On Saturday 16 January members of Thurrock Marching Brass joined Philip Harper and the Cory Band, the World’s #1 Brass Band and their section leaders in a virtual Brass and Percussion day which saw Philip and the section leaders masterfully guide all participants through their respective instruments and parts to two fabulous pieces. A Melvern Suite by Philip Sparke and The Washington Post by J. P . Sousa.
What was remarkable about the day and how it was structured was that it didn’t matter what level you were at musically. Philip and the section leaders were just outstanding in helping each and everyone who took part through the pieces in great detail and with a teaching style that clearly defines why these guys are at the top of the Brass Band tree. Nothing was too much trouble and all questions were brilliantly taken on board and answered and expanded on.
All of a sudden and within a very short space of time the pieces started to come off the page and the improvement in how each should be approached in such a short space of time was remarkable.
Philip took the entire virtual band through each piece and then each section split off into virtual rooms to work with their respective section leaders. This proved even more exciting as it gave all participants some real access to the section leaders which was invaluable.
Once that was completed the virtual band was brought back together with Philip and the pieces enjoyed under his immense guidance once more.
There were also breaks where participants could chat and that exchange was also invaluable as the knowledge and willingness to part with it was just fantastic.
At the end we even had time for a short band and music related quiz, which of course was somehow won by the Trombone section and the Percussion section even beating the Cornets/Trumpet section! I think a stewards enquiry wasn’t necessary in the end and congratulations to the Trombone section for proving they are quite a smart bunch !!
Thurrock Marching Brass Corps Director, David Friend said “We are always looking at giving our youngsters new and different experiences and when this opportunity was presented to me I was really happy to consider some participants for it. We spoke to drummer & TMB Drum Major, Abigail Friend and brass player, Grace Rose and both were happy to get involved and represent TMB on the day. Despite some internet connection challenges locally the day was a great success and I couldn’t be any more proud of them. I know I am not alone in saying that I miss being back at band right now but to have an opportunity like this come along really does energise you even more to get back into the swing of things when restrictions are lifted and we can all do so.”
Speaking of the day itself, Thurrock Marching Brass Chairman and virtual Trumpet participant, Paul Morgan commented of the day “This is the very first time we have participated in such a day and I would like to thank Philip Harper and the members of the World #1 Cory Band for working not only with the youngsters from TMB but for all of us. It was a truly inspiring event and one that I am sure the kids involved will remember for a long time to come. I do hope that Philip hosts more of these events as the format and the joy of playing really was amazing and I for one learned a great deal in such a short space of time from the masters. I couldn’t recommend this enough to anyone, young or old to sign up should another opportunity arise to do so. So many instructional ideas and arrangement nuances that I will be taking away personally too. Thank you again Philip and everyone at Cory who helped on the day or who popped into the chat area during the breaks for hosting such a wonderful day.”