Sharing a Love of BRASS with County Durham’s Children

Daily tutorials and workshops will be taking place every day next week to mark the return of BRASS, the international music festival which is organised by Durham County Council.

At midday, Durham Music Service will be delivering a series of short brass tutorial videos, offering quick lessons in different brass instruments each day, ahead of a brass ensemble to finish on Friday 17 July.

Some firm favourites from the BRASS festival will then be sharing their love of brass music in interactive online workshops, starting at 1pm.

Featuring Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, Spanish amigos Artistas Del Gremio, Mouv ‘n’ Brass from France and the UK’s own Backchat Brass, there’ll be a different workshop every day over the last week of term.

All 265 schools in the county have been invited to take part in the tutorials and workshops, with families at home being able to join in this year too.

Schools have welcomed the return of BRASS Online and the virtual workshops and tutorials.

Matthew Grehan-Bradley, Head of Music at St Leonard’s Catholic School in Durham, said: “We thoroughly enjoyed our workshop with Artistas del Gremio two years ago, and I will certainly circulate details of this year’s online festival. I’m really glad the council was able to salvage something of the festival and I wish organisers the very best of luck with it all.”

Jocelyn McMullen, Head of Music at Hermitage Academy in Chester-le-Street, said: “I have many fond memories of Backchat Brass performing for hundreds of our students in previous years. I will be contacting our students and parents about these opportunities. Thank you so much Durham County Council for forwarding the details.”

Cllr Olwyn Gunn said: “This is an excellent opportunity for young people across County Durham to learn some new skills and hopefully be inspired by the fantastic brass bands to get more involved with music themselves. The workshops are easily accessed on the BRASS website so whether they’re taking part in school or at home, they’ll hopefully have fun while they learn something.”

Cllr Joy Allen said “Although we can’t welcome bands to the county this year, I’m so pleased that no one will be missing out on BRASS. As well as the festival moving online, our workshops will ensure that children and families can enjoy our favourite bands from all over the world from the comfort of their home or school. Hopefully, by the time we do welcome these bold bands back to the county in the future, we’ll have even more young people taking part in music and playing their own brass instruments.”

The tutorial videos are suitable for players of all ages near the beginning of their playing journey, with quick lessons in the following instruments taking place at 12pm each day:

• Tuesday 14 July: The trombone
• Wednesday 15 July: The French horn
• Thursday 16 July: The baritone horn
• Friday 17 July: A brass ensemble featuring all the above.

All workshops will take place at 1pm. The programme for the week includes:
• Monday 13 July: Mr Wilson’s Second Liners will deliver an entertaining workshop for young people and introduce a range of brass instruments
• Tuesday 14 July: Artistas Del Gremio, a Spanish street band known for their lively performances, will demonstrate harmony, chords, consonance and dissonance.
• Wednesday 15 July: Italian street band Bandakadabra will demonstrate the difference between Swing playing and Straight playing in brass music.
• Thursday 16 July: In their fourth year at the festival, Back Chat Brass will show how dynamics work in brass music and the power of loud versus soft.
• Friday 17 July: The popular French ‘dancing brass band’ Mouv ‘n’ Brass will demonstrate all aspects of rhythm and beat styles in different musical genres.

Full details of each tutorial and workshop from Monday 13 – Friday 17 July, and the full programme of events for BRASS Online, can be found on the BRASS website: www.brassfestival.co.uk/brass-whats-on

Durham Magazine

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