CARDIFF AND THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN BRASS BAND’S BIO
High Schools’ Brass Band
The High Schools’ Brass Band serves as a training ground for the County Youth Brass Band but is also justifiably proud of its reputation as an accomplished performing Band. It currently has 32 members whose ages range from 12 to 16.
In 2002, members of the Band visited Valkenburg, Holland and also performed in Luxemburg, followed in 2003 by a visit to Normandy, France. Members of the Band went on tour to the French Alps in 2005, which included a concert on the banks of Lake Geneva.
The Band returned to Normandy in July 2007.
WHAT DID I DO WITH THE BRASS BANDS?
A bit of a cheat on this one as it’s not a professional project. It was, however, a huge part of my musical upbringing. I used to attend several different ensembles at the Friary Centre in central Cardiff. Jazz News, National Youth Orchestra of Wales, Percussion Ensemble and a variety of Brass and Wind bands.
I was involved with the Cardiff music service from around the age of seven until I moved to London to further my studies in music at The Insititute of Contemporary Music Performance. As I progressed through the different levels of the different ensembles I would often be called upon to return down to the lower ranks and happily lend a hand to ensembles missing some percussion.
The experiences and venues we performed at regularly were invaluable in developing me into the musician I am today. We would perform in some of Cardiff and the surrounding area’s most prestigious concert halls and venues such as St Davids Hall, Cardiff City Hall and Barry Memorial Town Hall. As well as regular extra concerts at local festivals, bandstands and music halls.
Most summers the High Schools Brass Ensemble, conducted by Charlie Maynard, would take week-long tours across the English Channel and adventure to different European countries for a series of concerts, mixed in with site-seeing.
Holland, Luxemburg, France, Switzerland and Germany. We once had a concert on the edge of Lake Geneva. During one of the pieces, I had a drum solo. During my solo a small dog took a disliking to my playing at then the local church bell began to toll for high noon. We played in some amazing places, such as Gold Beach, Normandy and at the foot of Mont Blanc in the french alps.