Members of Riverside Youth Band in Port Glasgow in Scotland have enjoyed a whirlwind few months — from celebrating musical successes and transatlantic collaborations to securing a new home.
The organisation, which welcomes young brass and percussion players from Inverclyde and beyond, has grown in size after welcoming 17 new starters as part of its 'Riverside Rookies' initiative.
Led by Laura Good it helps guide primary school youngsters on the first steps of their brass playing journey.
Rehearsals, along with those of the organisation's Training and Youth bands take place in Riverside's new home in Port Glasgow New Parish Church, which has provided everyone with a wonderful welcome.
NYBBS and awards
The success of the investment in youth was seen with 14 members of Riverside Youth Band enjoying being part of the recent National Youth Brass Band of Scotland (NYBBS) residential summer course in Perthshire.
Recently the band held its online 'Awards Night', which proved to be a great celebration of success too, following the band's recent Youth Section victory under the baton of MD Mark Good at the Whitburn Band Virtual Festival.
Further online activities have included youngsters collaborating with children from Bear Creek School in Redmond, Washington, USA. The musicians rehearsed together online before joining forces for a distance band video performance of 'Valiants Arise', by Paul Lovatt-Cooper.
Reflecting on what has certainly been a busy period, MD Mark Good told 4BR: "The Youth Band members have continued to acquit themselves well throughout the unprecedented times.
While there have been challenges, one of the most pleasing aspects has been welcoming new players through the 'Rookies' initiative to begin what we hope will be a lifelong love of playing in a brass band."
Meanwhile, Band Chairman, Duncan Galbraith added: "We are very proud of our members for their dedication and commitment and grateful to Inverclyde Council's 'Grants to Voluntary Organisations Fund' for its support in making our digital projects happen.
We can all look forward to an exciting future."
While there have been challenges, one of the most pleasing aspects has been welcoming new players through the 'Rookies' initiative to begin what we hope will be a lifelong love of playing in a brass bandMark Good
2021 Riverside Youth Band Award winners:
Jack Leitch Memorial Trophy for outstanding performance: Mark Gammon
Youth Band 'Bandsperson of the Year': Rachel O'Connor (Inverclyde Academy)
Most Improved Player in the Youth Band: Ewan Galloway
Bandsperson of the Year in the Training Band: Angus Paton
Most Improved Player in the Training Band: Hannah Martin
Section of the Year: Trombones of Training Band (Scott Smith, Andrew Smith (both Inverclyde Academy), Struan Hewitt, Hannah Martin
Sight-reading Award: Struan Hewitt
Digital Champion: Megan Taylor.
You can enjoy Riverside Youth Band's digital performance with young musicians from Bear Creek School, USA at: https://youtu.be/LuORgtQpLec