I have known and worked with the Bournemouth Youth Marching Band throughout my seven years as Chairman of the Royal British Legion at Ferndown, where they became our band of choice for Remembrance Parades and commemorations, public concerts annual events.
In selecting the band for both local and County events, we paid particular attention to their proven standards of performance and the range and regular updating of their repertoire from military classics to modern and popular themes. They also impressed with their versatility in switching from performing on the march to playing in concert at indoor and outdoor venues.
It was particularly important to us that a guiding principle of the band is to maintain that level of performance whilst introducing new musicians from as young as eight years old; allowing and encouraging them from the start to play in public performances and inspiring levels of achievement remarkable in their young players, while still making it fun to be involved.
This engagement with young people is a key policy of our own organisation and it remains a pleasure to support it in action and applaud the leaders and mature members of the band for making this happen repeatedly with successive generations of young players. It is no surprise, and to their lasting credit, that they have developed young musicians to the point where band members have gone on to pursue careers in music and have also been accepted into military colleges of music and prestigious armed services bands.
Their level of excellence in performance has also made them an invaluable part of the planning of events, contributing to both content and presentation. It has been a pleasure to work with the band and I look forward to continuing to do so in future.
The Royal British Legion
Dorset County Committee
Youth marching bands such as BYMB are a proven route into the professional military bands of the UK and has in fact seen three of it’s members join both the Royal Marines Band Service and The Corps of Army Music in the last year alone. I myself started in a youth band at nine years of age as a complete beginner and at nineteen years old had all the skills, discipline, and confidence to pass an audition to join one of the best military bands in the world as a solo clarinettist. Without doubt I would not have done this without the Forum Marching Brass Youth Band in Blandford, Dorset.
The skills and discipline instilled in youth band members is something that will last a lifetime and stand them in good stead what ever career path they choose in adult life.
I have been helping/teaching the BYMB in the latter years of my professional career and continue to benefit from the opportunities provided by youth marching bands. Being able to conduct and train the band was mutually beneficial as I could share my 20 years of knowledge and experience in the Royal Marines Band Service whilst furthering my own personal development in conducting and band direction.
To summarise, youth bands - including the Bournemouth Youth Marching Band provide an invaluable platform of knowledge and character for children that will stay with them for life and undoubtedly make them prime recruitment candidates for professional military bands.