fully  the meaning of `Southern Hospitality’!!

Guest conductor Reed Thomas hugs solists Harmen Vanhoorne after a breathtaking performance of `Mysteries of the Horizon’ with the Wind Symphony at Northwestern State University 16/02/17 (Louisiana, USA)














Soloist Harmen Vanhoorne – ‘perfection personified’!















Jeff Matthews congratulates maestro Reed Thomas and Harmen Vanhoorne









Though I do not have a recording or video from our visit to Northwestern State, here is a performance they did last time I visited when they performed my `Earthrise’ under the baton of their Director of Bands Jeff Matthews.



`Mysteries of the Horizon’ at MTSU & Toccata Classics

Posted in News on March 21st, 2017 by Nigel – Comments Off on `Mysteries of the Horizon’ at MTSU & Toccata Classics

I have visited Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) countless times and each project in its own way has been more complicated than the previous. On my most recent visit with Belgian Cornet virtuoso Harmen Vanhoorne you all rose to the challenge once again! The professional attitude of all of the students is second to none and reflects very positively on the music school’s dedicated teachers. Any worthy institution is always more than just a few energised individuals – MTSU’s strength is its strong sense of community and mutual support juxtaposed with excellent teaching. The school’s ethos is embodied in the way that Mike Arndt went beyond the call of duty, giving generously of his personal time to be with us and make both and Harmen myself feel at home – the brass students are most fortunate to have him as a mentor and a member of the instrumental teaching staff! It is for this reason I am very proud to be `Visiting Composer to Middle Tennessee State University Bands’.

I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the honours band week too, and once again witnessing how the school carefully provides a healthy diet of quality music-making to the young players who attend the course – I am sure these experiences will remain with them forever.

As for you Reed Thomas (Director of Bands), words are not enough! The work you did with the ensemble when recording my Cornet/Trumpet Concerto`Mysteries of the Horizon’ was magnificent and your musicianship shone through – your professionalism is a constant example to those of us that work with you. What I most admire about your conducting is how you always take the performance to a whole different level compared with the rehearsal, and yet are so self-effacing. I am glad the students found working alongside Harmen beneficial and witnessing his unique and special approach to music-making. Harmen and I are thrilled with the final result of the recording session – this will be the definitive recording of my concerto and symphony for a very long time into the future. What better launch can these two pieces have? Beyond the performances that you have given, I will retain wonderful memories of working with you all.

The recording of that we did of `Mysteries of the Horizon’ will be released in July of this year on Toccata Classics and will be paired with my ‘A Richer Dust’ Symphony No. 1 for Speaker and Wind Orchestra with words by Malene Sheppard Skævard. The piece was written for Reed Thomas and MTSU.

A short extract from the recording session of  my Cornet/Trumpet Concerto`Mysteries of the Horizon’ performed by Harmen Vanhoorne and the MTSU Wind Ensemble conducted by Reed Thomas (07/02/17).





















A few days after the recording session the MTSU Wind Ensemble under the baton of Reed Thomas gave a sensational performance of `Mysteries ….’ with Harmen yet again proving he is a world beater!! I have to add to this I will never reveal what Harmen said to me that made be laugh out so loud!!!











A short extract from the recording session of ‘A Richer Dust’ Symphony No. 1 for Speaker and Wind Orchestra performed by the MTSU Wind Ensemble conducted by Reed Thomas with H. Stephen Smith as narrator.




Grimethorpe renew musical link with Nigel

Posted in News on December 8th, 2016 by Nigel – Comments Off on Grimethorpe renew musical link with Nigel

IMG_1371Grimethorpe Colliery Band has renewed it musical links with Nigel, with the announcement that he will become their ‘International Composer in Association’.

Closer Musical Relationship

Principal cornet Roger Webster confirmed that the Yorkshire band is planning to forge a closer musical relationship with Nigel over the next few years, and follows from their acclaimed premiere of his composition `Further Adventures of the Same’ at the 2016 RNCM Festival of Brass. A number of new projects are already being discussed.

Increase Profile

Nigel said: “From a young age, I became aware of the Grimethorpe Band through the new composition work that they performed under the baton of Elgar Howarth. I am proud to continue my relationship with them and will seek to help the Band increase its profile outside of the brass band world and encourage a new generation of composers and audiences to subscribe to this extraordinary group of musicians. I am also clearly looking forward to writing for the Band.”  

For more about the Grimethorpe Colliery Band go to: