Latest News

Why that monkey washes his balls in my whiskey

On Saturday Thumb will perform the premiere of Why that monkey washes his balls in my whiskey, by Andy Ingamells. Whilst the work isn’t completely new, it’s an adaptation for ensemble based on the original, a fragment of which is available here.

Click here for full programme details.

Greenbelt 2014

All is well and busy behind the scenes at the Thumb camp.

However, in the meantime we have some news. Thumb has been invited to return to Greenbelt following the ensemble’s first visit in August 2011. This year we will perform the second performance of our commissioned Clancy work, Strange to See You Again, Andriessen’s Workers’ Union and a new ensemble work featuring a scratch choir of festival punters, by Andy Ingamells.

Will be fun to get the band back together.

Strange to See You Again

Very many thanks to all who came to support our most recent performance at the CBSO Centre on March 10th. It was an exciting programme for us as we premiered our first commission – Seán Clancy’s Strange to See You Again. If you missed the performance you can hear it on our soundcloud page.

Having had a very successful season of concerts since October we are now taking a little break, whilst we plan our future programme of events. We have an exciting future ahead; one thing we are particularly looking forward to is our upcoming tour to Gibraltar where we will perform more innovative 31 tone equal temperament based music from Stuart Stevens and also give our second performance of Strange to See You Again. We are also planning a call for scores in a unique concert of miniatures by emerging composers. More details will be given here, and on our website in due course.

We’re also looking forward to presenting more new music from our Composer-In-Associaion, Marc Yeats, as well as showcasing the best new music from emerging composers from Birmingham and further afield.

Thank you all for the support you have shown since October, we’re all looking forward to more exciting things to come.

Upcoming concert: Crossing the Atlantic with BCMG

Rehearsals are underway for our upcoming concert this Sunday 10 March which is a late concert after Birmingham Contemporary Music Group‘s Crossing the AtlanticWhereas BCMG cross the Atlantic from the UK to the US, Thumb make the return journey, with a stop-over in the Republic of Ireland. You can find more details of the concert here. The concert is particularly exciting for us as it includes our premiere commission, with composer Seán Clancy‘s Strange to See You Again, a Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Alto Saxophone & Ensemble. Our guest soloists are the fantastic BCMG musicians Alex Wood (violin) and Kyle Horch (saxophone). The BCMG concert (including the premiere of Joanna Lee‘s latest piece) starts at 7,30pm at the CBSO Centre, and Thumb will perform around 9.45pm.

Recording of Marc Yeats’ Black Bile now online

We have put up our live recording of Thumb Composer-in-Association Marc Yeats’ piece Black Bile onto our Soundcloud page. Have a cup of tea, sit back and listen here.

Upcoming concert: Black Bile

Thumb have hit the ground running this new year with rehearsals already underway for our first concert of 2013: Black Bile.

This concert features the premiere of a new work by Thumb’s new composer-in-association, Marc Yeats. This is the start of what we hope will be a very fruitful relationship, both for Thumb and for Marc.

The concert will also feature works by composers Seán Clancy, Benjamin Graves, and Andy Ingamells.

Find out more information here.

Composer-In-Association – Marc Yeats

Thumb announces the ensemble’s first Composer-In-Association. Over the coming years Thumb will work closely with Marc Yeats as he writes new music for the ensemble, and participates in mentoring projects with upcoming composers. Find out a little about him here in a 60 second interview between Artistic Director Dan Watson and Marc Yeats.

The Tempest – Tonight

Tonight’s concert will, after all, be in the Recital Hall (still at 8 p.m.).

It’s the last concert of 2012, and what an exciting year we’ve had. We hope to see many of you tonight, but if not, at one or more of our exciting projects in 2013.

The Tempest

Full details of our next concert are online. Follow the link here, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Please note the change of venue and start time, we are now in Adrian Boult Hall at 8 p.m.

RVW Trust funds Thumb’s premiere commission

We’re extremely pleased to announce that the RVW Trust are generously supporting the commissioning of a new work by composer Seán Clancy. Seán is writing a double concerto which will be performed by Thumb and two Birmingham Contemporary Music Group soloists in March 2013.

This is part of the Musicians Benevolent Fund Emerging Excellence Awards, an ensemble development project which includes Thumb being mentored by BCMG over the course of this academic year. As we seek to make a significant impact in the world of contemporary music, we hope this will be the first of many commissions over the coming years.


A Snapshot of Turnage

On Thursday November 15th at 8 p.m. Thumb perform an exciting programme featuring ensemble and solo items by Mark-Anthony Turnage. The concert is the first of a double bill as part of Turnage’s residency at Birmingham Conservatoire.

For more details on this concert click here.

For tickets and information on the other half of the double bill (performed by the Thallein Ensemble), please visit Birmingham Conservatoire‘s website.

Camden Songbook 2012

Programme details are now online here for the Camden gig on Wednesday 10 October.

Ticket information is available here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Thumb Secures Funding

Thumb has recently won funding from the Musicians Benevolent Fund as part of the Emerging Excellence Awards to put on a joint project with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, which will include working with two BCMG soloists and commissioning a new double concerto from Seán Clancy.

Further details to follow.

Meet the new Thumb players

New biographies online for the newest Thumb players. Find out more about them by clicking on the following links:

Ruth Woolley
Akvilė Šmotavičiūtė
Zhivko Georgiev

You can also find out about what Benjamin Graves has been doing before he rejoined Thumb, and there is also a brand new page for Jenni Hogan.

Happy reading!