A week of learning, music making and fun in store at NYBBS summer school

Sunday 31 July 2022

One hundred and fifty young brass musicians are today descending on the small Perthshire village of Forgandenny to attend Scotland’s biggest brass band school.

The week-long National Brass Band of Scotland (NYBBS) residential summer course is taking place at the Strathallan School for players aged from nine to 22, split into three bands – Children’s, Reserve and Senior.

For the brass and percussion players attending NYBBS 2022 from such diverse locations as Shetland and Stranraer, the emphasis will be on having fun as well as enjoying the full learning experience.

Sectional practice sessions, master classes and full band rehearsals will provide the opportunity for some serious music making for the students while ‘extra curricular’ events will bring a more lively element to the course.

Outdoor and leisure activities will include swimming, rounders, treasure hunts, movie nights, football, ‘NYBBS has got talent!’ and a silent disco.

The NYBBS summer course is supported with funding from Creative Scotland through its Youth Music Initiative.

Planned highlights include tuba soloist and Besson Artist Les Neish working with a NYBBS Elite ensemble who will perform at the Scottish Festival of Brass in November. The group will also be available to showcase NYBBS at events throughout the year. 

An Open Day on Thursday (4 August) – again funded by Creative Scotland – will give potential new NYBBS members the opportunity to become immersed in the summer school experience, meeting pastoral and music staff, joining a sectional rehearsal and exploring the Strathallan campus.

It’s a new initiative for this year to make the course accessible to a wider group of young musicians.

The SBBA Speaks podcast will be represented by Laura Carter to prepare a future episode and Eileen Frater of Prancing Jack Productions will be recording two end-of course concerts at the Albert Halls, Stirling, on Saturday (6 August) for a future broadcast on the Scottish Brass Band Association (SBBA) YouTube channel.

The musical directors of the three NYBBS bands – Alan Fernie (Children’s), John Boax (Reserve) and Ian Porthouse (Senior) – have each prepared a music repertoire to showcase the talents of their young players and the programmes will be performed at the two concerts at the Albert Halls, Dumbarton Road, Stirling FK8 2QL.

The Children’s band concert will be at 3pm on Saturday (6 August) and attendance can be reserved via Eventbrite. Later that day, at 6pm, the Reserve and Senior bands will be taking to the stage. Those wishing to attend this concert can book via Eventbrite.

Furthermore, during the week, Senior band MD Ian Porthouse and tutors will be nominating their candidates to represent Scotland in the European Youth Brass Band in Malmo, Sweden, next year. 

Course coordinator and SBBA president Carrie Boax commented: “It is a real honour and privilege to know that, at the end of the week, our musical directors, tutors and pastoral staff will have made a significant and positive difference to the musical journey of every student who attends our summer school and helped them make memories and friendships that I know will last a lifetime.” 

Ian Porthouse directs the Senior band at last year's NYBBS summer school



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Email Nigel Martin: sbbapr@gmail.com