About Travelling by Tuba

Travelling by Tuba





  Travelling by Tuba Chris Cranham and Stewart Death  

Chris and Stewart first met in 1987 as students at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. The following year Stewart travelled as an accompanist with Chris and three other tubists to Markneukirchen in East Germany to take part in their International Tuba Competition. The two performed together often and began to see the potential in a tuba and piano duo. It was in 1990 that Travelling by Tuba was born, when they started working for Live Music Now, a national charity started by Sir Yehudi Menuhin designed to take music to all parts of the community. Stewart’s added ability on the trumpet gave an extra dimension to the group in that between the two of them the whole range of brass instruments could be played.

In November 1991, Chris moved to Germany to take up the positions of tuba player of Rekkenze Brass and the Hof Symphony Orchestra in Bavaria. Gavin Woods took over from Chris and the group was soon earning itself a reputation and performing regularly.

Travelling by Tuba’s extensive recital schedule has included many concerts at music clubs and festivals throughout the UK, recitals at the Bridgewater Hall, St. David’s Hall and tours to Canada, America and Europe. Recently, they have returned from Carolina where they gave the American premiere of ‘A Rhapsody for Tuba, Piano and Wind Orchestra’ by the Scottish composer Andrew Duncan with the USA Army Band (Pershings Own). They have recorded three compact discs as well as having a series of arrangements published. The group has appeared regularly on BBC Radio and television and for many of the independent networks.

In 2000 Stewart and Gavin invited Chris, who had now returned from Germany, to become an associate member of the group. It was in 2004 that Chris took over from Gavin full time when Gavin went to live on the Isle of Lewis.

Travelling by Tuba has developed a highly successful award winning education programme suitable for children of all ages. It has been featured on Channel 4 on their Okey Cokey Karioke programme and in the Times Educational Supplement. Recently, they commissioned a childrens’ operettaThe Tuba Has Landed’ from the composer Robin Grant which had six performances as part of a year-long project in Blackpool schools. Four of the songs from this operetta are featured on their latest CD sung by children from the participating schools.

This outstanding success has led to sponsorship of the group by Wessex Tubas.

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  Chris Cranham  

Chris Cranham— Tuba

Chris Cranham attended Peter Symonds College in Winchester to study on the Hampshire Specialist Music Course with John Fletcher. He entered the Royal Northern College of Music in 1987 to study under Stuart Roebuck, former principal tuba with the Hallé Orchestra.

Chris won many competitions and scholarships and was for two years a member the World Youth Orchestra, touring South America, Canada and Europe. He gained the Professional Performers Diploma with Distinction in 1990 and gained his Graduate Diploma the following year. It was also in that year that he moved to Germany to play in one of Europe’s leading brass quintets— Rekkenze Brass. Chris made several CD productions with the quintet and toured extensively throughout Europe, America and the Far East. He also performed for television and radio and became principal tuba with the Hof Symphony Orchestra in Bavaria.

Since his return, Chris has been working both as a solo and orchestral tuba player as well as performing regularly with Travelling by Tuba.

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  Stewart Death  

Stewart Death— Piano

Stewart Death began his formal musical training at City University in 1984 studying piano with Alan Schiller at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  After graduating with a BSc(Hons) in music in 1987 he entered the Royal Northern College of Music to study piano accompaniment with David Lloyd gaining the prestigious Professional Performers Diploma.

Since leaving college he has toured throughout Europe with the Concordia Opera Trio and has been heard as an accompanist on Classic FM, BBC Radio and Independent Television.

He has worked as an accompanist for Welsh National Opera and has recorded several compact discs with many different artistes including Stephen Mead, Roger Webster, Simone Rebello and Andrew Berryman.

He has recently returned from a tour of Poland and has appeared at many top venues including the Purcell Room, St. David’s Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Barbican Centre.

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