Trumpet star Louis Dowdeswell provided an inspirational masterclass to the players of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain as he took time out of his busy schedule to pay a visit to the band's summer course in Taunton.
72 youngster are currently enjoying themselves under the direction of Martyn Brabbins and a team of tutors, with the course culminating in a special 70th anniversary concert at the Royal College of Music in London on Saturday evening (7.00pm)
Eye popping start
Two hours flew by as the Yamaha artist ensured that he captured the attention of everyone from the word go as he shot headlong into an eye-popping rendition of 'Into the Unknown' that would have been heard by spectators and players at the nearby Somerset cricket ground.
Louis touched on numerous different aspects of his professional career and playing — including his early years with Portishead Junior Band and his move from percussion to trumpet, to his own inspirations and influences.
Host of questions
He gave direct answers to the host of written questions that the youngsters had prepared in advance for him — as well as a few more as he went along.
From the playing technicalities to the benefits of adaptability, confidence and endeavour and even the modern-day use of social media — everything and more was explored.
However, the undoubted highlight was his invitation for a group of players to join him in a 'call and response' session that explored the building blocks of improvisation.
Speaking to 4BR he said: "It's been great to be here and work with the players — a real pleasure.
Being direct and open about my playing and how it can help others wishing to make music a part of their lives in whatever way they wish in future is important to me.
I loved the responses and enthusiasm and the talent here is incredible. My thanks go to Mark Bromley and the NYBBGB team for inviting me."
It's been great to be here and work with the players — a real pleasureLouis Dowdeswell
In response Mark said: "What a brilliant, inspiring musician Louis is. The players are all still buzzing. Just to hear him play was something else, but his personality also shone through — connecting with the aspirations of the players. We were all simply bowled over."
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To find out more about Louis go to: https://www.louisdowdeswell.com/
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