National Youth Brass Band of Scotland Children's Band

Conductors: Alan Fernie and Mark Bell
Perth Concert Hall
Saturday 5th August

Look back at your formative musical experiences: How did it all begin? 

Hopefully you were as fortunate as one of the 61-strong NYBBS Children’s Band, which rounded off its 2023 summer course with this cracking afternoon concert.


The enthused energy generated in the ‘Starlight’  opener was matched only by that of its musical director and composer, Alan Fernie, who guided his young charges (only 17 of whom had been in the band last year) through a challenging programme.

Neat contributions from Lewis Smith (horn), Isla Gillespie (cornet) and James Barr (euphonium) illuminated the evocative percussion colours, in ‘The Gift of a Thistle’,  from ‘Braveheart’. 

The substantive focal point came with Christopher Bond’s cleverly realised ‘Neverland’,  with the players absorbed by the contrasting movements inspired by J.M. Barrie’s tales of Peter Pan. The testing challenges were played with assuredness, helped greatly by Alan’s swashbuckling musical Captain Hook in the midst of it all.

The testing challenges were played with assuredness, helped greatly by Alan’s swashbuckling musical Captain Hook in the midst of it all.

Guided by tutor Iona Robinson, the percussion section excelled in Ozzy Osborne’s ‘Crazy Train’,  with the tuned sounds that rang around the auditorium underpinned by a fantastic, unrelenting drum kit.

Immediate encore

Trombone tutor Mark Bell led ‘The Mickey Mouse March’,  which flew along with a hearty upbeat swagger - so much so that the audience demanded an immediate encore. 

After the jollity, a moment of reflection with music from the film ‘Jurassic Park’,  played with warmth and balance. A return to Disney and a romp through a selection box of familiar themes acted as a prelude to the aptly titled ‘When I Grow Up’,  from ‘Matilda’,  arranged by Philip Harper.

It brought down the curtain on a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon of music making, which capped off a week to remember at Strathallan School for the youngsters. 

Judging by their smiles as they filed off stage, they didn’t want it to end. The banding bug of their formative years had been well and truly caught.

Mark Good

Support us for less than a cup of coffee...

4BR wants to ensure that the brass band movement remains vibrant and relevant. We also want to be able to question, challenge and critically examine those who run and play in it, producing high quality journalism that informs as well as entertains our readers.

So if like us you value a strong, independent perspective on the brass band world - then why not consider becoming a supporter and help make our future and that of a burgeoning brass band movement more secure.

So one less cappuccino then?

Support us    

Luton Brass Band - Masterclass with David Daws

Wednesday 27 September • St Augustine's Church, Luton LU3 2JR

South Yorkshire Police -

Saturday 30 September • Sheffield Catherdral. Church Street. Sheffield. S1 1HA

Epping Forest Band - Thundersley Brass Band

Saturday 30 September • Salvation Army Hall, Hadleigh, Essex SS7 20F

Friary Brass Band - guest soloist Tom Smith

Saturday 30 September • Trinity Methodist Church. Brewery Road. Woking GU21 4LH

Contest: Bolsover Festival of Brass

Saturday 30 September • Shirebrook Academy, Common Lane, Shirebrook. Derbyshire NG20 8QF

Harlow Brass Band

September 29 • Seeking a MUSICAL DIRECTOR - We are a friendly, non-contesting band who play to a good standard. We hold our own Spring and Christmas concerts and provide entertainment at various local events throughout the year.

East of England Co-op Band

September 27 • We are looking for an Eb or Bb bass player to fill a vacancy due to a player's relocation. We are a friendly and ambitious Championship section band who rehearse in Ipswich, Suffolk on a Monday evening. We have a healthy concert and contest diary.

Uppermill Band

September 27 • EXCITING TIMES AHEAD AS WE START A NEW CHAPTER. Following a period of rebuilding and the appointment of our new MD JAMES GARLICK, we require a PERCUSSIONIST to complete our team. We are a hardworking and committed team.

James Chamberlain

BMus (Hons) PGCE
Conductor, Teacher


 © 2023 4barsrest.com Ltd