I originally visited First Class Brass on the advice of Noel Langley as my Bach B Flat and Schilke E Flat needed overhauling and replating. At the back of the factory there were 8 Eclipse trumpets laid out on the workbench and an hour later I was walking out with a gold plated Medium Yellow B Flat. That was three years ago now at a time when Eclipse was based in Dunstable. They are now based in Luton in a workspace that thankfully bears no resemblance to the predecessor.
I bought my medium yellow with a view to using it for first trumpet work but the balance and versatility of the instrument is such that I now use it in almost every area of music making that I’m involved in. None of the tuning problems that are commonly found on all ‘off the shelf’ instruments are apparent on the Eclipse range of Trumpets. The intonation is particularly good from g on the 2nd line to high c where, as trumpet players, we do the majority of our work. In addition to this the consistency of tone and colour throughout the entire range of the instrument is unrivalled by any trumpet I have come across.
I have never experienced such a bespoke service before and was blown away by the craftsmanship demonstrated by the entire team. Everybody was very patient and eager to get the instrument exactly as I wanted it. I am looking forward to spending more time with Leigh and the team in the summer as we put together another B Flat instrument that will complement my existing one. However, I must say that in my opinion the medium yellow is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of all the current Eclipse range, whilst their flugelhorn is quite simply the best in the world!
Having studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Ben Gant’s professional career started in Germany playing sub-principal trumpet with the Philharmonie der Nationen in Hamburg under the baton of Justus Franz. Ben soon returned to London to start a long and successful relationship with the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing Principal Trumpet in the productions of ‘Oh What a Lovely War’, ‘Candide’, ‘Villain’s Opera’, ‘The Tempest’ and ‘Measure for Measure’. In the West-End Ben has had his own seat on the productions of ‘South Pacific’, ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ and ‘The Producers’ as well as depping on many shows including ‘The Sound of Music’, ‘Spamalot’, ‘Cats’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’.
Ben has been involved with the Rambert Dance Company for several years now and recently performed in the world premier of "Bloom" by Aletta Collins at Sadlers Wells, as well as performing solo work by Stuart Dempster with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from Washington DC.
In the orchestral world Ben works regularly with the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Musici, the London Mozart Players, the London Pops Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra and Camerata Wales as well as performing regularly with ONYX Brass.
Over the last year Ben has been spending much of his time working in the commercial field. He has just finished recording his second record with "The Shapeshifters" following on from their debut album ‘Sound Advice’, which contained their UK Number 1 hit "Lola’s Theme". Other artists that Ben has worked with include Sheryl Crow, Will Young, Lulu, Lisa Stansfield, The Corrs, Jack White, Kevin Mark Trail, Katherine Jenkins and S Club 7. Ben has recorded on the soundtracks for the films ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ and ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ as well as playing on numerous TV signature tunes including ‘Boxing Academy’ and ‘Linda Green’.
Ben has recently become more involved in music education. Having been a group leader for Education Group for many years, Ben took up the position of Education Workshop Tutor at the Royal Academy of Music from 2003-2006 as well as running the Summer University course at the college over the same period. Ben has just started coaching at the Trinity College of Music on a composition/brass collaboration project that will involve undergraduate composers writing music for brass quintet, which will be set to film.