Riverside Youth Band has welcomed tuba star Les Neish for a day of musical fun and games as it continues to add new players to its ranks. Besson Artist Les led more than 25 youngsters, some of whom had never picked up an instrument before, through a packed Come and Play Open Day which ultimately saw them build and perform their own instruments made from hosepipes, with help from fellow tutors Alan Fernie and Stuart Black.
The event on October 22 culminated in an evening concert in Port Glasgow Town Hall featuring Les alongside Riverside Youth Band and Renfrew Burgh Band, conducted by Mark Good. Mark reflected: "Everyone at Riverside has been inspired by Les and his colleagues, Alan Fernie and Stuart Black. "Les and the team kept everyone engaged throughout, from his warm-up and rhythm games through to building hosepipes and dazzling the audience in the concert. It was an honour to welcome Les, Alan and Stuart to work with the Riverside Youth Band and we hope to see them back in Inverclyde soon."
Les left audience members spellbound with his performances of Arban's The Carnival of Venice and He Wipes the Tear, arranged by Steve Sykes. Reflecting on the evening, Les said: "It was a busy but rewarding day from start to finish. Everything was well organised and the workshop was so much fun. Everybody joined in with great energy and the concert was a wonderful showcase of the day. It was great to see young players who had never played an instrument before performing in the concert and I know many have already signed up to be part of the Riverside Youth Band Organisation"
The evening concert saw further celebrations for Riverside Youth Band, as it performed the world premiere of Alan Fernie's Clydebuilt, music commissioned by the band depicting Inverclyde's proud shipbuilding heritage. Young players who had designed their own hosepipe instruments performed at the concert in The Lion Sleeps Tonight before the bands joined forces for a grand finale, bringing proceedings to a close. The day of events was supported by Besson, Band Supplies and B&Q.
It comes as Riverside Youth Band looks to welcome its latest intake of players. Anyone interested in getting involved should contact Laura Good, secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org, or find the band on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.