Residential 2018

This weekend the band have been away on a residential weekend in Durham!

Every year, all of our players go away to learn some new music and to generally have fun! This year we decided to mix things up a bit and invited Pan Nation’s manager and musical director; Chris Storey to join us and lead some workshops over the course of the weekend.

Arriving on Friday night, our performance band were put to the test with a fun filled samba workshop with our very own Paul Thompson. Paul is currently one of our longest standing members of the performance band as well as being a professional percussion tutor for Tees Valley Music Service. The band had a wonderful couple of hours learning some basic samba rhythms (with added dance moves of course!) We hope Paul will teach us more soon!

While the performance band were samba-ing it up, our Musical Director Michael Darling was leading the training band through the basics of improvisation and solo. Hopefully we’ll see some of our young players stepping up with more confidence to solo in the coming months!

After all this practice we sat down to some tea and chilled out before a big day of panning with our guest tutor Chris.

By 10am on Saturday morning, the performance band were ready set to go and got down to learning some funky new music with Chris Storey, tune of choice: ‘Conga’ by Gloria Estefan, Chris lived up to our expectation – we love the arrangement!

We went on to learn ‘Sweet Fuh Days’ by Patrice Roberts before heading outside to do some team bonding – outdoor activities!

Late afternoon saw the whole band coming together to run over some of our tunes for upcoming local festivals – our young players have been practising Handel’s ‘Queen of Sheba’ and it’s sounding ace!! We can’t wait to hear them play at Tynedale and Wansbeck Music Festivals next weekend. Chris then taught everyone Dua Lipa’s ‘New Rules’ – we are so proud of our new and young players who put their best foot forward and took on learning a new and challenging piece of music.

We finished the day with a night of games and fancy dress – the theme being N T S or B. We had bananas, suffragettes, a sheep, superheroes and even a Ninja! A particular highlight was watching all the players compete in Human Hungry Hippos! We had such a laugh!

Sunday morning involved one final workshop with Chris, where we learnt ‘Havana’ by Camila Cobello, we can’t wait play our new music at gigs. A bunch of proper party tunes!

By the end of the weekend, we were all exhausted but so inspired by our fabulous guest tutor Chris, we can’t thank him enough for his wonderful contributions to our repertoire. We are so looking forward to meeting him again – he really fitted in with all of us at NTSB.

See our facebook page for photographs and videos of our new tunes!

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Until next time,


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