Sunday the 11th of September 2011 saw the glorious culmination of a collaboration between the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland (NYPBoS) and The National Youth Brass Band of Scotland(NYBBoS). Members of the two ensembles were joined on stage by Royal Dhol Force, a group of young dhol drummers from Glasgow, to perform "New Blood - A fanfare for youth". This 10 minute piece of music was written by the members of NYPBoS in Collaboration with Jim Sutherland and Jane Gardner.
In March 2011 Jim met with Alasdair McLaren Director of the NYPBoS to discuss Alasdair's idea of getting Jim to mentor the young pipers and drummers to write a piece of music for their September concert at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
Workshops started in April with simple musical call and reply games 'How do you like your eggs?" "I like the fried" as a product of these games the group came up with a few bars of music which were then developed into melodic structures.
Meantime Jim met with Alan Edmond of the Scottish Brass Band Association (SBBA) and brokered a relationship between the NYBBoS and NYPBoS in order to create a collaboration between the two National organizations so that they might perform the new piece together. A deal was struck and the development of the piece continued.
At this point composer and orchestrator Jane Gardner joined the team and a visit was made to meet Neil Cross Director of NYBBoS. Jane and Jim also met with NYBBoS organisers John and Carrie Boax as well as NYBBos MD Richard Evans. A plan was developed to bring a 25 piece brass band to Glasgow for rehearsals and performances and a collaboration was born!
Meantime Jim contacted Amritpal Burmy (Pops)of the urban electronic music group Tigerstyle with a view to creating a youth group of dhol drummers who would also collaborate on the project.
Workshops were held at the National piping center involving drummers from the NTPBoS and the young dhol drummers. A drum fanfare was developed which was to become a highlight of the piece.
In a further series of workshops the melodic structures developed and orchestrated to include the young brass players. Scores were prepared and logistics were sorted out between the organizers of the Youth bands for what was to be a glorious coming together of the two National organizations.
It is hoped that this will be the first of many such collaborations and moves are afoot to draw other National Youth Organizations into the project for a major collaborative event at the Aberdeen International Youth Festival in 2012.
Watch this space!