Youth Workshops with a twist

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by brassyboy, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. brassyboy

    brassyboy Member

    HUNDREDS of young musicians from across County Durham will get the chance to learn from world-class brass players as part of Brass: Durham International Festival.
    Renowned brass musicians will lead a series of workshops for schools and youth bands during the festival, giving budding County Durham musicians the chance to try new styles of music from other parts of the globe.
    Jaipur Kawa Brass Band, a collection of musicians from Rajasthan, India, will deliver a series of workshops in a number of schools, while Jack Brass Band, an American ensemble who play a vibrant and energetic brand of New Orleans jazz will work with some of the county's youth bands.
    Neil Hillier the Arts development Manager for Durham County Council said engaging young players is an essential part of the Brass festival.
    "There's a substantial drop in all forms of music from the numbers of kids playing in primary schools to the number still playing when they reach 18.
    "Often, in their first couple of years at secondary school, they lose interest in playing or the music they're playing no longer inspires them.
    "We're trying to show that within brass music there is a whole range of different styles to get involved in.
    "There is the traditional brass band music, but brass is also part of folk, jazz, ska and many other styles.
    "There's a real variety of what you can achieve playing brass music. We want to show that, and encourage children to keep playing."
    Jaipur Kawa Brass Band will be in County Durham for a week, until Saturday, July 14. The musicians will spend most of their week leading workshops in the county's schools, demonstrating how they create their music and giving tips to young musicians.
    Rob Guest one of the County Council's Arts Development Officers specalising in music said: "India has more brass bands than the UK, and some of them are 100-strong. It's a strong tradition - brass music is often used in Indian weddings.
    "The workshops will be as much about Indian culture as about how the music is constructed."
    Also helping young brass players will be the Jack Brass Band.
    The Minneapolis-based seven-piece band, which combines blues, rock, hip-hop,pop, funk and reggae, will lead teaching sessions with some of County Durham's youth bands, from July 6 to 10.
    "Jack Brass Band's music is very different from the British tradition of playing from music written on a page. Their New Orleans tradition is much more simple in its construction. It's about excitement. They pick up their music from ear, and there's a lot of improvisation. "They will be showing young players that music can be created in this improvisational way, that they can compose music as well as play it.
    "Their workshops will be about raising the confidence and aspirations of young players, encouraging them to create their own music and their own musical style.
    "We would like young people to keep playing with their brass bands and youth bands but also show them what else they can do.
    "Everyone who played music when they were young but gave up says they wish they had kept playing.
    "If the Jack Brass Band can inspire young players and show them the opportunities that exist, that would be excellent for the future of music in the county."
    Jack Brass Band's visit, which also includes a concert at Elvet Methodist Church, Durham City, on Monday, July 9, will have an impact lasting well beyond the end of their one-week stay, with organisers hoping it will lead to the creation of a brand new countywide band.
    Mr Hillier adds: "Jack Brass' workshops are the start of a year-long project. There will be a follow-up summer school in August and others after that. We hope there may even be a chance to take part in next year's Brass festival. By then, they might even be playing their own original compositions."

    We hope by increasing the diversity of playing opportunities young people will will stay playing in, or join traditional brass bands (which we support in a number of ways) whilst also exploring other forms of brass and in doing so it will help keep both forms of music exciting and fresh to them.

    Jack Brass Band will play Elvet Methodist Church on Monday, July 9, from
    8pm. Tickets are £10.50 for adults and £5.50 for concessions.

    The Brass: Durham International Festival workshops are being funded by the Festival and the National Foundation for Youth Music.

    In addition to the above workshops BRASS is supporting more traditional workshops with The Northern Region Brass Band Trust with the first on the 15th July being led by Ray Farr.
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