Youth bands for the North of England Region

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by imthemaddude, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. imthemaddude

    imthemaddude Active Member

    Then why are we not doing more to change the fact it's dying. We should take some advice from the North West area and other areas. Their youth bands are thriving.
  2. bigcol

    bigcol Member

    There are youth bands in the area, but they tend to be associated with lower section bands.

    It would be great if the flagship bands in the area could set aside a little time and effort and set up their own youth bands too. I can't for the life of me recollect any of our championship section bands who have such junior or 'b' bands.
  3. Granted we - Shepherd Group Band - are in the first section this year but we have both a begginers band, a concert band and a senior band.
  4. bigcol

    bigcol Member

    That's good news more the merrier! In the back of my mind I sort of remember Greggs trying to set one up, don't know how far it got.
  5. imthemaddude

    imthemaddude Active Member

    They do and most of the kids from the school I worked at last year play in it, but they never seem to feed the adult bands - maybe this needs to start a new thread.
  6. six pints

    six pints Active Member

    Wasnt that the county schools one? If so I was in it for a couple of years, was pretty frustrating as there just wasnt enough people.

    When I was in middle school ellington had a great youth band, run by Roy McClusky. Dont think its still going is it?
  7. Lauradoll

    Lauradoll Active Member

    Tavistock Chester le Street Riverside have a junior brass academy and by all accounts it's doing very well.
  8. Sparky

    Sparky Member

    Yes Sixy it's still going but it is now run by Tony Griffiths and me. Currently has 12 members and continuing to expand.
  9. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Is it still affiliated to the County Music Service then John?
  10. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Is there a big enough player base within the North East to support several youth bands? It seems to be the opinion that the way to cure our player problems is to set up loads of youth bands.

    I for one would prefer to see a limited number of full, quality youth bands than a fragmented approach of many, 1/2 full, average youth bands. Yes you look at places like the north west and there a lot of good youth bands, but it must be remembered these are well established.

    In my opinion, for example youth bands in say Northumberland (eg. Ashington area), Central Newcastle (Gosforth), South Tyneside and Durham would be a good start and building from there, if these bands had the support of the more senior bands in the immediate surrounding area. However, as much as I feel pooling resources is a great idea, I get a feeling that it would just end up with a massive squabble over who gets the best players from these youth bands.....
  11. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Ignore me, I'm talking rubbish!! The Northumberland County/Greggs band has nowt to do with the Ellington youth band
  12. six pints

    six pints Active Member

    Its alright col, we do normally ignore you anyway lol!!

    Fully agree, I think that the schools one was meant to be the northumberland one, but you know as well as me how successful that was! Maybe a lot of people were intimidated by the fact it was a county band, or maybe it was the fact it wasnt any cheaper then any of the other bands but didnt get a residential that put people off. I dunno, but i'd like to see it back again!

    Excellent, I'm pleased to hear this. I thoroughly enjoyed my years there, and hope that it continues to grow! :)
  13. michellegarbutt

    michellegarbutt Supporting Member

    Murton and I believe Craghead both have youth bands and don't forget Houghton Schools which has been around quite a long time. The only thing I've noticed is some of our youngsters play for both Murton youth band and Houghton schools and I'll bet something similar happens with other bands in the area. I don't have a problem with this as I'd rather see all the youth bands thriving than some having to pack in through lack of membership but the snag comes once the kids are good enough to play at senior band level and they can only choose one of the senior competeing bands that are affiliated to the youth bands they've been playing in.
  14. Sparky

    Sparky Member

    Fully agree, I think that the schools one was meant to be the northumberland one, but you know as well as me how successful that was! Maybe a lot of people were intimidated by the fact it was a county band, or maybe it was the fact it wasnt any cheaper then any of the other bands but didnt get a residential that put people off. I dunno, but i'd like to see it back again!

    Excellent, I'm pleased to hear this. I thoroughly enjoyed my years there, and hope that it continues to grow! :)[/QUOTE]

    I think that you had to be minimum grade 5 to get into the county band. The big question was therefore who would get people up to grade 5 standard, especially on the non-orchestral brass instruments because we seem to have a music service in Northumberland that doesn't seem that interested in brass bands.

    Colins idea about pooling resources is great in theory but he has hit the nail on the head with regard to the arguments that would spring up about which player goes to which band. But it must be noted that Sixy now plays for WACB not Ellington which illustrates that it is the players choice where they end up, if people are attracted to a particular band, for whatever reason, then they will join that band.

    Also, just to big our junior band up, we have been running juniors for a long time now. I am a product of the junior band (which really illustrates how long we have been going!!), we have 9 current band members who came from juniors as well as a significant number playing for bands in other parts of the country and several who have made a career as musicians in the forces. Long may it continue.

    We are talking to the Borders Brass Band association about their youth policy because they are doing really well in attracting young people to the brass band movent and are, IMHO, laying the foundations for a brilliant future. If we can replicate their success then we should be able provide players for more than one band.

    EDIT: Copied into the original North of England thread, PB, Mod

    However all of this is a bit off topic. Getting back to topic I would like to wish everyone luck at the area with special mentions to Westoe (good luck Col!), Five Rivers, Reg Vardy (Cheers Lauradoll) and Wansbeck's Ashington. I shall probably see you in the bar at Darlington
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2007
  15. bigcol

    bigcol Member

    Looks like this thread has sparked off a bit of debate, both online and offline. I'm pleased to hear that at least 2 of the top section bands in the area have youth bands or some sort of youth involvement which cannot be bad. I would like to see a few more though!

    I'm bringing this issue up as an agenda point at the next Durham CBBA - it is something I feel quite passionately about and to be frank it is the only realistic way that banding in our area can survive.
  16. Benyboy

    Benyboy New Member

    I was a member of the Durham County Youth Band in the 80's & 90's and this band helped produce some of the finest players this area has ever had ie Steve Malcolm, Steve Clinton, Mark Bentham & Marc Burleigh to name but a few. We had the best MD in the N.E. Conducting & Arranging ie Roger Payne and some of the best players ie Mel Mcrae, Jonny Longstaff & Colin Adamson would help out with individual sections. The band was sponsored by Durham County Council & Banks Haulage Company.

    What went wrong?


    Several of the lower section bands wouldnt let their kids go to the band as they feared they would be "poached" by better bands.The players dwindled and the band folded when the band manager Ros Williamson had enough. This is fact as my mother-in-law ran it!

    Therefore, bands who have now folded or suffering from lack of players in the area can only blame themselves!!!

    There is immense experience of playing at the highest level and musical talent in the top bands in our area waiting to be passed on to youngsters. Ray Farr is also doing lots of work to further the region through Durham Uni.

    The question I therefore ask is would the local bands support a County Youth band?
  17. Lauradoll

    Lauradoll Active Member

    I am in the process of organising a brass summer school to be held during the summer holidays at my school (in Durham) so perhaps it might kick start a future Durham County Youth Band.

    Perhaps this should be on a different thread/ topic so this issue can be discussed further.

    As for the areas, good luck to all.
  18. Lauradoll

    Lauradoll Active Member

    Perhaps we should have a separate thread/ topic for discussion the youth band/ future of our movement issues as there is obviously a lot of interest and issues to discuss regarding it. I am in the process of organising a summer school in the summer holidays for brass players (school kids) in Durham so perhaps this could be used a s a kick start for a county band? Who knows!
  19. Mrs Fruity

    Mrs Fruity Member

    Durham has a county wind band already, doesn't it?

    Exciting things are happening in Sunderland LEA at the moment, but a youth band isn't planned for a while yet. It seems, however, that music tuition is about to make a comeback (due to our excellent and very enthusiastic music development officer :clap: :clap: ) and our school is about to extend our brass provision to 12 instruments as well as moving into woodwind -at last, my very own wind band!!!- and strings.
  20. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Northumberland had/has a County Wind band (2 in fact) and also a successful County Jazz Orchestra, however in my experience it was traditionally difficult to translate those brass players into brass bands...

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