Youth Band Conductor – Rachael Sargent
Adult helpers – Alan Trethewey and Colin Whitford
Practice – Every Wednesday evening from 6 – 8pm at the Band Room in St Dennis
Subs – £1 per week per child which includes hire of the Instrument and music
Relaunched in 2010, and under the baton of conductor Rachael Sargent since late 2013, the St Dennis Youth Band has gone from strength to strength in recent years. In October of 2015 they gained the title of Cornwall Junior Band Champions at Cornwall Brass Band Association’s diamond jubilee contest held in the Hall for Cornwall in Truro, while the band only had an average age of 9 years!
Many of the children have learned with the band from their first time picking up a brass instrument. We currently have 23 players ranging from 7 years up to 15! We welcome new players, both complete beginners and more experienced players.
The Band has regularly competed in the West of England Bandsmen’s Festival (Bugle Band Contest) since 2014. Starting out competing in the training and youth sections, the Band won the Youth Section in June 2017 with the test piece Patterns by Edward Gregson. The Youth Band has also been taking part in the Deportment (marching) class at Bugle Band Contest since 2016. The first Youth Band ever to do this!
November 2016 saw the youth band spread their wings further afield, entering the Annual Championships of the South West Brass Band Association (SWBBA) at Torquay, to compete in their first out-of-county competition. The children were all hugely excited to be travelling by coach (paid for through a JustGiving campaign) and to be playing at a new venue.
In November 2017 the Band entered this competition again and won their section.
The youth band has always been well supported by younger members of the senior band at contests.
The St Dennis Youth Band is not just a competition band. They enjoy learning a wide variety of musical styles to play during public engagements. They regularly perform throughout the county at schools, fetes, carnivals and fundraisers including an annual patron’s concert.
2017 saw the launch of BrassFestUK, a national initiative to raise the profile of brass bands in our communities. St Dennis Youth Band was one of over 130 senior and youth bands to take part and played Spirit of Brass, a piece specially written for the event. They managed to catch the eye of the organiser Rob Tompkins, who said “There were many reasons for creating BrassFestUK, but when I saw this post I could do nothing but smile, this is what it’s all about, the youngsters all getting stuck in and giving their all”.
Everyone knows that an important part of banding is the social side and the St Dennis Youth Band are no different. When they’re not practicing hard, attending competitions or playing to the public the children like to enjoy themselves at a range of social activities.
If anyone is interested in learning to play a brass instrument and to join the St Dennis Youth Band please contact Rachael Sargent on 07734 927448.