5 December 2021

AIM launches new Brass and Reeds program

ben gurton news

THE FUTURE OF THE HORN SECTION.

AIM is thrilled to announce the launch of a dedicated Brass and Reeds stream to our Bachelor of Contemporary Music program. Our Brass and Reeds program has been created in response to the significant demand for talented horn section players in the Australian and international music industry as touring and theatre return. 

AIM’s Brass and Reeds course is led by accomplished trombonist Ben Gurton, who’s extensive performance work alongside world-class Australian and international artists is testament to his ability to build a flourishing musical career as an in-demand musician. Gurton will mentor students to work with original or cover bands, record as session players in the studio, appear in musical theatre productions and take on touring and performance gigs. Graduates will gain a specialised skill-set and access to industry connections designed to take advantage of burgeoning opportunities in this field.

Ben Gurton’s credits span all realms of contemporary popular music. “I look back very proudly on recording and touring with Guy Sebastian, playing The Logies with Jessica Mauboy (or at the Opera House the night she won Australian Idol!), headlining Byron Bay Blues and Roots with Noel Gallagher, playing Allianz Stadium with Michael Buble, playing live for Tones And I at the ARIA Awards and more recently, touring with the amazing Tim Minchin,” Ben says. “Alongside that were the times I sat on the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall stage behind artists like Florence And The Machine, Sarah Blasko, Michael Bolton and Jerry Lewis. But surely the highlight was recording for David Hasselhoff’s ‘Jump In My Car!’” he laughs.

“Brass and reeds players are finding an incredible diversity of work in the contemporary field,” Gurton explains. “Online bands such as Cory Wong, Dirty Loops and Snarky Puppy all feature fantastic horn sections, whilst local bands such as The Teskey Brothers, Cat Empire and Tones And I are doing the same,” he adds. 

As the live touring industry roars back to life, there is a concurrent resurgence of demand for horn section players in the live arena. “This has meant there are great opportunities to be found in pop/roots/funk bands at all levels of playing; live and online,” he confirms. 

“The musical theatre industry is going from strength to strength with strong demand for brass and reeds players in musical productions,” he continues. “The recent reopening of the Theatre Royal and the planned addition of two more theatres in Sydney will ultimately double the amount of shows being cast. This will provide fantastic career placements for musicians  trained in the diverse styles and technical requirements to succeed in a musical theatre pit.”

AIM’s Brass and Reeds program is heavily focused on empowering students to develop world-class musicianship (with an emphasis on trumpet, saxophone and trombone). The new stream will also include the other key educational elements of our Bachelor of Contemporary Music program like composing, arranging, ensemble work and creative collaboration. As one of Australia’s only tertiary institutions dedicated exclusively to music, AIM students join a creative community that includes music theatre performers, audio engineers, composers and performers of all disciplines. For more information on this exciting new stream, get in touch with us today on enquiries@aim.edu.au.

Maria Patterson

Maria Patterson

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