Young musicians from Dumfries & Galloway are among 150 like-minded instrumentalists who have descended on the small Perthshire village of Forgandenny to take part in Scotland’s biggest brass band school this week.
The students – who between them represent Creetown Silver and Stranraer Brass bands – are attending the National Brass Band of Scotland (NYBBS) residential summer course at the Strathallan School from Sunday 31 July to Saturday 6 August, featuring players aged from 9 to 22, split into three bands – Children’s, Reserve and Senior.
For the brass and percussion players attending NYBBS 2022 from such diverse locations as Shetland and Stranraer, the emphasis will be on having fun as well as enjoying the full learning experience.
Sectional practice sessions, master classes and full band rehearsals will provide the opportunity for some serious music making for the students while ‘extra curricular’ events will bring a more lively element to the course.
Outdoor activities will include swimming, rounders, treasure hunts, movie nights, football, ‘NYBBS has got talent!’ and a silent disco.
The NYBBS summer course is supported through funding from Creative Scotland through its Youth Music Initiative.
On Thursday an Open Day will be held for those young brass players who may be considering joining NYBBS. The event will enable potential candidates to spend time with fellow musicians of a similar age, as well as being guided by first class musical directors and tutors.
“The day will be particularly beneficial to any young person who is considering joining the NYBBS bands,” said Scottish Brass Band Association (SBBA) education officer John Boax. “The Open Day is completely free of charge and we encourage people to share this with anyone they think would enjoy this opportunity.”
The fruits of the NYBBS players’ hard work during the week will be showcased at two end-of-course concerts at the Albert Halls, Dumbarton Road, Stirling FK8 2QL on Saturday afternoon.
Course coordinator and SBBA president Carrie Boax commented: “It is a real honour and privilege to know that, at the end of the week, our musical directors, tutors and pastoral staff will have made a small but positive difference to the musical journey of every youngster that attends our summer school and helped them make memories and friendships that I know will last a lifetime.”