by Author Fiona Johnstone

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Whitley Memorial Pupils perform at the 40 years Brass in Concert event

Students from Whitley Memorial First School mini band were invited to attend the youth workshop on the 19th November as part of the Brass in Concert event at Sage Gateshead. They were then given the opportunity to perform on the concourse to hundreds of brass players from across the country and further afield. What a fantastic opportunity for young players from Northumberland.

Whitley Memorial First School are involved in the Bedlington to Ashington Building Brass project which takes place across two school partnerships and includes 15 schools. Following on from their whole class first access project students are invited to join a lunch time mini brass band and over the autumn term the students worked hard to prepare two pieces of music to be performed at the above event.

Under the guidance of Instrumental tutor Steph Brown the students won over the hearts of all attendees and clearly showed that young people still love brass bands.

"The pupils seemed to love the brass event. They were enthusiastic and were making their own suggestions and contributions to the session. The youth workshop was led by Laura Jackson and students played When the Saints, Jingle Bells and Bounce. Pupils made their own contributions so when they played Jingle Bells they also had some pupils perform solos while others sang and some played percussion too. So it was lovely that they were able to make suggestions to what they performed. It was great that the students played to a packed concorse and seemed very confident, since most of them have only been playing for one year."

Stephanie Brown
Brass Tutor Music Partnership North

Student Quotes:

"I love playing the cornet and have gained loads of confidence since performing at the Sage."

" I enjoy playing in the mini band and feel amazing when we get to the end of a piece of music after playing altogether! I love the challenges of learning a new instrument and never thought I would get the to be as good as I am and play at the Sage."

"Mini band is incredible! We get lots of chances to play and perform. I loved playing at the Sage!

"I am now a really good player. I love playing the baritone and thought our performance at the Sage was fantastic!"