Local young musicians in Celebration Concerts

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a SUBSTANTIAL number of local musicians participated when the three bands of The National Youth Brass Band of Scotland enthralled audiences at their Celebration Concerts on Saturday in The Younger Hall, North Street, St Andrews.

The combined concert by The Children’s Band of NYBBS and The Reserve Band of NYBBS and evening concert of The National Youth Brass Band of Scotland marked the culmination of a week-long residential music course held at St Andrews University, attended by brass and percussion musicians aged from nine to 21 years.

The concert programmes provided the enthusiastic audiences with a plethora of music from classics to pop, film/TV to originals, including a demonstration of the singing techniques learned from the visiting Tutors of The National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS), a performance incorporating the hall’s magnificent organ, and a performance by young conductor Eoin Tonner who had been mentored during the week by Maestro Bramwell Tovey.

The concerts also offered a perfect setting to make the formal presentations of the highly acclaimed course awards of best student and best soloist for all three bands, won by Euan Lumsden and Archie McVicar; Maddie Pullan and Harry Marshall; and Rachel Neil and Kenneth Brown respectively. The NYBBS Phillip McCann Award for the player who had contributed the most to their section was won by Gregory Chaplain, cornet.

The Children’s Band, conducted by Gordon Evans, and The Reserve Band of NYBBS, conducted by John Boax, launched the Celebration Concertswith an eclectic mix of items, the finalé bringing both bands together with a very lively samba number, ‘Festiva Brazilia’, incorporating a wealth of percussion instruments throughout both bands and raising the audience to their feet with rapturous applause to mark the success of the afternoon’s entertainment.

The National Youth Brass Band of Scotland, conducted by Richard Evans, had returned from their guest performance at the Aberdeen International Youth Music Festival just the night before. They commenced their concert at 7.30 p.m. and delighted the audience with a variety of exciting old and new favourites. The evening also introduced Eoin Tonner as guest conductor for ‘Variations on a Ninth’, putting into action all the tuition and guidance he had received from Bramwell Tovey, visiting guest conductor, when he was privileged to be mentored by this world-renowned maestro during the course.

The NYBBS also took advantage of The Younger Hall’s magnificent organ, inviting organist Graeme Stevenson, director of music at the University of Dundee, to perform with them for their momentous concert closer, the Finalé from Saint-Saen’s 3rd Symphony - The Organ.

Concluding the day’s music-making with an encore of ‘Stars and Stripes’ the delighted audience displayed their unquestionable enjoyment with roof-raising cheers and enthusiastic applause.

The Scottish Brass Band Association (SBBA) was also pleased to welcome special guest Craig Buchan, managing director of Geneva Instruments, one of SBBA’s new sponsors. Craig was extremely impressed with the wealth of talent on display at both concerts and praised the young performers for all their hard work during the week.

Plans for next year are already in hand and details will be posted on the NYBBS and SBBA websites once finalised. With three bands of varying levels, all brass and percussion players are encouraged to attend and take advantage of this unique opportunity to develop their playing and musicality, have fun, make friends and represent Scotland’s talented young musicians.

Local musicians taking part were: Katie Brown, Colette Colman, Ethan Doherty, Christopher Flynn, Joanna Flynn, Joanne Firer, Angus Geekie, Charlotte Gibbon, Aileen Goss, Andrew Goss, Sarah Knight, Louise McFadden, Iona McFarlane, Finlay McGhee, Meagan McIntosh, Scott Ness, Kirsty Randalls, Jessica Ritchie, Chris Robertson, Jordan Robertson, Heather Singer, Jacqueline Stark, Christie Swinton, Matthew Buchan Gregory Chaplain, Hannah Grubb, Andrew Lannon, Lisa McDonald, Kirsty Melville, Daniel Tee, Calum Tonner, Eoin Tonner, Hayley Tonner, Catriona Wood and Danielle Yeaman.