Backworth Colliery Training Band
Our Training Band is open to all young people and adults and offers a fantastic opportunity to learn to play a brass instrument or percussion. Even if you have no musical experience we encourage new starters of any age. We aim to provide 10-15 minutes individual tuition per student, and you will have a mentor to sit alongside in the band where you can listen and gradually gain the skills and confidence to play.
We play brass instruments such as the Cornet, Horn, Euphonium, Trombone and Tuba and we have a percussion section. It is wonderful to see some very talented young people develop and go onto to become members of the senior band, or to develop their musical interests in other directions. The band has had many successes over the last few years winning Cups and Merits at the Wansbeck Music Festival, as well as playing in public and simply enjoying making music together.
Learning an instrument not only gives you the ability to play wonderful music it also helps develop other skills such as hand eye coordination (reading music and playing at the same time), self confidence, discipline (there will be practice to do at home), teamwork, listening skills, also the responsibility of looking after the instrument in your care and the chance to meet people with the similar interests.
All the band tutors and committee members work voluntary and the only cost to band members is a £2.00 subscription charge payable at each rehearsal to cover costs.
If you or your child would like to start learning a brass instrument, we’d love to hear from you. Instruments are available to loan free of charge. Please contact the Training Band secretary via the Contacts Page.
The Junior Section of Backworth Colliery Brass Band was initially formed as a feeder band for the Senior Section. The Band at the beginning was led by Denis Taylor M Mus (Dunelm), B Mus. (Hons) London, FTCL, LTCL (TD) CertEd along with Members of the Senior Section. The Dennis Taylor Cup is open to all members of the junior section and is awarded by the tutors annually to the member who has improved the most in the last year.
Dennis has also written a piece of music called ‘Backworth’ which has dedicated to Backworth Junior Brass Band.
When Dennis retired Gillian McMillan (Senior Bands Tuned Percussionist and Deputy Conductor) took over the reigns of the junior band, Gillian herself started playing tenor horn from the age of 6 years old and was taught by her father, Gillian then went on to study music at school, college, then university in Brass Band Studies. Gillian has conducted choirs in schools in Lancashire, then started leading music in schools in 1998. Gillian and her family moved to Newcastle in 2001 and continued to teach music in schools until 2006. Unfortunately ill health resulted in Gillian having to step down as conductor of the training band.
Callum Harrison became the Junior Band conductor after Gillian. Callum himself started playing cornet with the band at age 11. A very talented and dedicated young man, he quickly progressed and went on to become Senior Band conductor aged only 16, and left the band in 2013 to go to the Royal Northern College of Music to study Composition.
Catherine Mckenzie took over from Callum, when he left to study music, until May 2017.
Gillian has now resumed leading the training band since May 2017 with other Senior Band members helping out and giving tuition..