Brass players shine at masterclass

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MEMBERS of the Carnoustie and District Youth Brass Band spent the weekend at Carnoustie High School being put through their paces by Dr Nicholas Childs, the conductor of the world famous Black Dyke Brass Band.

The local band is currently preparing its programme for the National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain which take place at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester on April 22.

Last year the Carnoustie entry won the Premier Section in what is the oldest youth brass band event in the world and by far the most prestigious banding event in the calendar for British youth bands. To return this year and retain their title will be a difficult task but the band members are giving their all to remain British Champions.

The Premier Section, which is the top section, will this year consist of eight bands which will each perform a 20-minute programme. All bands must play the allocated test piece which is ‘Oceans’ by Goff Richards. The other three pieces making up the Carnoustie and District Youth Brass Band programme this year are ‘Enter the Galaxies’ by Paul Lovatt-Cooper, ‘A Little Prayer’ by Evelyn Glennie and arranged by Robert Childs, and ‘In the Twighlight Zone’ by Chris Brubeck, a bass trombone concerto featuring the band’s principle bass trombonist, Joe Walters, as the soloist.

The band has been rehearsing for months for these championships under the baton of Mr Michael Robertson who continues to work wonders with his young musicians.

Dr Childs was in Carnoustie for intensive rehearsals on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday to put some finishing touches to the pieces and offer his extensive experience of performing at the very highest level.

This is his third year of visiting Carnoustie and he has been extremely impressed with the quality and professionalism of the band but even more importantly, the young players’ positive attitude and dedication to perform their very best.

The band has enjoyed some great success since its formation in 2008 and to be at the top of youth banding in such a short period of time is outstanding bearing in mind that they have been competing against bands that have been in existence for decades.

It has won the hearts of the Angus Community which has been extremely supportive of them and would like to thank the residents of Angus and further afield for their support over the years. Some of the local businesses and organisations have also been very generous in supporting the band financially. Financial support has been provided by the Rotary Club of Abertay and Connelly and Yeoman solicitors without which the trips to Manchester to compete in the championships would be extremely difficult.

Mr Booth, headteacher at Carnoustie High School, has provided the school for the band’s rehearsals over the weekend with Dr Childs.

The band will play a concert on Friday, April 20, in St Anne’s Church, Thomas Street, Carnoustie, starting at 7.30 p.m.

Bryan Knight, the chair of the organising committee, explained: “At last year’s concert we had a capacity audience to hear the band and we hope to repeat that this year. Entry is by donation and we hope that as many people as possible will give up an hour of their time to come and hear what is an exceptional group of young musicians and give them the final boost that they need before heading off to Manchester the following morning for the championships.

“I would encourage those who want to find out more about the band and hear some of their performances to visit our website at www.cdybb.org.uk .”