B&NES Ensembles play in Music For Youth Regional Festival Series 2017

On Saturday the 4th of March, four of our ensembles joined students from around the South West to play in this year’s Music For Youth Regional Festival in Cheltenham. The programme had a fantastic variety of performers, including a primary school choir singing Taylor Swift, a self-conducted brass ensemble and a jazz band that burst in from the side doors and danced in the audience.

Symphonic Wind Band (SWB) and Brass Tacks have been performing in this Festival for the last five years and both ensembles gave confident and exciting performances. Schools Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) and Eclectic Electric made their exciting musical debut, the latter with an original composition that explored numerous genres and boasted challenging time signatures.

Every year the Festival has two Music Mentors, professional musicians with experience in various areas of the music industry. These Mentors watch all the performances and then provide feedback at the end. This year all of our ensembles received incredibly positive comments and invaluable suggestions for development. Some quotes include:

For Symphonic Wind Band:

  • “This is a highly accomplished band”
  • “You play with purpose, energy, drive, commitment and style”
  • “The large band sound is exquisite…you captivated the spirit of each section”

For School’s Philharmonic Orchestra:

  • “Rich string playing, solid percussion, clear wind and crisp brass that all come together to make a vibrant orchestral sound”
  • “Strings have good bow control and real grit in their sound”
  • “A stunning performance from an excellent orchestra”

For Eclectic Electric

  • “Fantastic changes between the sections…superb drums and bass playing”
  • “You took us on a musical styles journey”
  • “Musically exciting and innovative”

For Brass Tacks

  • “Excellent intonation throughout, mixed with a real understanding of the repertoire and style”
  • “You have an exquisite big sound and a wonderfully delicate pianissimo sound”
  • “The solos in ‘Shepherd’s Song’ were wonderful, with fabulous vibrato and phrasing”

We are now waiting to hear back from Music For Youth to see if any of our ensembles have made it through to the National Festival in Birmingham later this year. Watch this space!