07 Jul 2020


Hot talent Jess Gillam and Siobhan Bates join young brass players for online Big Brass Event!

A series of online workshops for young brass players from North Yorkshire kicks off online on 14 July, 7pm with the opportunity to (virtually) meet Jess Gillam, 20-year old Classic Brit-award winning saxophonist, to share ideas around the theme of inspirational people. The participants’ creative thoughts will help shape a brand new piece of brass music, to be written by the composer Liz Lane, and later performed by the young people themselves. The event is part of Big Brass Day,a series of workshops for talented young brass players in the county, offered by youth music charity NYMAZ.

Sarah McWatt, Director, NYMAZ explains, “ Our Big Brass Day events have been hugely popular and so we were keen to continue the momentum throughout the summer. The young people were asked who inspired them and Jess Gillam was the top name put forward. We are absolutely over the moon that she can join our first online session which is centred around inspirational people – it’s going to be a real buzz to have here along to help draw out everyone’s ideas and show them what is possible in the world of music! Could you get more inspirational? ”

Hailing from Cumbria, Jess Gillam is blazing a trail in the music world with her outstanding talent and infectious personality. She has her own show and podcast on BBC Radio 3 called ‘This Classical Life’, has been the recipient of a Classic BRIT Award and was the first ever saxophonist to reach the final of BBC Young Musician of the Year. She is playing in a free Royal Albert Hall event this week (8 July) which can be watched for free here.

NYMAZ is working with Brass Bands England and the North Yorkshire Music Hub to put on this event, which has been funded by Youth Music and Arts Council England.

Sarah Baumann, Education and Development Coordinator, Brass Bands England adds “The real success of the Big Brass Day events has been the range of styles explored, and that’s no different with this next series of events. I’m delighted that talent from the Brass Band world is being showcased, and both Siobhan and Jess are true inspirations to the young people taking part.”

Siobhan joined Black Dyke Band in 2016 and has become a hugely respected soloist and band player. She won the ‘Best Soloist’ award at the 2017 Yorkshire Area Championship and the prestigious BrassPass.TV Young Brass Award (previously Radio 2 Young Brass Award). She already has several commissioned new works which she is keen to perform once rehearsals return after lockdown.

Big Brass Day is aimed at musicians aged up to 18 years old who are at Grade 4 and above. To take part in this summer’s online sessions, please contact info@nymaz.org.uk.



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