Annan Town host cross border cooperation day

Players from both sides of Hadrian's Wall recently enjoyed a great day of tuition and inspiration led by players form Scottish champion the cooperation band.

  Vision, Values and aims were all met!

More than 50 brass players of all ages and abilities recently travelled to south west Scotland to take part in a day-long workshop.

The Dumfries & Galloway Brass Workshop at Dumfries Academy was hosted by Annan Town Band with support from the Scottish Brass Band Association (SBBA) and Holywood Trust.

Players from local bands Annan, Langholm, Dumfries, Leadhills, Sanquhar and Stranraer were well represented, as well as from welcome English visitors Newlands Concert Brass, J36 Brass and Riverside Brass.


Rehearsing under Colin McKenzie, conductor of Scottish champion, the cooperation band, the players worked on the march 'Star Lake' by Eric Ball, Goff Richards' arrangement of 'Crimond' and Philip Sparke's 'A Malvern Suite'.

Colin told 4BR: "Days like this are invaluable for both younger and older players, especially at a time when instrumental instruction in schools is being withdrawn.

I'm really pleased as everyone rose to the occasion. I think all the tutors are very keen to be involved with events like this and with helping out the banding movement. We want to try and keep the movement going in all parts of the country, not just the central belt of Scotland."

Expert guidance

Tutors included cornet star Jim Hayes, horn player Chris Hamilton, trombonist Paul Kiernan, euphonium player Chris Shanks and percussionist Kenny Carlyle, who all led sectional rehearsals and gave expert guidance. Also joining them was Andrew Warriner, recently announced as Annan Town Band's new MD.

In addition, Geneva Instruments supported the event by showing their range of instruments.

The workshop follows one of the busiest and most successful periods in Annan's history — one which has seen them represent Scotland at the National Finals in Cheltenham and the European Championships, as well as winning last year's Borders Entertainment Contest and finishing third in the First Section at this year's Fife Charities Contest.

We exceeded all our expectations. We had hoped to get about 40 players so to get 57 was fantastic. We had a great range of players — from the youngest aged just 8 to the oldest at 77Event organiser Michelle McDougall


It was also the first time the band has hosted a workshop, an event they hope to repeat in the future.

Event organiser Michelle McDougall told 4BR: "We exceeded all our expectations. We had hoped to get about 40 players so to get 57 was fantastic. We had a great range of players — from the youngest aged just 8 to the oldest at 77.

I would like to thank Colin and the tutors for all their support and guidance, and I would also like to thank Geneva Instruments for coming along and letting the children have a go."

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