Culture rejuvenated — The National Youth Band of Great Britain Easter Course — 4barsrest

Roy Terry reports on Britain’s National Youth Brass Band’s Easter Course and finds that a new organizational culture is being embraced and developed musically.


The Easter 2022 promotion

The current slogan of business and the arts is “organizational culture”.

Even premier football teams talk about its importance to their corporate identity.

Arsenal football club have just launched their rather unimaginative plan called ‘The Arsenal Way’ – which will see an expensive consultancy employed to ‘visualize the ideas, customs and social behavior of everyone involved in order to create an atmosphere that will allow success to thrive.”

However, when approached as a checkbox mentality, it is simply public relations talk full of meaningless mission statements, directional analysis and endless aphorisms wrapped in brilliant presentations on social networks.

When it works, it can transform organizations from top to bottom.



Not quite the YMCA…

Equality & Excellence

It’s not new. Less than a decade after the founding of Britain’s National Youth Brass Band, Daniel Jenkins’ 1961 book “Equality & Excellence” launched a serious debate on whether greater equality of access to education would lead to “leveling up” or “leveling up”. down’ of achievement.

Those who led organizations that understood his findings prospered. Now, some 60 years later, the debate (with the same goals) has been reopened – from football teams to arts organizations in the national portfolio.

Those who led organizations that understood his findings prospered. Now, some 60 years later, the debate (with the same goals) has been reopened – from football teams to arts organizations in the national portfolio.

If Arsenal need to find an example of how to build a successful ‘organizational culture’, they could save some money and just get in touch with CEO Mark Bromley and his team at Britain’s National Youth Brass Band. .



The NYBBGB team

Uplifting

In recent years, he has tackled the problems head-on. Attitudes are now governed as much by an understanding of the landscape of varied influences that affect a young person’s ability to access musical opportunities as by the mere celebration of musical performance.

Mark Bromley leads an organization that fully understands the importance of inclusion and equal opportunity to achieve excellence. It is truly uplifting to see and hear in action.

The “culture” of NYBBGB is now understood by everyone involved.



Irene Anda led the Easter 2022 course

This 70th anniversary year Easter lesson made that clear – reflecting as he put it on “our history and heritage, while looking to the future of the group and celebrating our diversity”.

Great credit therefore goes to the office of the CEO, although he himself highlights the work undertaken (and not just on the course) by Director of Art Planning Dr Robert Childs, Director of Operations Richard Milton, and the leadership team which now includes defined roles ranging from finance and fundraising to audience development, profiling and social media design.

This 70th anniversary year Easter lesson made that clear – reflecting as he put it on “our history and heritage, while looking to the future of the group and celebrating our diversity”.

Musical progress

It allowed an equally progressive musical project to flourish – this time led by Norwegian conductor Irene Anda with guest soloist Grethe Tonheim.

Gender- and ethnically-inspired lesson repertoire skillfully underpins the approach – from William Grant Still (‘In Memoriam: Soldiers of Color who died for democracy’ Paul Sagger’ ‘(In Many Lands: The Adventures of Mrs. Seacole’ ) and Louise Trewartha (‘Flight’) to the large test tubes of Gilbert Vinter and Peter Graham.



Three hot ice cubes

Also, Maurice Hamers “Die Aplen” and Grethe Tonheim’s eclectic triptych of selected solos (from the lyrical traditionalism of “The Eternal Quest” to the enigmatic sublime “Ice cubes”) added levels of enlightened interest.

Gender- and ethnically-inspired lesson repertoire skillfully underpins the approach – from William Grant Still (‘In Memoriam: Soldiers of Color who died for democracy’ Paul Sagger’ ‘(In Many Lands: The Adventures of Mrs. Seacole’ ) and Louise Trewartha (‘Flight’) to the large test tubes of Gilbert Vinter and Peter Graham.

New commissions

It was also revealed that the band had commissioned two other major works to feature in their summer course; “Hyperlink” by Peter Graham who combines Bach, Vaughan Williams and Parry through a portal of inventive 21st century processes, and ‘On the way’ by Lucy Pankhurst which celebrates the industrial heritage of the city of Birmingham.



Key tutoring

Tutors

The process of inspiring the next generation of socially conscious young people fell on the shoulders of a team of knowledgeable mentors; Mark Wilkinson, Anna Hughes-Williams (cornets), Owen Farr (horns and flugelhorns), David Thornton (baris and euphs), Les Neish (tubas) and Andres Price (percussion). Troms had the added motivation of working with both Brett Baker and Grethe Tonheim.

Preparing the demanding repertoire for performance depended on having a group of highly motivated students. The work of the tutors was greatly enhanced by their friendly and supportive approach.

It was not a drill producing mechanical musicians, but a sharing of musical minds.

It was not a drill producing mechanical musicians, but a sharing of musical minds.

Just over 20% of young players were attending their first lesson, so an initiative that saw older players take on mentorship responsibilities was also put to good use. Inclusiveness was reinforced, as was the sense of community pride in achievement.



The principal smiles

Impressed visitor

Furthermore, and thinking about future careers, an afternoon was dedicated to an “inspire” session, during which successful women in various professions shared their experiences and challenges.

There was also the visit of Olivier Mauny, conductor of the Brass Band Méditerranée and professor at the Conservatory of Antibes, who had been invited to observe the course for three days.

He said later that he was particularly impressed by the students’ impeccable attitude during rehearsals, their attention to the points raised by the tutors, their ability to put them into practice and their totally professional of their membership in the group. .

He said later that he was particularly impressed by the students’ impeccable attitude during rehearsals, their attention to the points raised by the tutors, their ability to put them into practice and their totally professional of their membership in the group. .



And relax…

Articulated musician

Much of this success is due to guest musical director Irene Anda.

A highly articulate musician with a minimalist conducting style, she demanded a lot from the performers as they methodically worked through each piece; young people respond with maturity to challenges – from the impressive team of main players to the youngest beginner.

With individual and sectional rehearsals and workshops, the musicians played for up to seven hours a day, while a small group of 35 musicians also took time to rehearse for an additional two hours, with Robert Childs preparing Martin Green’s “Dividing the Air” for a performance at Coventry Cathedral the week after Easter.



All eyes on the MD…

Challenges addressed

At a time when music is marginalized in schools, a huge amount of credit should be given to the National Youth Band of Great Britain.

Instead of reversing into a musical cul-de-sac of limited vision, it has faced the challenges of the second decade of the 21st century with an enlightened, enlightened sense of purpose.

Instead of reversing into a musical cul-de-sac of limited vision, it has faced the challenges of the second decade of the 21st century with an enlightened, enlightened sense of purpose.

It is, however, the start of a journey – and one that must have made up for a lot of lost ground. Commitment to moving towards equal access and strategies that embrace the positive effects of diversity and inclusion can only be good, not only for the organization itself but for those who are part of it. .

Bursary support, increased corporate and individual donations show the approach is working – as does the musical aspiration at a magnificent concert held at Huddersfield Town Hall.

The NYBBGB gained a renewed sense of purpose. It clearly displays its desire to make the youth brass band relevant, born of a real concern to combine excellence and equal opportunity.

She embraced her need to overhaul her “organizational culture” with vigor and success.

Long may he continue – and may others follow his example.

Roy Terry


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Please see: http://https://www.4barsrest.com/news/53802/national-youth-memories

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