Royal Drummers add to busy weekend for Liberty

Drum Corps UK Finals in Widnes is always the start of a special weekend at Liberty as we perform twice on the Saturday and then travel to Stafford for the final contest of the season before BYBA National Championships.
Once again, our show The Bench, seemed to make a connection with the audiences who really showed their appreciation at the end of each of the performances.
On Saturday we finished 7th at Drum Corps Finals, our highest ever placing, and achieved our highest ever score.
We also brought a bit of royalty to the proceedings with our Royal themed drumline battle, which saw the HM the Queen take a drum solo whilst Prince Charles looked on aghast from behind his tenors. The less said about the cymbal playing Corgi, the better! We had a lot of fun and were excited to make the Drumline Battle Final against the eventual winners, Concord Allstars.
On Sunday, after a full corps trip to Buddies diner for breakfast, we performed at the BYBA Brass Explosion show and were thrilled to be able to win the Championship Class, and with it, the league title.
And now we keep rehearsing for the British Youth Band Association Finals in 2 weeks time.

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More success with help from Vital Energi

After the Summer break, Liberty regrouped at our September weekend camp and prepared for the competition day in Birmingham – a double header with the BYBA competition taking place in the morning and the DCUK show in the afternoon.
Camp finished with a uniformed performance at Grendon Hall at the Chair of Northants County Council’s annual garden party which meant we could show lots of local councillors just what we do at Liberty. A huge thanks to Vital Energi for sponsoring the camp and making such a difference to the experience we could offer our members.
The following weekend, in windy and rainy conditions, we gave 2 strong performances that saw us win the BYBA Championship Class and reach our highest ever DCUK score. What a great way to start the 2nd half of the season!

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Coming October – Marching Band After-School Clubs

Liberty are delighted to announce that they have been awarded just under £7,000 from Northampton Borough Council’s Partnership Fund to run Marching Band After-School Clubs in 5 local primary schools. Starting October, the clubs will run at one school at a time for 7 weeks from 3.30pm to 4.45pm, introducing the young pupils to brass, drums, tuned percussion and colourguard. All participants will be invited to come to a Liberty rehearsal night, and the whole thing will finish with a ‘Show and Tell’ for their parents.
In addition, the funding opens the door to us running taster nights at 10 local youth groups for 11-16 year olds.
The workshops will also support the personal development of Liberty’s senior members who will help to run them.
We will be introduced to over 200 young people and hope to inspire a whole bunch of them to take part in the performing arts at Liberty and in their school.

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Liberty in Ireland

Liberty had the most amazing weekend competing, making friends and playing some street music in Ireland. 31 of our members travelled to Arklow, about an hour or so South of Dublin, to take part in a competition hosted by Inbhear Mor Performance Ensemble on behalf of the Irish Marching Bands Association. Despite travelling without 9 of our members, the corps still managed to take 2nd place, just 0.1 behind the winning band. After the competition the evening was spent playing on the street as part of Arklow’s Seabreeze Festival with our friends from Inbhear Mor…..this was pretty much everyone’s favourite bit of the weekend. Some free time on the fair rides, and listening to the Irish bands performing on stages around the town made for a great night. A huge thanks to Oisin Molloy for helping us to make this happen. Here’s to next time!

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Summer Rhythm brings more success for Liberty

Liberty were once again delighted to host the 2017 Summer Rhythm contest at Daventry Town FC.
The day was a really special one as it marked the first joint competition between the British Youth Band Association and the Traditional Youth Marching Bands Association….so what did that mean? Well it meant that 19 bands and over 400 young people offered up a wonderful day of entertainment to the spectators!
We were also joined by the drum corps from the Southern Conference of the Pathfinders organisation who led both retreats and gave an exhibition performance.
And all this was made just that little bit more special when Liberty were announced at winners of the Championship Class, and for the first in their 9 year history were able to give a repeat performance….and all at their home show.

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New Uniforms + New Show = Success for Liberty

Liberty’s 2017 season is underway…and what a great start it was!!
Proudly wearing their new uniforms, the corps performed its 2017 show, “The Bench” at the DCUK competition held in Woking. The show is about the people who come and go from a park bench during the day whilst highlighting the plight of the homeless person for who the bench is the nearest thing to a home.
Liberty finished in 5th place with a score that was not only its highest ever opening-show score, but was also higher than last year’s Finals score! A huge achievement for the 40 strong young corps.
Liberty will next be performing at their home show “Summer Rhythm” being held on Sunday 9th July at Daventry Town FC as part of the BYBA competition circuit

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Good Luck to Ruby!

Liberty are thrilled to announce that one of our Colourguard members will be spending her summer in America performing with The Spartans Drum and Bugle Corps, based in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Ruby Willis, age 16, has been a member of Liberty’s colourguard since she was 9 years old and is about to start her 8th season with the corps. As well as performing with her hometown corps, Ruby has spent the last 3 winters travelling every weekend to Essex to train and perform with Mayflower Winterguard. Ruby is co-captain of Liberty’s Colourguard and Mayflower’s A guard.
Flying out in June, Ruby will initially train with The Spartans in New Hampshire before travelling to competitions in 9 states, with her tour concluding at the World Championships in Indianapolis

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Liberty 2017 starts at Midlands Showcase

And we’re off! Liberty 2017 is up and running and through the starting gate.
Last weekend Liberty performed at the British Youth Band Association’s “Midland Showcase”. The event gives bands an opportunity to perform some of their new season’s music and is a great chance for new members to see what this activity is all about.
Liberty’s performance began with the drumline performing cadences which followed by the whole corps playing the opening two numbers from Liberty’s 2017 production, “The Bench” – ‘Morning’ from Peer Gynt and ‘Have I Told You Lately That I Love You’.

A great start to the season and a wonderful opportunity for our new members to perform with us for the first time. A huge thanks to Beeches Performance Ensemble for hosting the event. Next stop – The Indoor Music Games in Essex at the beginning of May, when our colourguard will be performing with us, as we put the first half of our visual show onto the floor.

 

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Liberty Brass Players with Alison Balsom!

Our time with Alison Balsom……

Our corps director recently attended the Music and Drama Educators’ Conference and Exhibition in London. One of the stands he visited belonged to the Royal Albert Hall where he found out about their educational programme…..and from that meeting a wonderful opportunity came about for 2 of Liberty’s young brass players.

World renowned trumpet player, Alison Balsom, would be giving a concert at the iconic venue and had agreed to give a masterclass to 13/14 year old brass players at grade 4/5 standard.

Liberty applied for places for 2 of our members, Euan and Kim, and the application was successful. And so last Tuesday the 2 young musicians joined 40 other young brass players in the Elgar Room at the Royal Albert Hall for a morning’s masterclass with Alison Balsom. After spending time asking questions, Ms Balsom talked about preparation for playing, along with breathing exercises, and then the 40 odd players worked through a couple of pieces of music. After the mid morning break the youngsters worked on jazz improvisation before revisiting the music they had looked at earlier. Lots more questions, opportunities for photos and autographs followed and as the participants left they were each given a pair of tickets for the “Alison Balsom and Friends” concert on Sunday.

The concert explored trumpet playing in a wide range of styles….from baroque music through to a brand new composition accompanying sound samples from the composers MacBook….with lots of jazz thrown in and even a performance from Sir Bryn Terfel.

It was a wonderful experience and it’s safe to say that it will live with these 2 young players for a long time. This week we will be starting our rehearsal with what we are going to call our “Balsom Breathing”!

 

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Liberty Juniors

Liberty have been having a great time letting the primary schools in our local area know about the opportunities available with us…and we’ve got some more visits lined up.
We take some of biggest and loudest instruments into an assembly and see how much noise we can get the pupils to make, and then encourage the pupils to come and check out a Liberty rehearsal.
Liberty’s junior band for 9-12 year olds rehearses on a Thursday night before our Senior corps meets. Tuition is given by the older members of our senior band with our experienced staff on hand to give support where needed. That way 2 groups of young people get to develop skills at the same time….and all the while making sure we keep it fun. Half of our current brass line first performed in our junior band so it’s been a great way of growing our organisation.

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