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American youth set to create their own vision for the future

The inaugural course of the National Youth Brass Band of America (NYBBA) is due to take place later this month with the ambition to help young performers create their musical vision for the future.

National Youth
  The inaugural course will take place later this month at Missouri Western State University

The National Youth Brass Band of America (NYBBA) is gearing up for its inaugural course to be held at Missouri Western State University between the 16th and 22nd June.

Delegates from all over the USA will take part, with the course designed to create a 'wide angle lens' approach to the youth brass band movement.

Own vision

Speaking about the ethos to 4BR, Artistic Director and Founder Helen Harrelson said: "This is an opportunity to allow participants not only to perform in a brass band setting, but to immerse themselves in its culture and traditions while creating their own vision and synergy for the future."

Helen revealed that the delegates will enjoy an exciting programme of repertoire which will feature a new multidisciplinary art commission 'Avifauna' by emerging young composer Joshua Jameson.

The work is inspired by the native birds of America — Morning Birds, Hummingbird, Owl, Vulture and the Eagle, and will combine dance, artwork, light and soundscape designs.

Creative collaborations

Helen added: "Part of the vision for the youth brass band movement here is not just to provide ensemble playing experience, but to develop avenues for young performers and composers to expand their musical horizons, and to inspire new creative collaborations.

There is a desire in the United States to produce repertoire that is faithful to the brass band ethos, yet also has its own fingerprint, catering to the new generation of American performers and audiences."

Memorable occasion

Executive Director and Founder, Dr. Lee Harrelson serves as the Chair of the Department of Music at Missouri Western State University (MWSU) and he is also looking forward to hosting to what promises to be a memorable occasion.

"Missouri Western State University and the community of St. Joseph are thrilled to be hosting this inaugural course," he said..

"As a Department of Music, School of Fine Arts and University as a whole, we're dedicated to transforming the lives of our students and the communities they serve.

The arts bring people together and foster creativity. We welcome all of the delegates and the faculty from around the world to our home with our own ethos of 'Everything is Possible'!"

In addition to a focus on rehearsals and sectionals, clinics and masterclasses will also play an important part in the educational process of the course.

There is a desire in the United States to produce repertoire that is faithful to the brass band ethos, yet also has its own fingerprint, catering to the new generation of American performers and audiencesHelen Harrelson

Brass band icons

Students will take part in workshops on scoring and arranging as well as interactive test-piece reading session on works by iconic brass bands composers such as from Howells, Vinter and Gregson to Wilby, Sparke and Graham.

Lee added: "With the knowledge and musicianship that Founding Musical Director Professor David King brings to the course, I'm sure that we will be in for an amazing week."

The end of course concert will be held in Potter Hall at Missouri Western State University on Saturday, June 22nd (2.30pm) Admission is free and open to the public.

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Rob Nesbitt

BSc, PG Cert. Ed.
Cartoonist , illustrator, writer