Eighty young musicians from Norway and York will open this year’s Brassed On York Festival in a joint concert showcasing the wealth of youthful talent emerging from brass bands.
Youngbrass, the title of the concert at the National Centre For Early Music in Walmgate, York, takes place on Thursday, June 27 at 7.30pm and features a performances by a leading Norwegian youth brass band from Hasle Skole Musikkorps in Oslo and York’s own Shepherd Group Youth Band, based at Portakabin in Huntington. Each band will perform their own programme of music as well as coming together to play some joint items.
Ungdomsbrassen, a band of 42 youngsters aged between 12 and 19, is the product of a brass-band musical education programme at Hasle Primary School in eastern Oslo under the guidance of music director Sissel Larsen.
Children begin learning brass and percussion instruments from the age of seven or eight and progress through a system of bands, with the Youth Band (Ungdomsbrassen) being the highest level. Many of the students continue playing in the band when they go on to secondary and further education and the band has recently contested in the premiere league in the Norwegian Championships for school brass bands.
Shepherd Group’s Youth Band is conducted by Craig Brown and grew out of the popular and well-attended Shepherd Group Beginners Band, which teaches children – and adults – to play brass instruments. The Beginners Band became so successful that the Youth Band was formed to progress the keen young players. It is York’s only dedicated youth brass band and has quickly established a reputation for playing entertaining and high quality music.
Brass band showcase
The main event and highlight of the Brassed On York festival is the brass-band showcase, taking place this year in York’s Parliament Street on Saturday, June 29. All eight of York’s brass bands, from beginners up to Championship level, will perform individual concerts, with the programme commencing at 9.45am and continuing until 4.15pm.
Bands taking part are Shepherd Group Beginners Band, Shepherd Group Youth Band, Shepherd Group Concert Brass Band, Shepherd Group Brass Band, York RI Golden Rail Development Band, York RI Golden Rail Band, York Railway Institute Band and Ebor Brass.
On Friday, June 28 at 8pm the festival presents Swingbrass, a laid-back, cabaret-style evening of big band music and jazz at Clements Hall in Nunthorpe Road, York, featuring the York Big Band Initiative under the baton of well-known York musician Ian Chalk (trumpet player in York party band Huge and a regular on the York jazz scene).
The York Big Band Initiative is run by York Music Service and is a modern, adult big band for developing musicians and has a strong brass line up of trumpets, trombones and saxophones. The evening winds up with a spot of late-night free jazz by trumpet player Phil Hanson and his band H2.
Tubarama, the Tuba World Record Challenge, which was originally due to take place on Sunday 30 June at York Racecourse, has now been postponed until 2014 at the earliest.
Brassed On York Ltd, a small, not-for-profit company, is the promoter of the festival. The company is delighted to announce that it has again secured sponsorship from the North Yorkshire committee of The Co-operative Membership.
It supported the original Brassed On York festival in 2010 in the Museum Gardens and last year’s York 800 Proms in the Gardens, a highly successful concert in the Mystery Plays Theatre performed by Shepherd Group Brass Band and York Railway Institute Band, which raised £4,000 for the Lord Mayor of York’s charities.
The festival is also being supported by Co-operative Funeralcare.
“We are very grateful to the Co-operative Membership for their continued support for our festival, which has a fundamentally co-operative theme at its heart – both locally, on the Saturday, and now internationally, too!” said Brassed On York director Kate Lock.
- Thursday, June 27: Youngbrass, NCEM, Walmgate, York, 7.30pm. Tickets, £5 for adults and £2.50 for children, on sale on the door. To reserve tickets, click here to email Craig Brown
- Friday, June 28: Swingbrass, Clements Hall, Nunthorpe Road, York, 8pm. Tickets cost £5 and are available by email from Alison at the York Music Service as well as on the door
- Saturday, June 29: Brassed On York, Parliament Street, York, 9.45am-4.15pm
- For more information, go to the Brassed On website or phone 07792 633984