Brass banding is currently enjoying some rare moments in the national television spotlight — and following the recent 'Battle of the Bands' programme as part of the BBC 1 'Our Lives' series, has come a wonderful feature on the prime-time 'One Show'.
It looked at the work undertaken by Grimethorpe Colliery Band in helping develop future generations of brass band players in their local area — and in particular the amazing results that have been achieved at Birkwood Primary School.
Reporter Andy Kershaw visited to see first-hand just how solo euphonium player Michael Dodd has inspired a remarkable rejuvenation of interest — one that was described by head teacher Julie Allen MBE as making a "massive difference" to the children's self esteem, discipline and self confidence.
"It's just been amazing," she said. And on highlighting that the instruments that the pupils play on had all been donated and that the lessons were free of charge, she added: "Disadvantage or low income must not be a barrier to be able to learn an instrument of any kind — especially brass."
The feature ended with a massed band performance of 'Concerto d'Orange Juice', as well as words of encouragement and reminiscence from the studio guests, renowned film directors Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis.
Richard was a former trumpet player, whilst Danny was a self confessed 'always flat' euphonium player, although he did recall the involvement of Grimethorpe in the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games.
Disadvantage or low income must not be a barrier to be able to learn an instrument of any kind — especially brassHeadteacher, Julie Allen MBE
Catch it again
The feature can still be seen on the BBC Iplayer at around 5.30 minutes in at: