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2017 has been a year of progress for the Beginner Band, and what progress it has been!

Everyone connected to the organisation has been delighted to see the huge increase in numbers we’ve had join the band since September. We now total a very healthy mid-thirty in terms of membership and it has been a real privilege to see these new, eager, young musicians settle in and develop their musical skills. I can’t wait to get working with them on our chosen programmes for our forthcoming competitions.

I was very pleased with the performances the band gave at both the Newcastle and National contests. Newcastle was particularly pleasing due to the fact we played twice in a short space of time, having chosen to compete in both the Under 14 and Under 19s. Joint second and third (in the U14’s and U19’s respectively) were just rewards for the band. I was delighted with the performance the band gave at the Nationals in April. Although we didn’t manage to add to the prizes we have won there over the past three years I was very proud of the assured, calm and confident way in which the band played, and particularly with the comments we received from the judges. There’s always 2018!

Concerts are the lifeblood of the band though. The band has given many super performances across Cheshire in 2017. We’ve had a turbulent year in terms of player movement but performances have always been good, particularly recently as I feel the band has belied its young age and inexperience.

The annual awards night was a great success. It’s a cliché but I could have made an argument for every child in the band to win something. As it was myself and my team settled on the following very deserving winners:

  • Bandsperson of the Year: Paddy Bloor
  • Player of the Year: Oliver Livsey
  • Pride Award: Verity Morris
  • Players’ Player of the Year: Poppy McLaren
  • Most Improved Player: Charlotte Shaw

Looking ahead I’m excited for 2018. As always the Spring term will see us busy rehearsing for our two contests whilst the Summer will see plenty of concert performances.

As always, a huge thanks goes to my team; to Derek, to Charlotte and to Matthew, a huge thank you for everything you have done this year. You are a pleasure to work with. In addition, this year the band has greatly benefitted from the wisdom and expertise of Chris Taylor, Julian Brooks and Emma Dean, all of whom have given up their time on Tuesday evenings to help us give our new starters the individualised time they deserve. Thank you to you all for always going the extra mile and giving your all.

Sadly, we are losing Matthew from our team in January. Matthew is hugely popular with all the members of the band and he is a gem to work with. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that 75% of the organisation have benefitted from his knowledge and expertise. He will be hugely missed. Thank you for everything you’ve done over the many (many!) years you have been part of Lions Youth Brass. Don’t be a stranger!

So, roll on 2018!

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