2011 National Convention programme of Events
The 2011 convention is back in Scotland after an absence of many years. The No. 6 Area committee and the Executive Committee have given a lot of consideration into the overall content of this year’s convention weekend.The 2011 convention is being held on from Friday 1st and Sunday 3rd April at the Best Western Hilcroft Hotel, East Main Street, Whitburn, Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland(for satellite navigation systems the postcode is EH47 0JU). The hotel is centrally located between Edinburgh and Glasgow and easy access to the M8 motorway.
The 2011 National Convention has a varied and diverse choice of content for both the younger and older delegate, a choice which has been well considered and planned by No. 6 Area. For those delegates arriving on Friday evening there is an informal gathering where you have the chance to meet new friends as well as some old ones as well.
The convention starts off with what promises to be a wonderful recital and presentation from one of Scotland’s leading orchestral trombone players, Davur Magnusson.Born in Tórshaven, inthe Faroe Islands. He was appointed as the principal trombone chair of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at the age of 22. He is the youngest member of the national orchestra and according to The Herald his appointment is to "one of the most prestigious positions" in the brass section. He is considered one of the most technically able and talented trombonists of his generation.
For those delegates wishing to enhance their own conducting skills the eminent conducting teacher Dr Alistair Mitchell PhD, a familiar name and teacher to manyorchestral conductors at the highest level. Who will provide an enthusiastic and most informative presentation.
Dr. Mitchell was born in Glasgow, and studied at Edinburgh University, the Royal Academy of Music, London, and the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia, Rome. For five years he was a conducting pupil of Igor Markevitch and Herbert Blomstedt at the Monte-Carlo Opera Orchestra and also in Rome and Siena with Franco Ferrara. He won second prize in the Nicolai Malko International Conducting Competition in Copenhagen and undertook conducting engagements in Scandinavia.
In Britain he has made guest appearances with the RSNO, BBCSSO, Ulster Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.Dr Mitchell is also professor of conducting at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
He has made four recordings on the Chandos label conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Brighton Festival Chorus.From 1991 to 2003 he visited the USA each year to conduct at the Hartwick Summer Music Festival, New York, and the Brevard Festival, North Carolina.
He was awarded the degree of PhD from Edinburgh University with a thesis on the orchestral music of Sir John Blackwood McEwen.
One of the most well known composers and arrangers on the brass band concert repertoire is Alan Fernie, it would be surprising to hear if there is any band that does not have one of Alan’s compositions or arrangements in its library.
Alan was born in the Scots mining village of Newtongrange, at the age of 13 he took up playing the trombone at school, and joined his local brass band. He later went on to study music at Glasgow and then London. It was after a short period as a professional musician that his next 20 years were spent in instrumental education, working principally in the schools in and around the Edinburgh area. It was during this time that he first took up conducting and has since conducted many ensembles both at the professional level, as well as in amateur organisations, winning many awards.
He started to write for brass whilst he was still a student, and his music is both played and recorded all over the world. Living in the Scottish Borders, Alan now works as a freelance musician and finds the time to write, conduct, teach, adjudicate, perform and lecture as well as acting as a compere all over the UK. The NABBC is very pleased that he has been able to fit our convention into his very busy schedule.
The world of the mutes is a piece of equipment that often leaves some of the inexperienced musicians in a bit of a quandary. The former Black Dyke Mills trombone player and lead trombone player of the famous Syd Lawrence Orchestra Derek Southcott once said ‘Be serious about your equipment’. He was talking about the different mutes that are available and the necessity to buy and use the one the score requires.
To that end Ian Muirhead of Wallace Mutes, a business that includes the international trumpet player John Wallace as his business partner. Ian will be giving a presentation about the development of mutes. This presentation is a must see for all conductors, of all levels ofbandand experience.
From the world of composer Alan Fernie the delegates will have the opportunity of listening through a presentation given by Tony George, the UKs leading specialist on early forms of the tuba, used by many of the leading composers. This included Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Verdi and Wagner. While the serpent was popular in military and church bands. A unique chance, to see, to hear and to find out more about these exotic instruments.
The brass band debate follows with Kenneth Crookston , editor of the British Bandsman and Iwan Fox, editor of 4barsrest. Topical discussion and no doubt a little friendly banter and argument as well, covering the issues of the day in the world of brass bands.
The Saturday evening dinner this year will have as its special guest Tony George.
Sunday morning begins with apresentation given by Scottish composer, adjudicator and member of the NABBC Bruce Fraser. Who will be presenting a new ‘Brass Band Method’which is designed for beginners and lower section bands.
The annual convention is always the time when the association holds its Annual General Meeting. The proxy voting slips will be dropping through your letter boxes very soon and your vote is always very important. Particularly if you are unable to attend the convention.
After the lunch break Newtongrange Silver Band conducted by Nigel Boddice MBE (the chairman of No.6 Area of the NABBC) will take part in a new music session.
To draw the 2011 convention to a close will once again follow the tradition with the weekend closing with a short concert . On this occasion it will be given by the West Lothian Schools Brass Band and the conductor is once again Nigel Boddice.