Manx Youth Band celebrates another successful Guild!!!

9 am on Saturday 27th April was the start of a very long weekend for the members of The Manx National Youth Band. For those of you who are unaware of The Manx Music Festival or 'The Guild', it is an annual competition festival for music makers, young and old. The Festival lasts one week, with the brass classes on the 1st weekend.

The first class of the weekend was the under 12 Brass Instrumental Solo. All of the young musicians in this class performed to a high standard and deserve congratulations on their hard work. Extra congratulations should go to the first place winner, Hollie Latham, and the second place James Aire, both of whom produced highly promising cornet performances. Both of these talented players play with both the Manx Youth Band and Manx Concert Brass.

11.30am saw the arrival of the next class, the under 16 Brass Quartet. The winning quartet, Manx Youth Band B played their rendition of 'Clouds and Sunshine' as a gelled ensemble and deserves recognition for this achievement. The second place was awarded to Manx Youth Band A for their treatment of 'Three Hungarian Folksongs'.

After a short interval for lunch, the Brass Instrumental Solo, 16 - under 19 began at 2pm. This was a small, yet entertaining class, with the deserved winner being 18 year old Karen Mahood, who plays Soprano Cornet for the Manx Youth Band, and second place being awarded to the Manx Youth Band's Lyndsay Shimmin on Trombone.

At 7.55pm, the over 19 Brass Instrumental Soloists began to play. This class was full of the island's most highly talented players, and provided an extremely entertaining section. This class saw Manx Concert Brass' Soprano Cornet David Quinlan take first place and the second prize was awarded to Solo Trombone of Manx Concert Brass Stephen Maddocks.

After a morning of rehearsals, 2pm on Sunday was the start of the open Brass Quartet. Manx Concert Brass D took first place with 'Three Latin American Dances' and Manx Concert Brass E took second place with 'Clouds and Sunshine'. Following this, the Brass open Ensemble began. The winners were Manx Concert Brass A playing a 'Miniature Suite for Brass' and second place was awarded to the Manx Youth Band with '4 Dances for Brass'.

After a short interval and a change of venue to the Gaiety Theatre, the evening saw the final classes start. The first class was the Test Piece for Brass Band, which this year was Stuart Johnson's 'A Circus Suite'. This was a light-hearted piece of music that the Manx Youth Band thoroughly enjoyed playing. After playing, we left the theatre to relax before the next class, but were thrilled to hear that we had been successful and won the Crosbie Trophy and first prize.

The final class was the Open Choice Programme, aimed at entertaining with each band having to play a 30 minute programme, incorporating a March, a Hymn, and a solo feature. Our programme commenced with Rimmer's march 'One of the Best' and the traditional hymn 'Abide With Me'. Our soloist was our principal cornet, Maxine Crellin, playing Misty.

The Manx Youth Band played an entertaining programme, and endless rehearsal paid off, when the results were given, with the Manx Youth Band winning the class by two points. The March and Hymn prize was awarded to Douglas Town Band, and the George Ridgeway Trophy for the best soloist was won by Juan Wright, also of the Douglas Town Band.

The Manx National Youth Band would like to thank the Manx Music Festival Committee for ensuring that the weekend was a success and Mr Michael Fowles for his hard work and sound advice during adjudications.

The players would finally like to thank their Musical Director, Mr Ian Clague MBE, for all his hard work, time and advice, given to both bands.

Lyndsay Shimmin, Graham Bates
Manx National Youth Band