More brass to class

23rd February 2007 at 00:00
The fortunes of the Scottish brass band are being revived by a newly appointed youth development officer. The role is a one-year appointment funded by the Scottish Arts Council, and is due to end on December 31. It will be reviewed later this year.

Alan Edmond will work with schools and authorities across the country in an attempt to boost membership and shed perceptions that brass bands are rooted in the industrial north of England. He wants to expose children to brass instruments by holding regional workshops. He hopes to encourage group teaching, believing that a social environment is more conducive to keeping children involved.

The first event of Mr Edmond's tenure took place earlier this month at St Margaret's Academy in Livingston, when pupils who receive brass tuition across the central belt attended a master class with leading musicians.

Although the number of brass bands has remained stable - there are 85 across Scotland - membership has dwindled in recent years as young people have been drawn to other activities.

* www.sbba.org.uk

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