ST PAUL’S Cathedral in Dundee was a fitting venue for the climax to a wonderful year for the Carnoustie and District Youth Brass Band.
An audience of over 350 packed into the church on Saturday evening to join in the ‘Festive Cheer - Musical Celebration’ which had been jointly organised by the Rotary Club of Abertay and the band.
The Rotary Club of Abertay has been a great supporter for several years and this joint venture was organised to give the opportunity to local people to hear the band which is the current British and Scottish Champions and the BBC Radio 2 youth band of the year. The concert was also organised as a fund-raising venture with the proceeds being split between the Rotary and the band.
The band, led by its musical director, Mr Michael Robertson, treated the audience to music of the highest quality and delivered a varied and festive programme.
It is something special to sing along to a brass band in an old and majestic Victorian church and the audience participated fully in four well known Christmas carols, so much so that it was just a pity that the ‘Songs of Praise’ cameras were not there to film it.
The band also treated the enthusiastic singers to some well known festive pieces which were specially arranged for the Christmas audience such as ‘Wonder of Christmas’, ‘Candlelight Carol’, ‘Babe in a Manger’ - a wonderful euphonium duet; Perry Como’s ‘Christmas Dream’, Jonah Lewie’s ‘Stop the Cavalry’ and a fantastic arrangement of ‘Christmas Bolero’ based on Ravel’s ‘Bolero’ made famous by ice skaters Torvel and Dean’s Olympic winning performance all those years ago.
The band members were keen to show the audience why they are British and Scottish Champions and so interspersed the evening with items from the programme that they played recently in Perth to win the Scottish title.
It wasn’t all brass band, however. The evening was supported by the Barnhill Primary School choir and string groups under the leadership of their teacher, Pam Nesbitt.
The appreciative audience really enjoyed the performance of the choir singing ‘Winter Wonderland’, a Christmas medley of songs and ‘Because it’s Christmas’ and the strings playing ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Good King Wenceslas’ and ‘Silent Night’.
The evening was topped off with a brilliant performance by the Dundee section of the National Youth Choir of Scotland under their leader, Shona Morgan. This group of 18 extremely talented young signers really impressed the audience with their masterful performance of ‘Child of God’, ‘Believe’ and ‘Jingle Bells’.
The organisers received so many encouraging comments and plaudits from the audience in the aftermath of the concert that they already planning to do the same again next year.