In the summer of 2019, GYBB met for a fantastic week of music-making. Beginning with a rehearsal at Colwell Arts Centre in Gloucester on 4th July 2019 for rehearsal, the youth band travelled to Birmingham to compete in the Music for Youth Festival (MFY) the following day.
The day started bright and early in Birmingham, where GYBB gave their first performance as part of the MFY Fringe Event in the Festival Tent in the City Centre Gardens behind Symphony Hall. Their performance formed part of a workshop, rehearsing several pieces with Lancashire Youth Brass Band and the Royal Marines Band (Portsmouth), conducted by Captain Andy Gregory, Marines Director of Music. Youth members were invited to ask questions about life as a Marine musician and were also given top playing tips before giving a final performance of the pieces.
Gloucestershire Music staff were delighted to see Kerry McDougall, an ex-GYWO (Gloucestershire Youth Wind Orchestra) and Nailsworth Silver Band member, playing Bassoon in the Marines, as well as two Flowers Band percussionists, James Stammers and Craig Sanders. These players are a great advert for joining up for the musical life! Kerry told us the band would be marching in the square later in full uniform, although they were not looking forward to marching in the heat of the day. However, the march made for a fantastic show for the audience and inspiring spectacle for the youth members of GYBB.
The workshop was followed by a half-hour programme from GYBB conducted by Paul McLaughlin, Gloucestershire Music. Now in the heat of the day, the band was grateful for the shade offered by the tent. GYBB were delighted with their performance and relaxed, after an obligatory group photo (see above), in the shade for lunch accompanied by music from Lancashire Youth Brass Band, which included the conductor doing the Highland fling, a vigorously victorious Scottish dance.
All too soon, it was back on the bus home, which buzzed with excited discussions of the day’s highlights.