RONG ON RIGHT PATH - BB shines a light on one of the rising stars of Norwegian banding

Issue 6062

BACK IN BUSINESS - Boost for bands in England as rehearsals resume

STAGE SET FOR CORY CONTEST - Draw made for online championship, with international flavour

Cory youth weekend works wonders

Thursday 10 September, 2020

More than 70 young brass players from across Wales have enjoyed two days of inspiring musical activities as part of Cory Band’s virtual youth brass weekend.

The recent event saw participants split into two bands, led by Cory’s principal euphonium player Glyn Williams and the band’s musical director, Philip Harper. The young players had the benefit of a variety of experiences, from full band rehearsals to sectional rehearsals, masterclasses, a solo contest and some fun social activities.

Philip Harper told British Bandsman: “At Cory, we are only too aware of the loss of opportunity caused by the coronavirus pandemic for all young people in all walks of life and we were determined not to let this be a barrier in our ongoing work in this area – inspiring the next generation. We had never done anything like this before so the learning curve was steep, especially on the technological and delivery side, but we’ve had some outstanding feedback from the participants about their experiences, which is a brilliant outcome for everyone.

“The players joined us from their houses and we had 10 Cory players on hand to deliver expert tuition from their own homes too. Of course it’s never going to be comparable to being in the same room as each other, which we dearly hope to be getting back to doing one day, but there was still a real feel-good atmosphere bouncing around the internet over the course of the weekend. I had designed some simple physical tasks for people to do in the frequent breaks too, so hopefully brains, lips and bodies were all kept active.”

The Sunday afternoon saw a solo contest take place. Four players had entered by sending in their videos: Carys Wood (trumpet), Ben Hannaford-Waddington (marimba), Elliot Harrington (baritone) and Ffion Hill (trumpet). Three judges gave instant feedback so all the players benefited from the solo experience of Helen Williams, Chris Thomas and Simon Howell, before the winner was announced as Elliot Harrington, baritone player with BTM Band (pictured, above). Elliot will receive a slate trophy to keep.

At the end of the course all the players were set homework which was to record one of the weekend’s set pieces at home, and these will be edited together by Cory Band and released as distance videos in the near future.

Philip added: “We want to say a big thank you to everyone for engaging with our project, helping us to innovate what we do in these challenging times. Lots of people are asking when the next one is – we’ll have to see about that!”