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ON SUNDAY, I was privileged to see a performance at Lady Lumley’s School in Pickering by Ewan Easton and Andrew Berryman of the Hallé Orchestra, and I was blown away.
Ewan and Andrew were excellent, masters of the tuba and trombone respectively, but even more inspiring and impressive were the 90 amateur musicians accompanying them.
The event was the culmination of a master class organised by local brass bands and saw brass musicians from across Ryedale and beyond aged between seven and 70 on stage together making wonderful music.
There has been a long history of banding in the area and it was sad to hear that ten years ago there were 2,000 bands across the entire country, yet now there are fewer than 800. We heard virtuoso performances from Ewan and Andrew, but my favourite was the barnstorming Haiwai Five-0 by the massed band that finished the concert.
At a time when young people are castigated for antisocial behaviour and lack of “social skills” in the work place, here was an inspiring example of young and old working together to produce something remarkable.
Brass bands may be depleting elsewhere, but I hope that with the hard work of these bands and the enthusiasm of their students, it will be a tradition that will survive and thrive in Ryedale in the 21 century.
Emma Watts, Pickering.
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