Introduction to Brass Musical Instruments

In this short video on YouTube, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales introduce us to some brass musical instruments:

Did you see and hear the tuba, the trombones, the trumpets and french horns?

What did you notice about them? Were they different shapes and sizes? How would you describe them?

What sounds did they make? Were they different to each other? In what ways?

How did the musicians play them? Were the different instruments played differently?

If you want you could watch the orchestra again, and have another look and listen?

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Covid-19 lockdown

We are really missing the Monday afternoon brass band at Backworth! Are you? Hands up who has been practicing?

With the lockdown continuing to prevent us meeting up face to face, we plan to do some short videos to help you practice. Watch this space!

If you need music, all our pieces are available on our Sheet Music page.

And there’s lots more useful and interesting insider knowledge that you really ought to check out, on our Information page

And if anyone out there in North Tyneside schools would like to learn to play a brass instrument, please get in touch. We may be able to lend you an instrument and give you some remote help to get started!

Please see our contacts page for details of how to contact us.

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Backworth Park Brass Band

Backworth Park Brass Band is back!

After a winter break for all after-school clubs, we have restarted this half term, with some returners and some new learners, 14 children in all. And we continue to be very well supported by Miss Goodwill and Mrs Whittle.

We got off to a flying start, playing the main anthem from “We Will Rock You” by the band Queen, complete with the “stomp stomp clap” body percussion!

We also played our favourite games “Don’t Copy This One” and “What’s the Note, Maestro Wolfgang?”.

We plan to develop “We Will Rock You” further, and learn a new 2-part arrangement of “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

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Review of the year 2018-19

We ran brass groups in 2 schools last year: Backworth Park and Burradon Community Primary Schools.

Natalie led the group at Backworth in their brand new School building. The group took part in the Wansbeck Music Festival in March, and ended with an Assembly performnce in July.

Gavin led the Burradon group with help from Ailsa, a six form student and trumpet/cornet player. She brought some really good, fun ideas for performance pieces including “Jurassic Park”, the “Hokey Cokey” and “We Will Rock You”. The group did an assembly performance before Christmas, but unfortunately the School were not able to schedule any others.

Sadly, Burradon are no longer able to support the brass group with a member of staff. Helen Hopper has been a sterling member of the group since it started in Sept 2016, and we send her our immense gratitude and best wishes.

So, for now, we will continue in 2019-20 with just one brass group at Backworth.

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Schools back

We start the new school year with our brass groups running at Backworth Park Primary and Burradon Community Primary Schools.

Backworth Park have moved to a brand new school building and we wish the school all the best for a bright future there. Natalie and the staff have some exciting plans for developing music at the school.

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Brass Play Day

We had a fantastic brass play day at the Y Studio in North Shields on Wednesday 20th June. 15 children from 4 schools attended and enjoyed sessions led by professionals music tutors.

We started with the singing warm up led by the energetic Susie Jones, then a brass warm up led by Alex Lewis before breaking into smaller groups to work in detail on a piece of music for later performance. Susie then led another lively workshop, this time with percussion, working up a samba groove before lunch.

After lunch we all came back together for Alex to work the pieces into a final performance before departing back to school for home time.

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Wansbeck Music Festival

Burradon Community and Balliol Primary Schools took part in the Wansbeck Music Festival on Friday 23rd March at Newbiggin Sports and Community Centre. (Unfortunately Backworth Park Primary School could not attend as it clashed with another school event.)

Nine children and one teaching assistant from Burradon travelled by mini-bus with our volunteer tutor Gavin, and met up with the Balliol contingent of eight children and one parent who travelled separately accompanied by two teachers.

Two other primary schools from Bedlington also took part as a combined forty strong band with cornets, tenor horns, baritone horns and trombones. They looked an impressive sight especially in the way they all brought their instruments up together when the teacher raised her arms ready to start!

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Burradon were up next. We played Ode to Joy and When the Saints Go Marching In. They were both arranged as two-part harmonies to show off our accomplished longer-serving members and give an easier part to the relative new starters, although one of newest starters had a go at part one and did a great job! The adjudicator, Christine Thompson said Ode to Joy was “very accurate in the tune notes and rhythm patterns. The dotted rhythm was very precise and all together. Trombone solo instrument well done!” and When the Saints had “a solid introduction. This started with great enthusiasm and carefully counted notes and rests. The fast section was lively and flowing…well done!”

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Then Balliol played Freres Jacques and our own arrangement “United” featuring The Blaydon Races. Freres Jacques had “a strong rhythmic pulse and the quavers were flowing..some good p (quiet) and f (loud) contrast”. United was “very rhythmic with some tongues working very fast. Some complicated rhythms here. The final verse was accurate. A great coda (where the band shouted ‘United’ to end the performance). Well done!”

Christine then invited all the brass players back up on stage and led us through some simple scale and dynamic exercises. As she said , it was fantastic to be part of such an inspirational mass of (mostly) young brass players!

For full adjudicator’s remarks see: BurradonBalliol

Hopefully some photos to follow…

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We’re off to the Wansbeck Music Festival!

Burradon Community Primary School and Balliol Primary School brass groups are going to this years’s Wansbeck Music Festival on Friday 23rd March at Newbiggin Sports and Community Centre. Sessions starts at 1pm.

They will each have 4 minutes to play 2 pieces of music and attempt to impress the adjudicators and audience. This is a fantastic opportunity for our brass groups to perform in public and hear other beginner brass groups.

We will be taking mini-buses from each school and there may be a few places for any parents who would like to come (please let us know).

Unfortunately Backworth Park Primary School cannot attend as it clashes with another school event.

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Christmas performances

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With Christmas nearly here, all three of our school bands have now performed for their Schools.

Burradon Community were first to go on Monday 11th December, performing Join the Band, Rock Around the Clock and Jingle Bells to the whole school, then the next day to parents at the end of our final session for the year.

Balliol played Carol of the Drum and Jingle Bells at the School’s Christmas service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Longbenton on Monday 18th. Chloe did a great job keeping rhythm on the drum for Carol of the Drum, and our youngest member Alfie enthusiastically livened Jingle Bells by playing…well you can probably guess!

At Backworth Park we played Join the Band, Rock Around the Clock, Away in a Manger and Jingle Bells to a special School assembly on Tuesday 19th.

It only remains to wish you all a very merry and musical Christmas and happy New Year, with our 2017 Christmas card featuring a drawing by one of our band members from Burradon Community Primary School.

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