Dublin Youth Brass Band

About the Dublin Youth Brass Band

An Opportunity for ALL students

The Dublin Youth Brass Band course provides a unique opportunity for all students to experience a traditional British Brass Band. Beginning students can be challenged with secondary and tertiary parts, while more advanced students can be challenged with solo parts and unique instruments like the soprano cornet and flugel horn. Low brass students can either play music in bass clef, or take the challenge of learning treble clef like the adult brass bands.

What makes the Dublin Youth Brass Band Different?

Unlike many other supplementary groups for music students, the Dublin Youth Brass Band is an inclusive group. Students of all ages and abilities are welcome.

Additionally, many youth music groups only include students. In the Dublin Youth Brass Band, students will sit near members of the award-winning Dublin Silver Band (DSB). Members of DSB serve as role models and tutors. Some of the best music lessons come not from direct instruction, but sitting next to quality players.

2019 Dublin Youth Brass Band Course


Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 from 4:00--7:00pm
Thursday, June 20th, 2019 from 4:00--7:00pm
Friday, June 21st, 2019 from 4:00--7:00pm

Saturday, June 22nd, 2019 Performance (Afternoon - exact time TBD)

$40/Dublin City Schools student
$50/students outside of Dublin.
DYBB shirts are an additional $15 (Register by May 7th and get a free T-shirt!)
*Groups of 3 or more students that register together are $30/student (same school, same family, etc..).

*Free private lessons may be available before or after rehearsals on a first come first serve basis

Instrument Overview

Soprano and Bb Cornets – Trumpet players can easily switch to the Cornet. The Soprano Cornet is the top voice of the brass band. The Soprano Cornet should be treated somewhat like a piccolo is treated in a wind band; The prevalent sound should be sweet and light, floating on top of the ensemble. Only occasionally, when voiced to add brilliance in unison or octave to the ff solo cornet sound, should the soprano
be bright and edgy.Students may audition for Solo Cornet or Soprano Cornet.  The Bb cornets are subdivided into the front row and back row.  The front row, or solo cornets, often provided melodic lines or play very technical passages.  The back row (repiano, 2nd and 3rd cornets) provided harmonies and support to the front row.

Flugelhorn – Trumpet players can easily switch to the Flugelhorn. The flugelhorn is the crossroads of the band,
connecting the lower band to the upper band with its range of sonorities. The flugelhorn can, and often does, provide the top voice of the tenor horn choir; It can also reinforce the cornet sound, support the back row or add body to the repiano voice. Students may audition for this part.

E-flat Tenor Horns – French Horn and Trumpet players can switch to the Tenor Horn. The tenor horn can be conceptualized as an alto cornet---the downward extension of the cornet section. The tenor horn should have clearly audible overtones and character
to its sound, not be a bland and strive only for darkness.Students may audition for Solo Horn.

Baritones – Baritones are known as the “utility” players, much like the role the euphonium plays in a wind band. The role of this player in the band is often to be the bass voice of the horns, to add brilliance to tutti parts with the euphoniums, to add depth of sound to the trombones, or to play on their own.

Euphoniums – Euphoniums lead the right side of the band. Their sound is the “icing on the cake” to the euphonium and baritone section. This should be a leader in terms of character of sound and volume.

Euphonium and Baritone players can choose which part to play. Students may audition for Solo Euphonium and Solo Baritone.

Trombones – The Trombone section of the brass band is an interesting section in that it should be treated like the “brass section” of the brass band. In other words, it should be treated like the orchestra treats their brass section. In loud passages, the trombones should come out of the texture and provide the edge and power to the overall sound. Most of the other time, the trombone section is more filler texture, or in the background.

Students may audition for 1st Trombone and Bass Trombone.

E-flat and B-flat Tubas (also called Basses) – The bass sound of the band is quite different than the tuba sound in an orchestra. The tuba sound in orchestra is a more focused and cutting sound in that ensemble, whereas the bass sound in brass band should be more similar to the double bass sound in an orchestra. The listener should notice that the bass sound is there, but should not be able to notice that the basses are tubas. The sound should be less focused than the traditional “orchestral” sound; more of just a “presence”.

Tuba students can choose to play either part. Note: A tuba pitched specifically in E-flat or B-flat is not required.

Percussion – The percussion section plays essentially the same role as in the orchestra or wind band, with this important difference. Since the highest-pitched instrument in the ensemble is the soprano cornet, some brass band composers and arrangers rely on the mallet instruments to provide the top two octaves of color and shimmer.

Percussion students will rotate parts around the section.

What is a brass band?

A traditional British brass band calls for a specific combination of brass instruments along with a percussion section. Unlike traditional wind bands, which use trumpets and French horns, the brass band makes use of cornets and E-flat tenor horns for these voices. The design of all the instruments in the brass band can be simplified to say that they are all different sizes of essentially the same conical-bore instrument. with the obvious exception of the trombone.

This homogeneity allows for a rich and balanced sound that cannot be duplicated in other ensembles. Interestingly, part of the tradition calls for all the parts for brass band music to be written in the treble clef. from soprano cornet all the way down to tuba. The only exception is the bass trombone, which is written in the bass clef.

One of the reasons for the very specific instrumentation of a brass band is the very strong and popular tradition of contesting and competition. In a brass band contest only the set number of players are allowed on stage.

Contest types vary across not only Britain, but the world. Competition serves not only as a yardstick to measure an ensemble’s quality and progress, but also as strong motivation for the musicians to improve as individuals and stay at the top of their game. In these competitions bands are ranked based on performances in previous contests and classified into what are called sections.

In the lower sections, as bands continue to develop, the March & Hymn contest holds a priority, as it allows groups to choose their pieces and work on the fundamental sound of a brass band.

The top contests often require all the bands (often numbering from 12-25 competing groups) to play the same “set piece” or “test piece” of music, in order to create a more level playing field.

The other high-profile contest format is the entertainment contest, in which bands are rewarded for fine playing, strong soloists, and innovative performances.