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"Bones Apart represents all that is best about British brass playing, with a beauty of sound and musicality that is simply stunning. They communicate with passion and humour and serve as wonderful ambassadors for the trombone"

Kevin Price,

Head of Music Performance,

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

Sample programmes

Bones Apart performs a wide variety of repertoire combining original works and skilful arrangements. Composers such as Beethoven, Bruckner and Stravinsky have all written for trombone ensemble. Beethoven wrote his 'Equali' for four trombones in 1812 and it was also played at his funeral. Berlioz called the trombone the “true head of the family of wind instruments” and Elgar and Holst both played the trombone. In fact Gustav Holst was a member of the Carl Rosa Opera Company.

Bones Apart has commissioned many new works for trombone quartet including pieces from composers such as Gary Carpenter, Matthew Taylor, Christian Lindberg, John Kenny, Dan Jenkins and Peter Meechan.

Here are some examples of the variety of programmes we perform. We can also tailor our programme by request to suit any event. 

For sound-clips please visit our Shop page.

Wonder Women

Muses, Queens and Warriors

O quam mirabilis est - Hildegard von Bingen

Suite from Bonduca (Boudicca) - Henry Purcell

Torc - Helen Vollam (2021)

Piangerò, la sorte mia from Giulio Cesare - G.F.Handel

Suite from Sant Alessio - Camilla de Rossi

Vignettes - Selection of works by Lili and Nadia Boulanger

First Trombone Quartet - Saskia Apon (2000)

Lady Sings the Blues - Songs by Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, Ann Ronell

Blues Melba - Melba Liston

Songs from Calamity Jane - Fain and Webster

“ Bones Apart enjoys a stellar reputation for producing chamber music of the very highest standard. A real coup, then, for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to showcase the ensemble in its prestigious Fridays at One slot."

"... the music was brought to the stage by a chamber group at the peak of its powers in a performance of elegance, subtlety and considerable variety in tonal colour."

Mark Good, Bandsman magazine

“ It was a wonderful performance. I never knew that trombones could sound like that! “ 

Louise, audience member

“ It was absolutely fabulous. I particularly enjoyed the premiere of the new composition, but the entire programme was very well planned with a wonderful selection of pieces. “

Vicky, audience member 

“If music be the food of love…”

Music inspired by the works of William Shakespeare

Agincourt Song - Anon.

Four Shakespeare Songs - Tim Jackson (2008)

Scenes from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' - Mendelssohn

Such Sweet Thunder - Duke Ellington

Suite from 'Hamlet' - Tchaikovsky

Poem Unlimited - Jason Carr (1999)

Songs from 'Kiss me Kate' - Cole Porter

Shakespeare and all that jazz - John Dankworth

West Side Story Selection - Leonard Bernstein

" Music by Gounod, Debussy and Mendelssohn may seem unlikely material for four trombones but this highly accomplished all-female quartet demonstrated it was not in their Shakespeare-inspired concert. The tonal variety and pliancy of musical line produced by three tenor trombones and one bass trombone was quite astonishing at times. "

Bernard Lee, Sheffield Telegraph

“ A well-conceived programme blended an array of musical styles, all inspired by the works of Shakespeare, ranging from the Baroque to Bernstein. Three movements from Purcell’s The Fairie Queen opened the concert, including a light-footed arrangement of the ‘Chaconne.’ There was also some warm, lyrical playing in Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with the melody, originally appearing on the French horn in the orchestral version, here beguilingly played by Jayne Murrill. “

Daniel Harding, Deputy Director of University Music, Kent University

Chasing Legends

Colourful tales of King Arthur, Sleeping Beauty, Robin Hood and Sweeney Todd

Suite from King​ Arthur - Purcell

Scenes from Sherwood - Dan Jenkins (2012)

Tales from Mother Goose - Ravel / Tchaikovsky / Humperdinck / Massenet

Little Suite from Sweeney Todd - Malcolm Arnold 

Overture to the Beggar’s Opera - Pepusch

A Little Threepenny Music - Kurt Weill

In the Hall of the Mountain King - Grieg

Songs from My Fair Lady - Lerner and Loewe

“ Their extraordinary technical ability and expressive harmonies, innate musicality and wonderful sounds successfully seduced​​ a Leicester Lunchtime Concert audience. 

Monteverdi, Purcell, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Massenet and Humperdinck played by trombones was like seeing composers in new clothes. Ravel’s Pavane, always moving was exquisite. Weill’s Threepenny Opera was much enhanced by a slippery, slidey Mack the Knife well-suited to the trombone’s unique glissando.

Dan Jenkins’ commission Scenes from Sherwood were literally character building from a stalwart Robin Hood to a drunken Friar Tuck. It had outlaws descending from trees and a tremendous battle with the Sherriff of Nottingham’s men.

Finally, over to Big Band mode with a tribute to the equally seductive Judy Garland in a lilting Over the Rainbow and a bouncy Get Happy. Bliss! “

Peter Baker, Leicester International Music Festival

El Nuevo Mundo

A musical voyage from the Spanish peninsula to the discovery of The Americas

Three Pieces from the Spanish Renaissance - Anon

Naranjitay - Anon

Vivencies - Christian Lindberg (2004)

Five Spirituals - Traditional/Purnell

Three Preludes - Gershwin

Postcards from Argentina - Piazzolla

La Cumparsita - Rodriguez

Choros and Tangos - Nazareth / Gonzaga 

Tico Tico non fuba - Abreu

"In their concert they showed the RNCM brass students just how things should be done, with a flawless concert, demonstrating perfect balance, intonation, and their wonderful musical versatility. The place has buzzed with enthusiasm ever since their visit. A wonderful example to any young group who are wondering where to go in their musical life."

John Miller, Director of Brass Studies, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester 

Great American Songbook

The iconic sounds of America

Old American Songs - Traditional

Myths and Legends - Eric Ewazen (2001)

Five Spirituals - Traditional/Purnell

Variations on Annie Laurie - Arthur Pryor

Such Sweet Thunder - Duke Ellington

Jeanie with the light brown hair - Foster

The Trolley Song - Martin/Blane

‘A Portrait of Ella’ - featuring songs by Cole Porter, Ann Ronell, Rodgers & Hart and Harold Arlen

“ Each movement had such a wonderful musicality and excitement. I loved the dramatic intensity and wonderful resonance with which you played the first movement, with your kaleidoscopic colours throughout. Your gorgeous blend, and chorale-like sound in the second movement was simply gorgeous, and your singing and expressive interpretation of all the melodies made the music so powerful! In the virtuoso solo passages, your playing was dazzling!

It means SO much to a composer to have their music played and recorded with such care, such fantastic attention to detail, and such beauty!!! 

All my best to you from New York City! “

Eric Ewazen, composer

La Fiesta!

the sizzling splendour of Spain 

Overture to 'The Barber of Seville' - Rossini

Tango from ‘España’ - Albeniz

Miller’s Dance - De Falla 

Intermedio from La Boda de Luis Alonso - Gimenez

Suite from ‘Carmen’ - Bizet

El Noi de la Mare - Llobet

Señoras - Dan Jenkins (2010)

Latinolé: songs by Jobim, Velásquez and Youmans

Christmas with Bones Apart

Troika from 'Lieutenant Kijé’ - Prokofiev

Carol of the Bells - Leontovych

Shepherds' Farewell - Berlioz

Suite from 'The Nutcracker' - Tchaikovsky

Il est né, le divin Enfant - Fauré

In The Bleak Midwinter - Holst

The First Nowell - Hely-Hutchinson

Silent Night - Gruber

...and some Swinging Christmas favourites!