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New commissions for Summer 2020

Written by The National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain on July 29, 2020

The National Youth (NYBB) and National Children’s (NCBB) Brass Bands of Great Britain are to feature two brand new works for virtual brass band at their inaugural joint concert on Friday 7th August.

Broadcast live as part of its National Youth at home initiative, the NCBB will include the premiere of Peter Graham’s Strange New Worlds and the NYBB will include the premiere of Bramwell Tovey’s Madrigali, both written for virtual performance.  Professor Nicholas Childs will lead the NCBB and Bramwell Tovey will lead the NYBB.

The NCBB recorded Peter Graham’s Strange New Worlds during its recent virtual course. A five-movement work, which in the words of the composer, “some may interpret … as being one from the ancients while others might identify with the science-fiction of H.G. Wells. Others still will relate to the recent surge of interest in1980s culture and the Netflix series Stranger Things (to which the title of my work pays homage). Nor would it be unreasonable to consider the piece an analogy reflecting events in 2020.

Meanwhile, the NYBB will perform Bramwell Tovey’s Madrigali, which in the words of the composer, “is a set of instrumental madrigals for each section of the band which will use a specially prepared click-track and involve individual and sectional preparation. The full band sections will be edited and pieced together post-course.”

Guest soloist for the NCBB will be Black Dyke Band principal trombone, Brett Baker. Viewers will hear La chica sin nombre (The girl with no name), by Rob Wiffin, completed during lockdown by the former conductor of the RAF Central Band. Spiritual Sometimes I feel like a motherless child, arranged by the soloist during lockdown, “focuses on the higher aspects of the range for the trombone”; and the challenging Autumn Dreams by Leo Zimmerman, a trombone soloist with the J P Sousa Band.

Soloist for the NYBB will be international euphonium soloist, David Childs. Childs will play one of his favourite solos, The Better World by Norman Bearcroft, The Song: I’ll Make Music by Karl Jenkins, and Carnival of Venice by Paganini / Arban, a work he previously played under Bramwell Tovey with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. The Better World, will be performed in tribute to the composer, who passed away recently.

Alun Williams, the Band’s interim administrator, said: “The concert will feature 140 of the UK’s finest young brass and percussion soloists from across the UK, led by two leading conductors, with two of the UK’s best brass soloists, what’s not to like?

Featuring brand-new compositions and arrangements for brass band coupled with the opportunity to hear the winner of the the NYBB’s Mortimer Prize, the broadcast will have something for everyone.”

The virtual concert will begin at 7pm on 7th August via the Band’s YouTube and Facebook sites.

Find the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain (funded by Arts Council England and the Department for Education) on Facebook, Twitter @nybbgb or at