FINAL preparations are underway by the young players of the Carnoustie and District Youth Brass Band to travel to Manchester next month to defend their British title which they have held for the past two years.
The band, under the direction of its conductor, Mr Mike Robertson, has been rehearsing for the past few months and with only four weeks to go to the British Championships, Mr Robertson believes that they are in good shape.
This has been a fantastic year for the band. In early November it was the first Scottish brass band to be invited to play at the British Youth Proms in the Royal Albert Hall. This trip was partly funded by a grant from the Angus Council Community Grant Scheme and Music For Youth and gave the majority of the young players the chance of a lifetime to play on one of the biggest musical stages in the world.
Later in November the musicians went on to regain their Scottish Youth title beating West Lothian Schools who had denied them the three in a row the year before.
To give the band a boost prior to travelling to Manchester, Dr Nicholas Childs, the world renowned conductor of the famous Black Dyke Brass Band, will come to Carnoustie on April 9 and 10 to undertake a two-day workshop. He will go through the pieces that they will be playing in Manchester and provide finishing touches prior to the Championships.
Dr Childs has been so impressed with the work, commitment and enthusiasm of the young Angus musicians that he makes a point of booking his diary for what has become an annual trip to Carnoustie. He has always commended the exceptional standard of the band and the work that Mr Robertson and the young players put in. He himself admits that he gets a lot out of working with the talented musicians.
As has become a tradition in the town, the band will perform an informal concert on Friday, April 12, in St Anne’s Roman Catholic Church, Thomas Street. It will start at 7.30 p.m. Entry is by donation and the young players hope that, as usual, the church will be full. This is a concert that the band has now put on for the past five years and has become a very popular event and an opportunity for the local community to rally round and give the band a great send off to compete in the British Championships the next day.
Bryan Knight, the chair of the organising committee said: “This has been another fantastic year for the band, playing at the Royal Albert Hall and regaining the Scottish Title.
“If we are successful at making it three in a row at the British Championships on April 14 then that will be the icing on the cake.
“The Friday night concert always has a great atmosphere and the local communities of Angus flock to the church to support the band but also because they understand that they don’t get too many opportunities to hear such a high standard of music for nothing.”
He continued: “It is also our opportunity to say a huge thank you to the community and those organisations which have helped to fund the band this year such as The Rotary Club of Abertay, Angus Council Community Grant Scheme, Music For Youth, Carnoustie Gala Committee, Carnoustie Community Council and Carnoustie High School.
“There have also been a number of people who have donated monies personally to the band as they have been so impressed with what has been achieved and I would like to say a huge thank you to them as well.”