Seventy-six young musicians of the Cornwall Youth Brass Band spent four days of their Christmas holidays rehearsing under the baton of guest conductor Richard Evans at their Residential Course at the Truro High for Girls. The doyen of brass band conductors, Evans joined the course after a short Christmas break following a trip conducting and coaching bands in Japan.
The band was also joined by guest soloist Owen Farr, principal tenor horn of the Cory Band (the present European, National and Brass in Concert champions and for seven years graded as the top brass band in the world). Accompanied by Hannah Hawken, a former principal cornet of the Cornwall Youth Brass Band, Farr gave a recital featuring solos of days gone by, written by players from the famous Sousa Band. In addition, four young musicians from the band, Tom Howard, Andrew Hammett, Adam Scott and Josie Whale, took part in a master class, benefiting not just themselves but the whole band from the comments and advice given by Farr.
After intensive rehearsals over four days, the band accompanied Owen Farr in several solo items at their Gala Concert at St. Michael’s Church in Newquay on 30 December. Among these was the world premiere of A New Dawn, a work commissioned by Farr from Christoper Bond, a former member of the Cornwall Youth Brass Band, presently studying composition at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.
Among other music studied and played at the concert, the band marked the centenary of St. Ives-born composer George Lloyd with a performance of his Royal Parks, a major work written in 1985 for the European Brass Band Championships. This demonstrated the high standard and musical ability achieved by the young musicians. Members of the Cornwall Youth Brass Band range in age from 10 to 21. Prior to the Residential Course, they have been working on the music at monthly rehearsals held at Truro College with resident conductors Alan Pope, Aaron Harvey and Jeremy Willcock, along with a team of local tutors.
Cornwall Youth Brass Band press release submitted by CYBB Secretary Phillip Hunt