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Gloucester Youth reach out to the future

The Gloucester Youth Band has showcased its future intent with a weekend of workshops, rehearsal and young composer spotlights, as well as looking at how they do things in Europe...

Gloucester
  The team of young percussionists were put through their paces by Max Ireland...

The Gloucestershire Youth Brass Band (GYBB) recently made a welcome return to action for the first time since 2013 thanks to a partnership created between Gloucestershire Music and the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association (GBBA).

Full weekend

Under the direction of Ian Porthouse, guest conductors Piet Visser (Netherlands), Remi Vilys (Lithuania), and a team of ex-member tutors, the young band undertook a weekend of rehearsals and sectionals before showcasing their hard work to an audience of proud parents and supporters.

Saturday saw Ian lead a full day of rehearsals, later joined by Piet and Remi, whose conducting styles and passion were enjoyed by the young players.

The following day section rehearsals led by Emily Wilson, Ben Stratford, Andy McDade and Max Ireland ensured all the players gained extra tuition and guidance.

Youth Development

The Gloucestershire Association also ran a well attended Youth Development Workshop initiative.

The free event attracted 21 local youth band leaders, teachers, and organisers who enjoyed a conducting masterclass led by Ian as well as hearing presentations given by Piet and father-son team Remi and Laurynas Vilys about their approaches to youth band development in the Netherlands and Lithuania respectively.

There was a great interest shown in the success that has been inspired by Piet in his home region of Friesland in proactively working with schools, parents and senior band players.

Remi and Laurynas also highlighted the hugely beneficial effects now being felt in the Lithuanian brass band movement through their pioneering youth development work.

Saturday saw Ian lead a full day of rehearsals, later joined by Piet and Remi, whose conducting styles and passion were enjoyed by the young players4BR

Concert culmination

The culmination of the weekend was a concert given by the youth band, and which included solo spots for percussion and the world premiere of the march, 'The Brigadier' — written by Philip Harper's 14 year old son, Morris.

The concert ended with Philip's own 'Glorioso', originally written to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the GBBA, but which also heralded what is hoped will be another 75 years of enthusiastic endeavour and success for the organisation, building on what was an excellent weekend of youth band training and music making.

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Craig Roberts

BA (Hons), MA
Conductor / Adjudicator