Over 100 aspiring musicians from four of the North West's leading youth brass bands have joined together for a new online collaboration.
'Unity Virtual Brass Project' sees Lions Youth, Macclesfield Youth, Stockport Schools and Poynton Youth Bands pool their skills and resources to set up an 8-week programme of workshops and masterclasses to be delivered by a range of experts via the online Zoom platform.
The bands have been unable to meet since March, and concerned about the negative impact of this prolonged break on enthusiastic young players, the organisations joined forces to support each other and create some fantastic opportunities.
The recent launch saw Philip Harper and tutors from Cory Band lead the way, with further events seeing masterclasses by Russell Gray, percussion expert Andrea Vogler, plus workshops with leading instrumentalists from Foden's, Brighouse & Rastrick and Fairey Bands.
We had a number of meetings together and with the support of our fantastic admin teams we've now created something really positiveNigel Birch
Nigel Birch from Lions Youth Band told 4BR: "We're extremely lucky to have four very successful youth bands in our area, but since the pandemic has paused rehearsals we have all found it difficult to maintain momentum.
The MDs, Louise Renshaw, Michael Eccles, Iain McKnight and I realised that we were each experiencing the same issues which were very difficult to overcome on our own.
We had a number of meetings together and with the support of our fantastic admin teams we've now created something really positive.
He added: "The players are working towards producing some videos and we are already talking about how we might continue with future collaborations post lockdown."