Tonight I have had the pleasure of hearing the excellent National Children's Brass Band of Great Britain 2006 perform their end of course concert at the Artrix Centre in Bromsgrove -and what a concert it was! The concert featured John Doyle as guest soloist playing Children of Sanchez and Concerto De Aranjuez and was conducted by Musical Director Mr Nicholas Childs. The evening started with a convincing rendition of John Williams's Olympic Fanfare and Theme in which the cornet and trombone fanfares really set the tone for the evening. The band had a gloriously big, fat sound and were so tuneful throughout the evening - even as the temperature continued to increase in the packed hall. This was followed by John's first solo Children of Sanchez which was captivating. The soloist was superb (as indeed he was for his second solo) and he was very well accompanied by the band. Next the audience were introduced to the energetic and inspirational Paul Lovett-Cooper. I have never met Mr Lovett-Cooper before, but feel comfortable in my choice of adjectives as you could feel the band, who had now become the "NCCBB Choir", lift and respond to him as he directed them through his own vocal version of Hey Jude. Now, anyone who can get teenagers and young people to sing with that much energy (and in tune) must be inspirational! A talented fella he is too as he wrote the final item of the first half with the NCBB and the venue for the course, Bromsgrove School, in mind. Haunted Halls is programme music - it tells the story of daily routine giving way to night time ghostly activities during which the children get chased by ghosts and ghouls and flee. Then out go the lights, and the stomping of feet grows, then the sinister laugh (was that you Paul?) followed by the rising of the sun and the ghouls disapperaing, children emerging from their hiding places and normality returning. Great stuff! The band were clearly delighted to be giving the premiere of this cracking piece. The second half started with James Anderson's Goldcrest which was complete with singing of the chorus "i've got the joy, joy, joy" and audience clapping. Next up was three movements from Windows of the World - Amazonia, Rainforest and Drums of Thunder. I have to be perfectly honest, prior to hearing the band play tonight, I wasn't sure if such a young band would have the stamina, sound or technical ability to pull off this demanding piece but they did! The horn soloists in Amazonia deserve a special pat on the back - lovely rich tone from both of them, well done girls. This was a tough piece to tackle and I personally felt the band did a superb job. Next, Nick Childs (who was a super MD and front man to the concert) asked the band to demonstrate to the audience, with the aid of the trombone section, how to conduct 10/8 so that we could see how hard Mission Impossible is . I'm glad he did - I was never quite brave enough to tackle Mission Impossible with my own youth band but now that I know my daughter can conduct it maybe we will! Back to John next for more excellent playing in "Orange Juice" - my Mum's favourite so extra brownie points there. At this point, I should probably say that I had more than a passing interest in the final item listed in the programme which was I Will Follow Him as my own daughter Rhiannon was a member of the "award winning trombone section" (they got the award for best section and promtly all stood up and took a bow without promting from Mr Childs - milk it guys!) who were about to be featured in Goff Richards arrangement. I was really pleased they played this piece as Rhiannon was so small in comparison to the three guys next to her that it was the first time I had got to see her in nearly a week! The concert concluded with a final sung number which was conducted by Paul Lovett-Cooper and comprised three songs - Swing low, Sweet Chariot, Oh When the Saints and I want to sing (?) - all mixed in together. It was a rousing finale and the band, MD and soloist got a richly deserved standing ovation. Well done Guys and Gals. What was clear from tonight's concert was quite how much fun they had all had during the course. The banter between MD, soloist, tutors and even the children was light hearted and genuine, and this came across in the band 's playing. The band were excellently cared for throughout the evening and the course so can I say a big thank you, on behalf of my daughter Rhiannon (who has, mercifully, finally run out of steam telling me about the week's adventures and collapsed in bed) and myself, to the tutors, Brett Baker, Micheal Dodd, John Doyle, Paul Lovatt-Cooper, Michelle Ibbotson, Matthew Routley and Mark Wilkinson, the MD Nick Childs and all of the house staff for looking after her so well and allowing her to be part of the National Children's Band of Great Britain 2006. We'll be back (please!) Oh, and a SPECIAL thanks for teaching her all of the words to Hey Jude so I had to listen to it ALL the way home! Kristyann Edit: Mods if this is in the wrong place, please would you move it - thought it might be nice if they could have a NCBB thread of their own, but wasn't sure where it should go?