Easter course sets young Scots musicians up for successful summer school

Wednesday 17 April 2024

The National Youth Brass Band of Scotland (NYBBS) residential Easter course came to an exhilarating end with a challenging and entertaining concert in the theatre at the Strathallan School in Perthshire.

The programme – selected by Ian Porthouse, John Boax and Alan Fernie – musical directors of the NYBBS Senior, Reserve and Children’s bands respectively – comprised Castell Coch (TJ Powell), Sleep (Eric Whitacre, arr Sandy Smith), Land of the Long White Cloud (Philip Sparke), Fire in the Blood (Paul Lovatt-Cooper) and Calon y Ddraig / The Heart of the Dragon (Matthew Hall).

“Easter is very much an education project supported by Creative Scotland’s YMI funding,” says John Boax, education officer of the Scottish Brass Band Association.

“The Easter course is always an important barometer of how the annual summer course will shape up and, after this week, I am delighted to report the NYBBS family of the Senior, Reserve and Children’s bands is making great progress.”

A pre-concert rehearsal with Ian Porthouse

 Fifty-five students, made up of existing and new Senior and Reserve band players have had a very productive four days working with inspirational NYBBS Senior band musical director Ian Porthouse.

“Easter at NYBBS is always a little different vibe to summer,” Ian commented. “It's lovely to welcome some of our Reserve band players to get a taste of playing in the Senior band. They hopefully realise it's not a scary serious environment but a welcoming inspiring one that pushes their musical and technical skills to another level, while having a lot of fun along the way!”

He added: “This course has been particularly demanding. Repertoire which includes Land of the Long White Cloud and Sleep requires a mature approach and as usual the young musicians of NYBBS have met the challenges with their usual enthusiasm and amazingly good humour.

“It's always one of the highlights of my year working with Scotland’s finest young brass players and I'm very excited about what we have to offer in the summer when the Reserve and Children's band join us for what will be superb week of high quality music making.”

The young players take the applause at the end-of-course concert


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Email Nigel Martin: sbbapr@gmail.com