History was made in Verwood on Sunday, 12 January 2014 with the formation of the new Verwood Youth Band (VYB). Set up as part of Verwood Concert Brass it has already won trophies.
Although Verwood Concert Brass, now in its 150th year, has a long tradition of nurturing brass players of all ages, it has never had a youth band.
Mike Dunnings of Verwood Concert Brass was the driving force behind setting up the band for players under 19. He said, “Although we already had a core of good young players within Verwood Concert Brass we needed more to make up a whole band. We put the word around that all young players would be welcome to come along but to be honest it was a bit of a leap of faith as to how many would turn up for the first rehearsal.
“But I needn’t have worried as we ended up with a great bunch of young players. The challenge was: would they be ready for the first youth band contest taking place just two weeks later?”
On 25 January, with a total of only two rehearsals, the 22 VYB players headed off to the Trafalgar School in Downton to compete in the Wessex Brass Band Association Youth Contest.
Each band performed a 20 minute programme that had to include a hymn. VYB played a traditional brass band march ‘Slaidburn’, the chirpy ‘Spread a Little Happiness’, ‘Any Dream Will Do’ from the Joseph musical, the Blues Brothers ‘Everybody Needs Somebody’ and a piece called ‘One Day’ chosen to highlight the ability of a soloist.
VYB was not only awarded 2nd place, but seven-year-old member Rowan Powis picked up the prize for the youngest player of the day and Emma Graves, VYB’s principal cornet player was awarded best soloist of the day.
Kevin Smith, (musical director of Verwood Concert Brass) who conducted the band said, “I am extremely proud of the Verwood Youth Band on their first outing. It just goes to show what can be achieved in a short space of time when working with a group of enthusiastic and talented young musicians. We are all looking forward to taking the Youth Band on to even bigger and better things.”
The Youth Band would welcome more under 19 brass and percussion players. For details please contact Mike Dunnings firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07791 340870.