LEAD TRUMPET - Louis Dowdeswell to inspire online

Issue 6088

MAPPED OUT - Host cities confirmed for European Championships

IFOR JAMES - The horn player who tried to change the horns 

Black Dyke hosts first virtual brass day

Tuesday 6 April, 2021

An international array of delegates joined the online fun recently as Black Dyke Band staged its first virtual brass day.

More than 88 participants from the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and even Canada joined the sessions, with the Canadians doing so in the middle of the night so as not to miss the start. They took part in full band rehearsals on the likes of Punchinello, Goff Richards’ Doyen, Buglers’ Holiday, Journey into Freedom and Toccata in D Minor.

Director of music Nicholas Childs led the sessions, which were supported by the Geneva Group, while principal trombone Brett Baker delivered a workshop on motivational practice techniques and Richard Marshall guided the delegates on how to improve their technique. A brass band university challenge contest saw Mathew Routley put down his tuba to become quiz master and, in the afternoon, delegates watched as Nicholas Childs interviewed Black Dyke legends, James Shepherd and John Clough, who gave an insight into their lives.

Reflecting on the day, euphonium delegate Mike Tarrant, of Murley Silver Band in Ireland, said: “I entered the Black Dyke Virtual Brass Day with trepidation and a genuine sense of excitement. I was looking for inspiration and was not disappointed.”

Willy Van De Pol took part from the Netherlands and commented: “It was really fun to participate in the Black Dyke Band virtual day. The music was cool and there were motivational conversations. I enjoyed the great interview from Professor Nick with icons John Clough and James Shepherd. All in all, a great initiative.”

Alison Childs, event administrator, added: “The day was everything and even more than I expected and in these challenging times, it was a present to bandspeople around the world. We are for the support of our partner, the Geneva Group, with this event.”