The National Youth Brass Band of Wales is preparing for its annual course, which this year is being led by Cory MD Philip Harper (above).
Talented performers from all corners of the country will gather under his baton at Trinity St David University in Carmarthen this Sunday (22nd) to start work on challenging repertoire To be featured in a trio of concerts in Neath, Newtown and Cardiff the following weekend.
Phil has certainly ensured that there will be plenty of great music to their teeth into, with Philip Wilby's 'New Jerusalem' and Eric Ball's 'Resurgam' forming contrasting test-piece elements of their programmes.
In addition his own 'East Meets West' suite and works such as 'Balkan Dance' and the TJ Powell march 'The Spaceman' will also be heard, whilst there will be a special premiere of Tom Davoren's ensemble version of his NHS 70th anniversary inspired 'Legacy'.
The guest soloist this year is Daniel Thomas, solo euphonium of Black Dyke and former alumni of the band. He will perform the John Golland Euphonium Concerto.
In a continued effort to maintain a production line of new talent coming through the ranks, the band will also be holding a series of 'sit and play' workshops at each concert venue, where during the day youngsters can come along and enjoy a taste of what the National Youth Band has to offer and to play along with the current band.
Wales continues to produce fine young brass and percussion players — testament to the excellent work undertaken by so many community bandsPhilip Harper
Speaking to 4BR, Philip Harper said that he was thoroughly looking forward to the course. "This is the second time I've been asked to conduct the band, and it's a real honour. Wales continues to produce fine young brass and percussion players — testament to the excellent work undertaken by so many community bands."
He added: "With that in mind I've chosen a challenging programme this year — with two major test-pieces. There will be plenty of musical contrast on offer too, and I hope everyone will be as amazed by the playing talents of Daniel Thomas as I've been on hearing him play over the past few years.
All this and we have the special performances of Tom Davoren's 'Legacy' and we are encouraging the next generation of youngsters to come along and experience what the band is all about with the 'sit and play' initiative. It's going to busy and fun, and I can assure everyone there is going to be plenty of great music making on show."
Sit and play
To find out more about the 'sit and play' initiative, which costs just £5.00 and includes a free concert ticket, please contact Alexandria James to register to take part at the venue of your choice.
Players should ideally be between 10-18 years of age:
Friday 27th July
St David's Church
Saturday 28th July
Sunday 29th July
Dora Stoutzker Hall