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Paul has been principal trumpet of the Alderley Edge orchestra for more than 20 years. He began playing in brass bands in Yorkshire and eventually became principal cornet of what is now the championship YBS Band.  During this time, he felt fortunate to play on one occasion next to the renowned Maurice Murphy, arguably Britain’s foremost trumpet and cornet player.

Paul returned north following post-doctoral studies in pharmacology at the University of Oxford and joined several local orchestras where he continues to enjoy playing a wide variety of music, including that requiring the use of D, Eb and piccolo trumpets (such as in baroque music), in addition to the standard Bb trumpet. He is also principal trumpet of the KEMS orchestra in Macclesfield and has played with the Manchester Beethoven Orchestra, Wilmslow and Stockport Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Athenean, Amaretti and Lancashire chamber orchestras. His teachers have included Cecil Kidd (RNCM), David James (BBC Scottish), Ian Coull (BBC Philharmonic) and, currently, Gareth Small (Principal Trumpet of the Hallé and London Brass), and Jamie Prophet and Patrick Addinall (Principal Trumpets, BBC Philharmonic). He has also attended masterclasses given by Alison Balsom, Allen Vizzutti and Håkan Hardenberger.

Paul has played Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto with local orchestras and, with the Alderley Edge Orchestra, the Hummel Trumpet Concerto and the solo part in Françaix’s Le Gay Paris for trumpet and wind ensemble. Christmas time sees him busy playing the trumpet solo in Handel’s Messiah which he has performed over 50 times. Paul has also given recitals with organ in Cheshire and Cyprus.

As relaxation from playing, Paul enjoys travel, spending part of each year at his home in Cyprus and, to be able to order a beer or two there, recently gained a GCSE in Greek!
Principal trumpet: Paul Dawes
The TRUMPET was originally no more than an animal's horn fitted with a simple mouthpiece, and as such it had a natural military application in leading forces into battle. For this purpose and for similar ceremonial occasions, the fundamental limitation that the instrument could only provide a limited number of notes in a harmonic progression was no problem, but in the 13th century the development of the first folded trumpet heralded its gradual progression into the instrument we know today.
 
A big step forward in the 17th century was the introduction of crooks - lengths of tubing that could be inserted into the instriument to alter the pitch. The notes available were still from the harmonic series, but the player could for the first time 'crook' his instrument into almost any key he wanted, thereby providing much greater flexibility for the trumpet within an orchestral environment. Players during the time of Bach and Handel developed astonishing skills, but it was still hard work and - human nature being what it is - it wasn't long before players began to seek simpler ways of achieving their goals.
 
As a result, towards the end of the 18th century experimental instruments were produced with keys similar to those used on woodwind instruments. Haydn was so impressed that he composed his famous Trumpet Concerto (1796) for such a keyed instrument.
 
But it wasn't long before another major development occurred: the introduction of the valve trumpet with a complete chromatic compass. Three valves are connected to sections of tubing of different lengths; when pressed in various combinations, six lower notes each a semitone apart are obtained. The modern trumpet has a thin cylindrical bore for most of its length, widening over the last quarter into a flared bell. The common B flat instrument has a range of around three octaves above the E below middle C.
 
Various other instruments are in common use: the ones pitched in D and E flat are encountered most often. The smallest trumpet of all is the so-called 'piccolo B flat' which sounds an octave above the ordinary B flat instrument.
 
Mutes are used from time to time. A straight mute, shaped like a cone, gives a piercing and sinister sound; while a bucket mute makes the instrument sound more mellow. Cup and 'harmon' mutes are also used occasionally, producing soft and buzzy sounds respectively.
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The Alderley Edge Orchestra
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