HITTING NEW HEIGHTS - Glenn Van Looy talks exclusively to British Bandsman

Issue 5977

FRANKLY SPEAKING - The first of a new series by Frank Renton, this month focusing on musical education

THE GREAT TRIUMVIRATE - Tim Mutum looks at the life and times of John Gladney 

Shepway Brass Academy treat audience to a fabulous Best of Brass Concert

Friday 24 February, 2017

Youngsters from the Shepway Brass Academy treated their audience to a fabulous performance at their Best of Brass Concert in Folkestone on Saturday 4 February.

The concert, at Holy Trinity Church, Sandgate Road, Folkestone, featured all four groups within the Academy, ranging from beginners who have only been playing for a few weeks and months, to experienced young musicians, capable of playing complex pieces. Playing alongside them were special guests Snowdown Colliery Welfare Band, led by their Musical Director Andy Collins, who performed pieces from their own repertoire as well as joining the young people in the Academy’s intermediate band for some of the numbers.

The intermediate band performed several well-known film themes, including a Disney film medley, pieces from Sister Act and The Lion King, as well as Great Scott it’s Ragtime, Swinging with the Mountain King, based on Edvard Grieg’s Hall of the Mountain King, and a Jamaican Rumba. The junior bands played a variety of numbers suitable to their experience, including Dee Cee Blues by the beginners band, composed on just two notes.

Steve Loader, a parent of one of the children in the Academy, commented: “Shepway Brass has become so important to us as a family, having watched our son grow from a fledgling cornet player to a confident young musician under the tutelage of Paul Driscoll, SBA’s musical director. Concerts are a real family event and, in this case, it was a wonderful opportunity and a thrill for the youngsters to play alongside musicians of the calibre found in the Snowdown band.”

Shepway Brass Academy’s Musical Director, Paul Driscoll, said: “I am very proud of the performance the young people have produced, and it has been a great experience for them to play alongside the musicians from Snowdown in a professional environment.”

Shepway Brass Academy practises every Saturday in term time at Christ Church CE Primary Academy’s Community Hall, Folkestone CT20 9DJ. For just £1 per week children receive teaching within the band and an instrument to take home and practise. The band is open to youngsters aged 8-18 within four groups ranging from complete beginners to advanced musicians. The Academy is run by volunteers, and several of the more experienced young people help and mentor the younger players both by playing and conducting.

For further information about SBA please visit www.shepwaybrassacademy.com or the band’s Facebook page.