Dublin Villager

Dublin Youth Silver Band shines after spring break session

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JOSHUA A. BICKEL/THISWEEKNEWS
Stephen Bulla leads the Dublin Youth Brass Band as they rehearse Amazing Grace , Friday March 28 at Dublin Jerome High School. The band is a new endeavor with the Dublin Community Bands aimed at youth involvement in music. The youth band will also hold sessions in June and July.

For some students, spring break was an opportunity to make music.

Fifteen students participated in the first Dublin Youth Silver Band last week, culminating the three-day learning experience with a concert.

Students participating in the new group were in grades 7-12 and from schools throughout central Ohio.

"About 70 percent are Dublin kids," said Patrick Herak, who organized the group for Dublin Community Bands. "There are two kids from New Albany, one from Jonathan Alder and one from Worthington."

The new group was created to give students a new experience.

"There are no feeders for brass bands and they're quite popular in central Ohio," Herak said.

"This will create more opportunity for kids."

One of the opportunities was learning something new.

"Many kids play different instruments in their school bands," said Wendy Reeves, a guest conductor for the group and the Sells Middle School band director.

The band was patterned after British brass bands, putting students on different instruments.

"The music is more challenging," said Stephen Bulla, guest conductor for the March clinic.

"There are no flutes or clarinets. Those parts have to be played by brass."

At the March brass band course, students played alongside members of the Dublin Silver Band, which gave them a little extra help.

"It's ambitious," Bulla said of the schedule that had students meeting Wednesday through Friday and performing with the Dublin Silver Band on Saturday. "This pushes the kids to learn music quickly."

But with adult players to help, things went well.

"When they're in band, they can ask questions during practice to adults," Herak said.

"They've been very on-task the whole time," Reeves said, adding that playing with adults helps students realize they can play their instruments throughout their lives.

"As a life-long music educator and player, it's important for youth to work with adults," Reeves said.

"They see that playing an instrument is a lifelong pursuit."

Along with lifelong lessons, students in the first Dublin Youth Brass Band also got a chance to play something never heard before.

Bulla, who also conducts brass bands in Boston and Washington, D.C., penned a piece for the group, thanks to funding from the Dublin Arts Council.

"I write to the level, but I don't dumb it down," Bulla said of the piece.

"It's still a challenging piece. I'm glad to see where they're taking it."

The new Dublin Youth Brass Band will be resurrected again this summer. Herak said two more courses are planned for June and July.

"We're trying to do something new," he said.

"We're always welcome to getting as many kids involved as possible."

A performance at a summer brass festival and guest conductors are planned for the next two sessions.

For more information about the upcoming sessions of the Dublin Youth Brass Band, send email to: dublinyouthbrass band@gmail.com.

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