Contest success for youth band just two weeks after launch

Salisbury Journal: Contest success for youth band just two weeks after launch Contest success for youth band just two weeks after launch

A BAND of youngsters have scooped their first trophies just two weeks after being established.

The new Verwood Youth Band, part of Verwood Concert Brass, attracted 22 musicians for its first rehearsal.

Publicity officer Robert Graves said: “Although Verwood Concert Brass, now in its 150th year, has a long tradition of nurturing brass players of all ages from beginners in its Training Band, good players in its B Band and on to top talent in its A Band, it has never had a youth band.

“Although youngsters gain a lot from playing in a band alongside experienced adult players there is also a lot to be gained from them playing in a group of other like-minded and enthusiastic youngsters.

“What’s more, there are youth band contests which are not only great fun but give a sense of purpose and a measure of progress.”

Mike Dunnings, who set up the youth band, said: “Although we already had a core of good young players within Verwood Concert Brass we needed more to make up a whole band.

“We put the word around that all young players would be welcome to come along but to be honest it was a bit of a leap of faith as to how many would turn up for the first rehearsal.

“But I needn’t have worried as we ended up with a great bunch of young players. The challenge was though; would they be ready for the first youth band contest taking place just two weeks later?”

With only two rehearsals under their belt, on January 25 the band, known as VYB, headed off to the Trafalgar School in Downton to compete in the Wessex Brass Band Association Youth Contest.

Each band performed a 20-minute programme and VYB chose to play the a traditional brass band march Slaidburn, Spread a Little Happiness, Any Dream Will Do and Everybody Needs Somebody, along with and a piece called One Day, chosen to highlight the ability of a soloist from the band.

The band came in second out of six bands from Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire, and the prize for the youngest player of the day went to Rowan Powis, seven.

The band’s principal cornet player Emma Graves won best soloist of the day.

Musical director Kevin Smith said: “I am extremely proud of the Verwood Youth Band on their first outing.

“It just goes to show what can be achieved in just a short space of time when working with a group of enthusiastic and talented young musicians. We are all looking forward to taking the youth band on to even bigger and better things.”

The band would welcome more brass and percussion players – contact Mike Dunnings at or on 07791 340870.

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