Youth Brass 2000 recently added another memorable chapter to their remarkable list of musical achievements by performing in Leeuwarden, the 2018 European City of Culture.
Following their successes in winning the British Open, National and European Championships titles, the band was honoured to accept an invitation from the Dutch city to perform at their high profile, 'City Proms Festival'.
After making the long journey from their home on the Thursday, the band wasted no time in getting straight into action, under MD Chris Jeans with an evening performance in the Waagplein Square as part of Allan Withington's annual Conducting School, which this year celebrated its tenth anniversary.
The 40 young players were also surprised to find out that they were to stay in a converted prison during their stay.
It may have been a sure fire way to ensure that the team of adult supporters knew where everyone was each night, but the evocative surroundings of the innovative hotel also turned out to be a fantastic base for their activities.
The following day the band provided a surprise birthday performance for the Alderman of Leeuwarden, Sjoerd Feitsma, directly outside the City Hall. Both he and the Mayor, Ferd Crone, even had a chance to conduct the band on Pharrell Williams' 'Happy'.
Later that evening, the band took to the streets once more to give a 'flash mob' performances of 'Valero' and 'Caravan' in the city's main square, Wilhelminaplein, to the delight of the growing crowds.
Saturday saw international stars Omar Tomasoni and David Thornton join the ranks for an interval performance at the JeugdOrkestenFestival, the city's annual youth brass band contest.
Omar and David thrilled the audience with their performances of Haydn's 'Trumpet Concerto' and George Doughty's 'Grandfather's Clock', whilst the band's Resident Conductor, Cathy Fountain, was kept busy as one of the adjudicators for the youth contest, an experience she later said she "thoroughly enjoyed".
The memorable weekend came to a close on the Saturday evening with a concert performed on the main festival stage on Wilhelminaplein to a crowd of over 3,000 people — and where the band's playing was as hot as the weather.
Once again Omar and David thrilled with their solo spots, although the raucous reception for the band after playing their final item of 'Caravan' was an experience the players will remember for a very long time, as Band Chairman, Don Collins, told 4BR.
"2018 has already been an amazing year with our title successes. However, the fact that Youth Brass 2000 received this generous invitation to take part in Leeuwarden's City of Culture celebrations recognised our achievements as the leading youth brass band in Europe.
It was also a wonderful way for the youngsters to experience a truly memorable trip to a wonderful city, and one where they were outstanding ambassadors for the whole of the UK brass band movement."
Don added: "Special thanks must go to Omar Tomasoni and David Thornton, Bernhard Hoekstra and the JeudgOrkestenFestival team for their fantastic hospitality, and to City Proms and the people of Leeuwarden for their warm welcome. We'd love to come back again!"
the fact that Youth Brass 2000 received this generous invitation to take part in Leeuwarden's City of Culture celebrations recognised our achievements as the leading youth brass band in EuropeYouth Brass 2000
The band will not be resting on their laurels however, with a Music for Youth performance and a joint concert with National champion Brighouse & Rastrick given on their return.
In August the band will undertake a tour to Disneyland Paris and Lake Garda, before all efforts will be focussed on the inaugural 'Youth Brass in Concert' contest in November at Sage Gateshead.