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Fernie moved by life affirming trip to Africa

Composer Alan Fernie has just returned from an amazing musical experience in Uganda as part of the Brass for Africa charity.

Alan Fernie


Well known Scottish musician Alan Fernie has hailed a 'life-affirming' project that uses music to help improve the lives of disadvantaged young people in Africa.

The respected conductor, adjudicator and educator spoke after returning from a two-month working visit with the charity Brass for Africa in the Ugandan capital Kampala, which saw him teach, conduct and oversee the existing music staff and running of a vitally important Saturday music school (above).

Focus in life

Alan, who is the visiting Principal of Brass Learning with Brass for Africa stated: "Working with the young people was life-affirming. They are tremendous at facing all sorts of difficulties in life. Most of them are street kids, homeless, but this project gives them a focus in life.

The skills the music teachers are learning stand them in good stead for whatever path they choose to go down.

One is studying law and another is pursuing accountancy, and that is thanks to the wonderful opportunities they have been given with this project."


During his time in Kampala, Alan also helped guide several students through their Associated Board grade exams and conducted M-Lisada Brass Band in a CD recording project which included his work and music by Jim Trott, executive director at Brass for Africa.

The trip comes as Alan revealed that a new deal with publishing company Obrasso offers him the opportunity to accept commissions from other organisations, and he now hopes to return to the city as Brass for Africa continues to develop.

Working with the young people was life-affirming. They are tremendous at facing all sorts of difficulties in life. Most of them are street kids, homeless, but this project gives them a focus in lifeAlan Fernie

Worked tirelessly

Jim Trott added: "During his time with us, Alan worked tirelessly to further the musical, personal and professional development of Brass for Africa's beneficiaries and staff.

He trained the bands and conductors, worked in the outreach programmes teaching extremely disadvantaged children and mentored our young teachers. He spent hours teaching one on one, composed several new pieces for the bands and solos for individual musicians and led the CD recording."


Jim added: "All this and he introduced a huge amount of new repertoire, opening the eyes and minds of many to new music and techniques. He left an incredible legacy in a relatively short space of time."


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