The National Youth Brass Bands of Scotland involves three bands catering for a range of ages and abilities for Scotland’s young brass and percussion talent.
John Wallace and John Miller of The Wallace Collection were both members of the band back in the 1960’s, so it was a huge delight when John was able to return with Tony George to engage with the current members to offer insightful presentations about the origins of brass instruments and early brass band music.
Working with each of the bands, the NYBBS members were all able to gain a better understanding of how their instruments of today have evolved and developed over the previous years. By introducing early brass band arrangements with each of the bands, it also enabled the players to appreciate the high standards of musicianship that have always been associated with brass bands since their inception. In particular, the senior band was given the opportunity of rehearsing the latest work arranged as part of The Wallace Collection Cyfarthfa Series – Nibelungen March, together with a rare opportunity to enjoy their Musical Director, Russell Gray, and Tony George perform an early era duet on cornet and ophicleide. Both pieces were also included in the end of course concert.
Building links such as these to engage with young musicians is absolutely vital to the future of brass music. There are hopes of developing future plans between NYBSS and The Wallace Collection with education and enjoyment being at the heart of the ideas. Such important collaborations are the backbone of musical development, and to enthuse a young musician is a sure step in the right direction.
John Wallace and Tony George Reflect on Interaction with NYBBS
John Wallace and Tony George chat about their exciting workshops with members of the National Youth Brass Bands of Scotland (NYBBS) at the 2015 summer course in Dunblane.
One key piece undertaken by the NYBBS senior band was Nibelungen March, originally composed by Richard Wagner and then transcribed by George D’Arcy for The Cyfarthfa Band.
As part of The Wallace Collection Cyfarthfa Band Repertoire Project, Tony George has now edited and arranged the piece so that it is more suited for modern brass band instrumentation, and the NYBBS senior band performed the work in their end of course concert.
Nibelungen March includes motifs from the composer’s ring cycle and was a favourite of many a park bandstand programme. This version is based upon the Cyfarthfa manuscript part books and will be available to purchase from The Wallace Collection Online Shop.