The National Youth Concert Band was founded to nurture talented young woodwind, brass and percussion players of all backgrounds from across the UK, and as a flagship for promoting the wind band and its vibrant and varied repertoire. Click here for more information about the National Children’s Concert Band.
Founded by Jonathan Parkes, Kathryn Wood and Jonathan Watkins in 2018, our first course was held during Easter 2019 at the Old Swinford Hospital school in Stourbridge. The annual residential course is open to musicians aged 12-18 with a minimum of Grade 7 standard and concerts are held in venues around the country.
Our young musicians are tutored and conducted by some of the UK’s leading professional musicians and educators, who are all specialists in their field and have a broad range of experience teaching at highly respected institutions and playing in professional orchestras, as well as the West End.
We also take great pride in our team of qualified pastoral staff, who are on-site 24/7 to make sure everyone is happy and healthy, putting on entertainment in the evenings and providing any support that’s needed.
The main band rehearsals will make up the bulk of the week, working towards the final concert which is open to family, friends and the general public. When players arrive on the first day, they are registered and then shown to their rooms before the first full rehearsal. We always accommodate our young musicians with others of a similar age, and it doesn’t take long for new friendships to blossom!
Specialist sectional tutors will take intensive rehearsals during the first two or three days and we have lead wind, brass and percussion tutors on hand throughout the course. Many of our pastoral staff are also highly qualified musicians and they love to get involved too!
A variety of creative workshops are also included in the week, such as jazz and composition, as well as masterclasses and other performance opportunities. Players can work individually with our accompanist in residence, Hannah Mitchell, and perform to their peers in a solos concert held in the stunning Great Hall.
Members have the option to join a chamber ensemble, such as a saxophone quartet or wind or brass quintet, which many of them may not have featured in before. Later in the week, we take these groups off site to perform at a local care home and share our music-making with the community. Older students can use this time for extra study or revision if they wish, as we’re aware it can be a stressful time with GCSE and A Level exams just around the corner!
Between rehearsals, there’s something for everyone – we have a movie night, games night with karaoke and sports events throughout the week, ensuring players can relax and get to know their band-mates socially as well as musically. At NYCB, our young musicians develop skills and friendships that will last a lifetime.
Our Musical Director Jonathan Parkes grew up in the brass band world and played Principal Trombone for the Rotherham Schools Youth Brass Band and the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain before going on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester under Chris Houlding and Andrew Berryman.
Whilst at the RNCM he started his career as a freelance trombonist working with the Halle Orchestra and went on to work with all the professional orchestras in the North West of England, including the Manchester Camerata, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera North and Northern Ballet. In 2004 he played Principal Trombone for the Philharmonia of the Nations in Germany, touring Europe and South Africa. Jonathan has taught all over the Greater Manchester region since 2001 and began tutoring and directing music courses shortly after and began conducting in 2005. In 2014 he was appointed brass tutor for Tameside Music Service where he has taught extensively across all year groups from early years to Year 11 and where he helped found the wind orchestra and conducts the brass band.
His first full time appointment came in 2011 when he was appointed musical director of the Dobcross Youth Brass Band. The following year he was appointed MD of the National Children’s Wind Orchestra – a prestigious residential course performing concerts in venues such as the Cadogan Hall, Royal College of Music and Saffron Hall. In 2016 he was delighted to be appointed Musical Director of the Werneth Concert Band.
Lead Brass Tutor David Chatterton studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester University on their Joint Course, where his trumpet teachers were Alan Stringer and Howard Snell.
As a trumpeter he has played with orchestras such as the RLPO, CBSO, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Shakespeare Company, Manchester Camerata, Royal Opera House and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
He is Head of Brass and Percussion at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, and has taught at the University of Huddersfield since 1992. David has conducted the Chetham’s Symphonic Wind Orchestra for the past five years, including their appearance at the WASBE Conference in Killarney in 2007, and was invited to conduct the Festival Wind Orchestra at the 2001 Jeonju Sori Festival in South Korea. David was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2005.
Lead Wind Tutor for the National Youth Concert Band is Dom Childs. As an orchestral musician, Dom has toured, recorded and performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, including live broadcast for BBC Radio 3 and perfoming at the ‘Last Night of the Proms’.
In 2019 Dom’s Debut Solo Album will be released with the Resonus Classics record label, featuring works written or inspired by women.
Between2010-2018Dom was the Alto Saxophonist in the award winning Forseti Saxophone quartet based in Cologne. In October 2011, the Forseti Quartet were awarded the Carl Pontén Prize in the 4th European Chamber Music Competition in Karlsruhe, regularly performing throughout Europe.
Dom is a passionate music educator having been the Saxophone Tutor for the National Youth Wind Ensemble, Deputy Saxophone Teacher at the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music as well as giving workshops across the UK including at Chetham’s School of Music and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance. He spent 5 years as Saxophone Tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department, and in 2015 founded the Saxophone Programme on the Ingenium Academy International Summer School.
In 2017, Dom became the 1st Chair of the Hertfordshire Festival of Music and recently took up the post of Head of Woodwind & Brass at Bedford School
The Percussion section are lead by Mark Concar. Mark trained as a percussionist at the Royal Northern College of Music and since graduating in 2003, has worked regularly with all of the North West’s leading orchestras including BBC Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Opera North, Manchester Camerata, Northern Ballet, Halle and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.
In addition to his playing, Mark is the Musical Director & founder of one of the leading youth percussion ensembles in the UK. (The Love Music Trust Senior & Junior Percussion Ensembles). With over 15 years of teaching experience, Mark has produced a wealth of high achieving students including the current winner of the BBC young musician of the year 2018 Category Finals and many going on to continue their studies at the country's top conservatoires and working as professional musicians and teachers within the music industry.