The Education Authority (EA) is pleased to announce its Youth Concert Band from the Ballymena area swept the board at the 52nd National Band Championships of Ireland taking home trophies for ‘Best Own Choice Test Piece’, ‘Best Brass Section’ and the title IABCB 3rd Section Champions.
The competition, held in the Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, Co. Meath, drew entries from all across the island and, with 12 concert bands taking part on day 1, attracted it's highest number of competitors in recent years.
The YCB, performed two pieces, ‘Imaginarium’ by American composer Randall Standridge and the Harry Potter inspired ‘Young Wizards’ by Scotsman, Bruce Fraser.
Adjudicator Archie Hutchinson, a man with a lifetime's experience in the Scottish band scene, praised the mature musicianship of the young players and commented on the Band's great dynamics and impressive balance of sounds.
The Band's prize haul includes a three hour Masterclass with Dr Shaun Hooke, Principal Trumpet of the RTE Concert Orchestra. EA Music Service Tutor and YCB Conductor Graham Murray said winning the Masterclass, sponsored by Dublin Trumpet Academy, had topped off an exceptionally successful weekend.
"Our young musicians are very much looking forward to working with such an experienced performer and teacher, it's a great opportunity to develop their skills both individually and as a group."
Following their trip to Berlin last summer, members of the Youth Concert Band are to tour The Netherlands in August, performing at venues in and around Amsterdam.