Band aims to develop a prize or two


FOURTEEN youngsters from Peebles Burgh Silver Band are preparing for the Scottish Championships in November after a successful visit to the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland (NYBBS) summer course.

The Development Band members attended the week in St Andrews thanks to a series of fundraising events such as indoor and outdoor concerts as well as donations from Peebles organisations.

Lukas Bottcher, Nathan Burgess, Mhairi Davidson, Euan Lumsden, Alexa Smith and Reece Ward-Murray were part of the children’s band which worked with conductor Gordon Evans MBE of St John’s Brass Band in Dundee.

They held a joint concert with the Reserve Band, and Euan Lumsden clinched the award for most improved player in recognition of his work on percussion.

The Reserve Band contained Peebles’s more experienced students, including Mhairi Anderson, Mikkel Bottcher, Yasmin Bottcher, Zach Clarke, Callum Culbert, Eilidh Davidson, Claire Lee and Dominic Russell.

The NYBBS, including youngsters from St Ronan’s Silver Band, later gave a concert led by musical director Richard Evans, and the talented group of musicians aged 16 to 21 showcased the strength of musicianship in Scotland.

One of the course tutors, Alan Fernie, who has served as conductor with Peebles Silver Band, said: “I just wanted to say how much I admired the contribution to NYBBS course by Peebles Band. The fact that so much preparation had gone in terms of fundraising was much commented on by tutors and staff.”

He also praised Daniel Williamson, conductor of Peebles’ Development Band, and helped meet the fundraising goal for the St Andrews course.

He said: “I am delighted and proud of the group that attended NYBBS and hope that this is the start of even bigger things. I certainly have several ideas for the next few months to feed off this enthusiasm for learning.”

Donations for St Andrews were received from Peebles Round Table, Ladies Circle, Callants, the Masonic Lodge and the Ex-Cornets Association.

The Development Band are due to perform in Peebles High Street and at their own concerts during the coming months.