Lions Youth Brass Workshop

Posted by Ian Raisbeck on 16 March 2015

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As the National Youth Brass Band Championships approach Lions Youth Brass have once again engaged with Foden's Band to assist with their preparation, with a workshop which was supported by The Love Music Trust.

The tutors were Anna Hughes-Williams (front row cornets) - the former very successful Musical Director of St. Helens Youth Band, Ian Raisbeck (Back row cornets) - former Lions Youth Principal Cornet and Junior Band Director, there was a welcome return to Lions for Ian’s brother Neil Raisbeck, former Solo Horn of the band who tutored the horn section, taking the Baritones and Euphoniums, and making her first visit to Lions was Sarah Lenton. The band have competed many times against Sarah and her former band, Youth Brass 2000, where she was an outstanding Euphonium soloist. Principal Trombone and The Love Music Trust Director, John Barber tutored the trombones, while Sam Minshall took care of the bass section. Finally, Anthony Mann made a welcome return to Lions to direct the percussion section.

The day started at 10am with sectional rehearsals on this year’s test-piece, The Saga of Tyrfing. This very demanding piece creates lots of challenges, none more so than the use of mutes, which everyone in the band needs to get use to using. The Fodens team worked the band very hard all morning to overcome lots of difficulties in the set piece.

Following a well-earned lunch, it was time for rehearsal. This year the band have commissioned a new work, 'Hustle', by Ian Raisbeck, which will get its premier performance at the Youth Championships. It was great to get the composers insight into his musical intentions for the piece.

The final part of the day was directed by Mark Bousie, the highly regarded musical director of the very successful Sellers International Youth Band. As always the band really enjoyed the rehearsal with Mark with his musical insight into the music as well as working on the fundamental elements of ensemble playing.

The day came to a conclusion at 4pm with the band having worked extremely hard and gained lots musical tips from the great team from Foden's.

Speaking on behalf of the band, their musical director, Nigel Birch commented;

As well as directing the band on a weekly basis I regard it as my responsibility to give my players the best musical tuition and experiences possible. By bringing the members of Fodens Band to Lions I believe I am fulfilling that responsibility. Also, the fact that we are based in the same town is a great community collaboration.

As we get closer to the competition the band will welcome their Musical Advisor, Mike Fowles to the band for several rehearsals.

For any conductor and every audience, Foden’s Band is a musical Magic Carpet. It continually takes the listener to places that few other ensembles rarely even approach Howard Snell