2000 Gala Concert - Preview

The Manx National Youth Band will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a concert at the Villa Marina, Douglas, this Sunday (July 23).

Players past and present will join forces under the baton of guest musical director Derek Broadbent to celebrate and commemorate the achievements of the band which has proved to be an excellent ambassador for the Island in a variety of local events and at national contests.

It was the late musical maestro Jim Crosbie who established the youth band in 1970, training up players from an early age. Under his guidance, the band gradually grew an became a force to be reckoned with in the Island's musical community.
A tour to Norway in 1975 was followed by success in 1978 in the Daily Mirror challenge trophy at Belle Vue, Manchester, before touring Holland in 1980.

The band suffered a massive loss with the death of Mr. Crosbie in 1981 but in his successor Ian Clague found another dedicated musician who has continued to improve the standard of playing.

Tours followed to Switzerland later that year, West Berlin (1984), Holland (1988) before the most ambitious trip of all in 1990 when a large party of players, families and supporters travelled to New Zealand and put the Island on the musical map.

As the average age of the band increased it was decided in 1995 to set up Manx Concert Brass. Public relations officer Malcolm Magee explained: "This allowed senior players to continue to make music with friends they had made before reaching the age at which they had to leave the youth band. With their vast experience of banding, these players have really done the organisation proud and have given the youth band players something to aim at in their blossoming careers."

"As well as undertaking many prestigious concerts, the Concert Brass players also spend a great deal of time teaching and supporting their younger colleagues."

In its short existence, Concert Brass has achieved its own success. Having narrowly missed out on a place in the national brass finals in its first year, Concert Brass went on to become national champions of Great Britain in 1996 (for section four bands) and north-west area champions in 1999 (for section three bands).

Mr. Magee continued: "Both the youth band and concert brass work extremely hard throughout the year supporting contests such as the Guild, raising funds for charities and taking part in area contests, mostly at their own expense, including trips to the Czech Republic and Waterford, Southern Ireland, over the past two years."

Sunday's gala concert will help raise funds for a combined Youth Band/Concert Brass tour to America next year which will include trips to Chicago, Cleveland and New York.

Louise Quirk will compere the evening, which starts at 7:30pm and admission is free.

This article first appeared in the Isle of Man Examiner on Tuesday, July 18, 2000