HELENSBURGH Music Society’s 2018-19 concert series continues on Saturday, February 16, when A4 Brass take to the stage at the Tower Digital Arts Centre.

Comprising Jamie Smith (cornet/flugel horn), Jonathan Bates (tenor horn), Michael Cavanagh (baritone horn), and Chris Robertson (euphonium), the quartet, formed in 2014 at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, is widely regarded as one of the UK’s leading young chamber ensembles.

The group’s unique combination of instruments creates a distinctive sound that stands out from the standard brass quartet. With this unusual instrumentation, A4 Brass has actively developed their repertoire by commissioning new music, composing and arranging music themselves.

The quartet has performed widely throughout the UK appearing at major venues and festivals including Wigmore Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Future engagements include a residency at the Lieksa Brass Week in Finland, concerts in Switzerland, Lithuania, and a London appearance at the Purcell Room.

The Quartet has featured on national television and radio, appearing three times on ITV’s Christmas Carol Concerts and on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In-Tune’ with Sean Rafferty.

In 2016 they released their debut CD at the RNCM Brass Band Festival featuring original music composed for them, including works by Martin Ellerby, Edward Gregson, Oliver Waespi and Nigel Clarke.

Their Helensburgh programme features the famous Flower Duet from Léo Delibes’ opera Lakmé, Oliver Waespi’s South Uist Variations, and several works arranged for the group by its own members, including Shepherds Hey by Percy Grainger, Alexander Goedicke’s Concert Etude, Felix Mendelssohn’s Saltarello and, appropriately for a concert in Helensburgh, Jonathan Bates’ arrangement of Loch Lomond.

Born in Yorkshire, Jamie Smith began to play the cornet at the age of eight with the Sellers Youth Band. During his time with the band, Jamie won all the major youth competitions including the National Youth Championships of Great Britain.

Jonathan Bates also hails from Yorkshire – Huddersfield, to be precise – and spent four years as principal horn of the famous Black Dyke Band, while he also reached the final of the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Soloist of the Year contest in both 2010 and 2011, and is now regarded as one of the top young composers and arrangers of music for brass bands.

Michael Cavanagh, from Stockport, began playing the baritone at the age of eight, and is currently principal baritone of the world-famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band, while he also spent five years as principal baritone of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.

Chris Robertson, the only member of the quartet from Scotland, is originally from Carnoustie, and is currently principal euphonium of the Brighouse and Rastrick Band, having previously played with Grimethorpe, Wingates and one of Scotland’s top brass bands, the Kirkintilloch Band.

Single tickets, costing £12 for adults, £5 for students and £1 for those under 18 are available in advance at the Tower box office or online at www.helensburghboxoffice.com/live, and on the door, subject to availability. Saturday’s concert starts at 7.30pm.