Armagh Summer School 2010

Posted by Mark Wilkinson on 1 October 2010

Inspiring Experiences at Armagh Old Boys’ Summer School with Foden’s Octet

For the tenth successive year Foden’s Band sent a wonderful octet of tutors to the Brass Summer School in Armagh. Over 20 Brass Bands sent participants, mostly young with a few young at heart. Out of the 112 folk who attended, 83 took part in the Finale Concert in First Presbyterian Church – what an inspiring sight to see the large ensemble in their white shirts and Foden’s Armagh Summer School ties processing to their seats for this performance!!
The programme of music included; Ticket to Ride, The Volcano, English Folk Songs, Little Suite for Brass, Nimrod, The Great Gate of Kiev, Salute to Sinatra, Pirates of the Caribbean, Dear Lord & Father of Mankind, Finale to Queen, Highland Cathedral, Variations on Maccabeus and Roar (Andy Scott). These inspired choices gave participants the opportunity to experience lots of different styles of playing. The concept of getting the band to play different styles, rather than having a band play all the music in one style was probably the over-riding inspiration of the week – Thank you Foden’s Band.
The person with the baton has an incredible responsibility for inspiring the ensemble. Mike Fowles carried this role off with great aplomb, humour and energy – well done & thank you Mike!!
The other 7 tutors also took centre stage with a wide variety of warm ups – clapping, buzzing, breathing, conducting skills and stage presentation to name but a few. The wide variety of approaches helped keep participants captivated and motivated!!
Throughout the week the sectional classes, workshops and rehearsals passed all too quickly, with all the tutors and participants establishing excellent working rapport. This was a great inspiration for the future and a big thank you must be paid to the 2010 tutors; Richard, Dave, Anita, Leslie, Dave Morton, Toby, Mark & not forgetting Mike!! THANK YOU!
During the week Edel Murphy from the Arts Council for Northern Ireland experience firsthand the Summer School & her visit was very much appreciated by all.
As Armagh OId Boys’ Chair Ivor Stevenson concludes “it is worth reflecting on the various public performances of the 2010 Summer School week including the Young Musicians Night, The Tutors Treat and BBQ, the recordings for our future CD and DVD and the Finale Concert. These are by-products of a wonderful inspiring experience of our tenth annual Summer School week in Armagh. Sincere thanks to everyone who made this year another cracker including our tutors, funders, parents, participants and facilitators.”


Foden's band maintains a world class reputation for providing entertainment in the field of brass music with a tradition and unique style Mark Wilkinson