Prestigious BBC Radio 2 awards for local musicians

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AS THE Carnoustie and District Youth Brass Band prepared for the Scottish Youth Championships this weekend in Perth, Mr Michael Robertson, the musical director, received a morale boosting telephone call last week.

He was contacted by Terry Carter, producer of the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Awards, who informed him that the band had won the youth band of the year award.

Furthermore, Ross Knight, from Carnoustie, who also still plays with the band and who is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London, has won the BBC Radio 2 18 to 21 years soloist award.

Mr Robertson, accompanied by two band members, Joe Walters and Heather Singer, along with Ross Knight attended the Brass in Concert event at The Sage in Gateshead on Saturday evening to accept their awards.

Mr Robertson said: “It is a great honour to be awarded such prestigious titles. The band and Ross have worked so hard over the past few years and thoroughly deserve the recognition. It has been a pleasure to direct the band and teach Ross and they have once again demonstrated what good ambassadors they are for Angus.”

On January 29 next year, the band and Ross, along with James Fountain, the young principal cornet player with the world famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band, who won the under-18 soloist award, will play in the Festival of Music at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. They will be judged by a panel of experts and one of the three will be awarded the overall title of youth band/soloist of the year.

The festival will be compered by Frank Renton and Simone Rebello and will feature former BBC Young Musician of the Year, trombonist Peter Moore. It will conclude with the combined brass bands from Royal Northern College of Music and Carnoustie and District Youth Brass Band.

The festival concert will be recorded for broadcast on Frank Renton’s ‘Listen To The Band’ programme on BBC Radio 2 next March. The overall winner will then be given a further opportunity to perform on BBC Radio 2.

The fact that two out of the three awards have gone to musicians from Angus goes to further highlight the reputation for excellence in brass music that Angus has gained over the past few years.

On Sunday at Perth Concert Hall, the Carnoustie and District Youth Brass band, including Ross, will attempt to retain their Scottish Youth title for the third year in succession, having been crowned British Champions in April this year.

Due to the success of the band, they have also been invited to perform again on television. On Wednesday, December 14, they will travel to Paisley Abbey to record a carol service programme which will be screened by the BBC on Christmas Eve.