On the first weekend of December the 4th edition of the Band Clinic organised by Yamaha took place in Utrecht–Netherlands.

A day filled with brass band music, instrumental workshops and lectures. About 100 Brass Banders from Netherlands, Belgium and Germany came together at the invitation from Yamaha to experience playing Music together but also to expand their knowledge about some general aspects of being a musician. After the morning start with body percussion under the guidance of Simone Rebello and the traditional hymn tune warm up with Russell Gray, the participants took part in no less than 6 workshops led by fellow Yamaha artists Senne La Mela, Arfon Owen and Armin Bachmann.

The so-called “workshop carousel” offers a lot of inspiration and “out-of-the-box thinking” on non-instrument related topics such as:

  • How to deal with nerves in performance
  • Rope dancing is fun! Regular mental work brings security and joy into making music
  • How to prevent yourself from injuries – what musicians can learn from athletes
  • Developing your inner pulse

In addition to this Russell Gray also led a forum entitled "How to develop your musical interpretation". He shared his valuable ideas on how to approach a new piece of music. In the conversation, he also involved his fellow lecturers in the conversation, asking them how they begin their journey to learn, but more importantly, to interpret music that is new to them. It was very interesting to learn about different ways and approaches.

Speaking of the event Simone Rebello commented:

“As always, it is great to be part of the Yamaha family and to see fellow artists, whether playing, coaching, conducting or supporting a session but always with a smile and a sense of encouragement. That encouragement was definitely seen in the clinic participants who threw themselves into every challenge and activity with enthusiasm, humour and character and that made for a lovely atmosphere throughout the weekend.”

Beside the workshops there was also plenty of opportunity to make music together in sectional rehearsals and the massed band at the end of the day. It is always a special moment when all the participants play together with the Yamaha Artists and everything clicks and the energy and emotion is shared between the players and the audience. This is what brass banding is all about and where friendships are made.

Throughout the day there was supportive and friendly atmosphere which one participant summed up as follows:

“It was a wonderful and inspiring day – outstanding tutors and lots of great inspiration for us all. So many brass banders in one place always leads to interesting conversations and a great exchange of ideas.”