Young Otterbourne stars have egg-citing Easter

After a great push towards the Area contest in March and a fantastic result, we at band look forward to a short period of relaxation over Easter, when some of the band are off on holiday and spending time with family.

This is not the case, however, for our younger contingent….or I should say, our younger ex-members…

Sadly, this year we said goodbye to 2 of our younger members of the band. Principal cornet, Sonja Charters’ daughter, Becca, left us a few months ago to further her experience by joining a local championship band before heading off to music college in September and Tom Toledo-Brown decided to take a break from brass banding to concentrate on his studies before sitting his GCSEs in May this year. Becca is still a regular face in the band room as a fantastic dep and Tom is hoping to return once his exams are out of the way.

This week sees Becca return as a solo cornet for her 3rd course and Tom attend his first course on 2nd cornet at the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. A massive achievement for both players and we are very proud of them both.

NYBBGB is made up of around 80 of the best players from around the country who have been auditioned and those lucky (super-talented) ones, offered a place in the band for that year. Every Easter and Summer members are invited to attend a week long course together. They practise extremely hard all week in both full band rehearsals and sectionals taken by some of the top players in the country. This course sees Becca being tutored by Philip Cobb, principal trumpet of the LSO since he was 21 and Tom being tutored by Tom Hutchinson, principal cornet of Cory Band – currently the best brass band in the world. Both ex-principal cornets of the NYBBGB during their time with the band.

All the tutors provide such a wealth of experience and inspire the youngsters so much during their time together, albeit short. They come away not only having had the best time together, but making lifelong friends and becoming better musicians too.

I’m sure you will agree, what an important role this plays in the continuing future of brass banding in this Country.

At the end of the course, the band usually perform two concerts locally. This course’s concerts are scheduled for 14th April at Uppingham School and 15th April at West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge.

This year the members also have an extra special treat of being invited to play a concert a week later on the 22nd April at the Barbican Centre in London.

All concerts prove to be something special as the band play a whole new repertoire which they have perfected in just a week and as always they play to an exceptional standard and also showcase spectacular soloists, this course being Philip Cobb on cornet and Peter Moore on trombone.

If you can manage to get across country to attend one of the concerts, you will not be disappointed. They are well worth the trip.

But, if you are unable to travel, please consider supporting the future of the brass band culture in the UK and check out the NYBBGB website and or Facebook page and have a look at the good work the band does and what the youngsters are getting up to each day.

I’m sure you will all be as excited and proud of them as we are at Otterbourne.

Tickets for all concerts can be purchased via links on both pages.