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Rochdale Borough Youth Band
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Introduction

The Rochdale Intermediate Brass Band was formed in 1994, for young brass players between 7 and 16 years of age. This talented and enthusiastic group of young players have done much to promote music and entertain audiences, young and old, throughout the Borough of Rochdale and beyond both nationally and internationally!

As our engagement diaries show, the Intermediate Brass Band rehearsed hard and worked well together with our Musical Director, Eric Landon to become the Rochdale Music Service’s busiest band, averaging around 30 performances per year.

As the Intermediate Band matured in ability as well as age, taking their music very seriously, and undoubtedly spurred on by their successes they reached the stage where they wished to be considered a youth band.

Consequently, in 2000 The Rochdale Borough Youth Band was formed and is the first youth band formed with players solely from Rochdale Music Service.

The Youth Band currently rehearses twice a week with musical directors Eric Landon and Ian Porthouse, in addition to performing at concerts and contests etc and providing Assistant Teachers and experienced players to accompany the Rochdale Intermediate and Junior Brass Band’s younger players.

We are particularly proud of our link with Rochdale Autism Group Support, which heightened our awareness of disability in our community, and enabled children with Autism to play alongside the band as equal members. The band also do a great deal of work with Springhill Hospice in Rochdale, helping them raise funds across the Borough.

The talent of the band is matched equally by their ability to work and socialise together as a group. Our memorable band holidays in Germany, France and throughout the UK are evidence of both! On one band holiday to Cornwall we played four concerts, two with the equally talented St Keverne Band.

In the short time since its formation, the Youth Band have already experienced well deserved success, and our success as a combined band at the Whit Friday Saddleworth Band Contests in 2001 saw the band gain first youth prizes at 7 out of the 8 contests entered. In 2002 the band won 6 first and 2 second youth prizes out of 9 contests visited. This high standard of playing and success has continued over the years.

The highlight for the Youth Band was reached when we received the Outstanding Performance Award at the National Festival of Music for Youth on the South Bank in London and went on to be invited to the prestigious Music for Youth Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2001. In 2002 we were again victorious collecting the Outstanding Performance Award for the second year in succession. Since then we have been invited down to London and collected a number of prizes.

The band have entered the Action Research Youth Entertainment Championships at the Blackpool Winter Gardens in February 2000 (2nd place) February 2001 (Joint 2nd place), February 2002 - 1st place to gain the title Youth Entertainment Champions of Great Britain. As a result of this prestigious win we were invited to perform at the All England Brass Band Masters Gala Concert at the Corn Exchange, Cambridge in 2002, alongside Fodens Band (then All-England Masters). We also entered the Action Research Youth Entertainment Championships in the years 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and have been successful in gaining the title Youth Entertainment Champions of Great Britain in 2003, 2005 and 2006 and gained 2nd place in 2004.

The band have been North West Area Brass Bands Association Manchester District Annual Champions (Youth Section).

At Hardraw Scar Brass Band Contest held in September 2002 the band were awarded Best Selection (Unregistered Bands), Best Hymn Tune (Unregistered Bands) and were placed second overall in the contest, beating several higher section bands

The Borough Youth Band, and before them, the Intermediate Brass Band have always taken great pride not only in their performances, but also in their appearance. The distinctive royal blue waistcoats, black skirts, trousers and ties have made them instantly recognisable wherever they perform.

We have, a training band, the Rochdale Borough Junior Band which was formed with succession planning in mind. As the older players leave Secondary Education for University or to start work, it is vital that the Junior and Intermediate Bands feed the Youth Band.

All three brass bands from Rochdale Music Service perform regularly at a number of events from charity functions to conferences to weddings to carnivals and many others. 

A number of young brass players have left the band and gone on to join many of the finest brass bands in the world, for example Williams Fairey, Yorkshire Building Society, Brighouse & Rastrick and Fodens Brass Bands.



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