Macclesfield Youth Brass Band were crowned the new Brass Factor champions on their debut performance at the Brass Factor entertainment competition held at the Picturedrome in Holmfirth last Saturday (28th October).
They scared off strong competition with their Halloween themed programme featuring a 32 member Zombie band, led by Musical Director Morticia Addams and Uncle Fester as the compere!
Not only did the band win the overall first prize, they also won the trophy for the Audience Vote and Best Soloist, thanks to a brilliant performance by 14-year-old Alex Walton on xylophone.
The competition is based on the X Factor format with each band giving a 20 minute performance and then facing feedback from the panel of four judges.
One judge said:
“I can see why 120 young people turn up to play in this band every Friday night, it’s so much fun. All power to Macclesfield Youth Band, every town should have this.”
Commenting on Alex’s performance, another judge said.
“Wow, he is such a talented young player with a great future, what a star.”
Musical Director Louise Renshaw said:
“This was a great night for the youth band, competing against some notable adult bands, this was our best competition result to date. We had worked really hard to include a lot of drama and fun in our set and the audience reaction was amazing. The players were fantastic, totally getting into the spirit of it.”
The band’s next performance is a Remembrance concert at St Michaels Church, Macclesfield on Saturday 11th November organised by Macclesfield Castle Rotary Club.
Macclesfield Youth Brass Band has three bands and a drum corps catering for local young musicians aged 7 to 18 years. They rehearse every Friday evening at the Fallibroome Academy. For more information visit www.mybb.org.uk.
Photos: Please credit Photography By Rachael.
This weekend Macclesfield Youth Brass Band will premiere a new work by British Composer Award winner Lucy Pankhurst.
Commissioned for the band’s performance at the Barnaby Festival, ‘Contact Light’ (the words spoken by Buzz Aldrin as the Lunar Module gently touched the surface of the moon) fuses the worlds of brass and electronics to create a journey into space.
The theme for Macclesfield’s Barnaby Festival is ‘Space to Breathe’ and the new work uses the concept as an adventure through space, accompanied by narrations and quotes from Carl Sagan of NASA. With the addition of electric guitars and electronic equipment such as Novation Launchpad controllers and tablet sequencer apps within the performance, the band hopes to create a futuristic landscape to capture the imagination.
Award winning actor Brian Blessed has also kindly recorded the narration used within the piece. MYBB Musical Director Louise Renshaw comments,
“We wanted to produce something that goes beyond anything we’ve done before, combining music technology with the brass band setting. The piece is very atmospheric and Lucy has delivered a superb work that is packed with exciting and unusual elements which we hope will enthral the audience.”
Lucy Pankhurst said,
“This is the second time I have worked with Macclesfield Youth Band and it’s been another exciting and totally unique project. Starting with a workshop where we all got to grips with using Launchpad technology, we have grappled with many technical challenges to reach what I think will be a really entertaining performance. It’s always brilliant to work with an organisation that wants to explore new musical territory and work outside its comfort zone.”
The youth band’s performance at Barnaby Festival is part of the Brass Band Bonanza in St Michaels churchyard on Sunday 26th June which starts at 1pm and is free to attend. The youth band will perform a Space themed programme of music including ‘Contact Light’ from 2.45pm inside St Michaels Church.
The band will also perform the new work at Clonter Opera on Saturday 25th June as part of the Love Music Trust concert starting at 7pm. Tickets available on the door.
MYBB is once again teaming up with British Composer Award winner Lucy Pankhurst to come up with an original and ground breaking project for the youth band.
Using Novation launchpad technology, the young musicians have been working with Lucy on the foundations for a new composition to be premiered at this year’s Barnaby Festival in the towm.
More to follow
MYBB delivered a colourful, high energy 20 minute programme on the theme of the Rio olympics for this year’s Action Research Youth Band Entertainment competition held in the Opera House at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.
Their efforts got them amongst the prizes too with Alex Walton collecting the Most Outstanding soloist prize for his rendition of On The Track on zylophone and Angus Currie collecting the prize for Best euphonium.
Well done to soloists and band alike for a thoroughly entertaining day out.
“Blown away”, “ A night to remember”, and “WOW!”. Just some of the comments which have been coming from the audience at MYBB’s Tenth Anniversary concert on 4th July. The concert hall at the Royal Northern College of Music was filled with players, sound and enthusiasm as MYBB’s three bands and drum corps all demonstrated how far the organisation has progressed in ten years. They were joined by some of the band’s former players who were thrilled to return and be a part of the celebrations.
The centrepiece of the evening was the first performance of a piece commissioned by the band from award winning composer Lucy Pankhurst to mark the occasion. The piece featured all MYBB’s players, with sections for the separate bands and drum corps as well as passages for all playing together, including a finale described by Lucy as “seriously disco”!. The overall effect was stunning, both visually and musically, and the audience gave an extended standing ovation to both composer and players. The composition, Brass Roots; Musical Wings, was the product of a workshop project run by Lucy for the band earlier in the year to involve the players in creating ideas for the piece and to give them the opportunity to talk about the type of music which they enjoyed playing. This proved to be a very successful collaboration and the piece did everything the band had asked for plus very much more.
It was an evening full of highlights with the Training Band Rocking around the Clock, the Drum Corps’ sticks glowing red in the dark and the Junior Band catching the excitement of 007’s famous theme tune, not to mention two brilliant solos, “Virtuosity” from Youth Band solo cornet player, George Wright, and “The Carioca” from Tubalaté’s euphonium player, Paul Walton.
Another fine soloist, Jodie Buckland, led everyone in the final and most fitting end to the first ten years, with Abba’s “Thank you for the Music”.
It was a late night for MYBB players on Whit Friday but there was a very nice surprise for them when they woke up on Saturday – they had become Tameside Youth Champions!
Maybe there were a few clues during the evening. The band’s first march, led by MYBB’s Drum Corps, took audiences (and parents!) by surprise and was received with lots of applause and even cheering! No-one had expected two speed marching, nor to hear Game of Thrones in the streets of Tameside.
The second march, William Rimmer’s Cross of Honour, which was played on the rostrum (or field, car park or whatever the venue offered) was equally well received with audiences being impressed by the band’s ability to perform an old favourite with youthful spirit and verve.
The adjudicators agreed, awarding 7 prizes for highest placed youth band, 1 for best junior cornet and 3 deportment prizes. These excellent results from the eight contests the band played added up to the best tally for a youth band, hence the title Tameside Youth Champions 2015, and an extra prize of £200!
The Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester
Saturday 4th July 7 pm
MYBB’s biggest and best concert is not to be missed – you will hear
• Music from all three bands and the Drum Corps, plus an appearance from former players, reunited with the band for this special occasion
• Soloists, including Les Neish, the world renowned tuba player
• Lucy Pankhurst’s new piece, commissioned for the occasion, and featuring all MYBB’s players who will be playing together for the first time!
• Compère Simone Rebello , RNCM’s dynamic Director of Percussion, explaining how it all began and where it’s going next!
Contact the RNCM direct to book. http://www.rncm.ac.uk/performance/macclesfield-youth-brass-band/
Tickets are £6 for adults, £3 for under 18s.
The Youth Band got the tenth anniversary year off to a great start in the Action Medical Research Youth Entertainment Championships at Blackpool on 8th February. A colourful Tyrolean themed programme gave them their best result to date, being placed fifth overall, and fourth for music, in a very high quality field.
The band drew on many talents and the audience enjoyed everything from a display of technical versatility from the band’s two principal cornets in “Tyrolean Sounds” to some entertaining bird antics in “The Cuckoo”, not to mention a beautifully sung performance of Edelweiss. Everyone looked the part, as you can see!
There are lots more photos on our Facebook page, which you can access from the home page.