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Side-by-side success at Whitburn

Updated: 5 days ago

Players from Whitburn Band’s development bands Whitburn Heartlands Band and Whitburn Youth Band have had the chance to work on a ‘side-by-side’ project with players at Whitburn.

Members of Heartlands, who perform in the fourth section, and the youth band sat in at some Whitburn rehearsals, working on some concert repertoire and a test-piece.

Caroline Farren is the flugelhorn player of Whitburn and oversees all of Whitburn’s development bands.

She said: “This opportunity allows our brass and percussion players from the Whitburn Heartlands Band and Whitburn Youth Band to sit alongside the senior band at select rehearsals throughout the year, to experience a different level of music-making, technique and expertise.

“This is available regardless of age or standard, with the purpose of building confidence, and creating links between our band members.

“The players are invited to sit alongside our senior band players, who will be happy for them to have a go at anything on the stands, and offer guidance and tips on how they approach new or demanding music.

“It is hoped that this will further encourage our development players in their musical pathway and give even more opportunities for performances with the senior band in future events.”

The first ‘side-by-side’ events happened in May, with 12 players attending Whitburn rehearsals.

The youngest participant so far is 10-year-old cornet player Carter, who is also a student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland junior school. He said: “When I woke up on the morning of the rehearsal, I was absolutely buzzing to be able to play with a championship section band and next to Whitburn’s cornet players Georgia (Adamson) and Reece (Ward-Murray).

“They helped me with some of the notes I didn’t know how to play, and now I know how hard I have to work to get into a championship section band. It was a lot of fun.”

Father and daughter Donald and Ruby Morrison also participated in the scheme. Donald added: “I thoroughly enjoyed my rehearsal with Whitburn Band and sitting next to experienced quality players. A huge thank you to Caroline for arranging this opportunity.”

Caroline concluded: “We are incredibly proud of our pathway system at Whitburn Band, and are excited to be introducing this new scheme, open to any and all of our development band musicians.

“We strive for inclusion in our organisation, and like to create opportunities for development, musicianship and excellence.”

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