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The National College of Brass continues to expand:

The number of schools offering GCSE and A level Music is slowly declining. However, many head teachers and heads of music who are looking to improve their 'value added' activities are turning to The National College of Brass. Consequently, College representatives are pleased to observe a significant increase in interest and, in the number of newly established examination centres. The most recent of these have been in Tameside and Blackpool where the need for QCA recognised practical and theoretical examinations is most apparent.

At the latest new centre in Mossley, candidates of all ages were keen to have their practical ability measured. It would appear that the NCB's Certificates provide ideal evidence to future employers and educational bodies and, suit the governmental aim to provide all pupils with a portfolio of achievements. And why not? It's about time we recognised the skills of our brass instrumentalists.

But this examination was slightly different. It would appear that conductors and band trainers are now using the NCB to improve the technical skills of individual players by setting them short term practical examination goals. Internal competition between players within the same band have now been set up which are ideal for those holiday periods when the standard of playing often falls.

Lana Clough, conductor of the Friezland Band recognises that "this examination procedure is beneficial to all. It recognises and develops the skills of individuals, increases self-confidence and improves the general standard of the band".

If you would like to find out more about the NCB click the appropriate logo on this web-site or refer to; http://www.nationalcollegeofbrass.co.uk

New College Representatives Required

During the last 5 years The National College of Brass has undergone numerous changes. This has ultimately resulted in an increase of examination centres and the need to advertise for new National College of Brass Representatives.

The role of the representative is to promote the interests of The College and to support local schools, bands and private tutors who wish to enter candidates for examinations.

Representatives who intend to enter candidates for examination themselves will also be given a mentor and the opportunity to train as an examiner for which there is a set fee.

If you are interested in such a prestigious position please forward your CV to A White or Dr J Hall whose details are on The College web-site. Further advice and matters of interest can also be discussed by phoning any of the telephone numbers promoted on the web-site.

An introduction to NCB's Performing and Composing Diplomas

A free one day course is to be offered to candidates considering The National College of Brass Diploma examinations. Many enquiries now relate to repertoire, how specific sections are marked and examined and, what preparation is expected. Consequently, an opportunity for candidates to reflect upon College expectancies will be given in the form of a course on Sunday 1st December 2002.

The venue for this event is yet to be announced but it will be in Tameside, Cheshire. A light lunch will also be provided free of charge.

We intended to start the day at 11.00am and focus specifically on the Performing Diploma. Lunch will be taken between 1.00 and 2.00pm which will be followed by an open forum on The College Composing Diploma. This will conclude at approximately 4.30pm. (You may, if you wish attend just the one seminar if you are only interested in one of the Diplomas). There will also be several opportunities for candidates to ask questions about procedures and the examinations themselves.

If you are interested in attending this course please contact Mr David Ashworth, 126 Eldon St, Tonge Moor, Bolton. BL2 2JFL. Tel. 01204 366229. E-Mail: ashwortd@aol.com

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