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Fernie inspires Gloucestershire youth

Alan Fernie led the music making on the latest Glucestershire Youth Band course — even if he couldn't quite muster up some real snow...

Gloucester
  Alan Fernie led the youngsters on the weekend course

The members of the Gloucestershire Youth Band recently met up for a weekend music course directed by Scottish composer and conductor Alan Fernie.

Under his guidance and a team of tutors, the youngsters prepared and an eclectic programme of music. These included two world premieres in a concert on Saturday evening which was recorded as a submission to the Music For Youth Festival, which the band hopes to be selected to perform in later this year.

World premieres

The band began rehearsing the previous day, followed by sectionals on Saturday morning led by Alan and tutors Emily Wilson, Phil Storer, Emily Evans, Andy McDade, Max Ireland.

The concert for family and friends saw them showcase an array of different musical styles, from 'One Small Step' written by Alan for the National Children's Band of Scotland, to Edward Gregson's engaging test-piece, 'Music for Greenwich'.

The first of the world premieres was Alan's latest composition, 'Snow' — completed just before the event and evoking feelings of reflection of the winter just passed (although it was remarked that no snow actually fell in Gloucester!)

It was followed by 'Eridu' — a great up-tempo march from teenage composer Morris Harper, which was roundly acclaimed by the audience.

Round the world

The band completed its programme with the enjoyable test-piece 'The Journal of Phileas Fogg' by Peter Graham, with the audience taken on a journey around Europe in much less than 8 minutes let alone 80 days.

The encore 'The Storyteller' rounded off a memorable event and reminded people of the lasting link that the work written by Alan Fernie provided with the charity 'Brass for Africa'.

Last summer, the band performed alongside 12 young people from Uganda as part of Brass for Africa's contribution to the Cheltenham Music Festival, featuring Wynton Marsalis.

These kids are amazing. They perform music in two days that some bands would take weeks to preparePaul McLaughlin from Gloucestershire Music

Marvellous

Speaking about the weekend Alan Fernie remarked that it had been a "marvellous experience", and that he was "delighted to receive the invitation to conduct the band."

In response, Paul McLaughlin from Gloucestershire Music told the audience: "These kids are amazing. They perform music in two days that some bands would take weeks to prepare.

We thank everyone who has taken part in the course this year and the GBBA for their support in making this happen!"

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Brett Baker

BSc (Hons), ARCM, PG Dip
Rath clinician, conductor, teacher, adjudicator, editor


               

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