Blast Off!

Local Primary Schools across the region Blast Off!

Over 200 pupils from local primary schools across the region performed in a concert for their parents and teachers after just one day of learning beginner brass instruments. Blast Off! hosted by the Royal Hospital School and in its second year, aims to give as many pupils as possible an introduction and opportunity to play brass instruments.

The revolutionary plastic instruments called the pBone and pBuzz used throughout the day were all kindly provided by the Warwick Music Group who sponsored the event along with Hayes Music. These instruments have the same note-range as a recorder often used in early years music and can be played by pupils as young as 7 or 8 years old.

The primary school children were given masterclasses by some of the UK's leading trombonists including Gordon Campbell, principle trombonist of the BBC Big Band and Simon Minshall, Chairman of the British Trombone Society. They learnt how to use a brass instrument mouthpiece, breathing techniques, rhythms, slide positions and percussion instruments.

The final performance involved two energetic, toe-tapping pieces by Quincy Jones Soul Bossa Nova and James Brown I Feel Good accompanied by the workshop leaders and musicians from the Royal Marines School of Music. Richard Harvey, Bandmaster at the Royal Hospital School and event organiser commented, "It's been a brilliant day and we're really pleased that so many schools from across the region signed up. The pupils involved have had the opportunity to try beginner brass and we've spotted some real potential for great musicians of the future. I hope that some of the children will be inspired to continue with brass; the pBuzz and pBone are such a good first step and an easy introduction to playing that I think some of them will. It's been wonderful to have Gordan Campbell, Simon Minshall and the Royal Marines here to work alongside the children and we've enjoyed making a lot of noise!"