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YWO Music Camp 2021

After what has seemed an incredibly long year since our 2020 Music Camp, YWO are incredibly fortunate to have been able to go ahead with our annual Music Camp in consecutive Covid years!  With a healthy membership of 52 YWO members, 12 who were recruited during lockdown, and 7 supervising adults, we spent another wonderful weekend at the magnificent Crusaders at Galston Gorge.

Starting the weekend with a 2 ½ hour rehearsal meant our members were ‘fired up’ from the moment they arrived! After a good(ish) sleep on Friday Night, they moved into Sectionals for a 4 hour session with one of the 9 tutors who came along to work with our children. Their work certainly paid off as we listened to the even better sounds in a further 2 hour afternoon rehearsal, which we recorded and played back in our listening session.  Our members thrived on critiquing their own and their fellow band members, with nothing but positive encouragement.

Saturday Night was so much fun. With our annual Trivia Night, testing our sections with team work and trivia knowledge. The winners (due to a last minute team disqualification) were in fact our Saxophone/Tubas who showed us who really were the Champions!

Sunday saw an early morning move to the glorious Galston Community Centre where we recorded our pieces for the upcoming Australian National Online Festival of Bands. A brilliant and exciting finale to our weekend full of music, friendship and fun!





James Brice Awarded Band Association of NSW Life Membership

It is with great pleasure that we announce the awarding of Life Membership of the Band Association of NSW to Mr James Brice.
James was recognised as a passionate and driven conductor, tutor and mentor across NSW. In particular he was congratulated on his contesting success and his continued contribution to the musical direction of NSW Banding 14 years through his participation in the Music Selection Sub-Committee has been invaluable.
Congratulations James on receiving this well deserved award and thank-you for your service to our NSW Banding Community.

JAMES BRICE, the musical director and conductor of Castle Hill RSL Youth Wind Orchestra and North West Wind Ensemble, has been awarded the prestigious 2021 Hills Citizen of the Year. 

At a Hills Council Australia Day Ceremony, James was recognised for the past 16 years of exceptional work with the young and older musicians from the Hills area.

In the past 12 months, he has worked tirelessly to ensure that each of his 100 local musicians have been able to continue to play every week, despite the restrictions imposed through Covid.  James carried out 73 online rehearsals with a participation rate equalling those in venue. He recorded click-track recordings for members to play along with and embarked on major recording projects that have been taken to the world stage.

James is a leader in education and community banding and the Hills area is indeed incredibly fortunate to have him as one of their own.



 African Symphony – Isolation Project April May 2020

While all of our lives have become restricted as we are temporarily confined to our homes in a way we have never been before, we are witnessing some amazing musical creativity around the globe. From YouTube parodies to apartment block sing-alongs we are watching the ability of music to increase our sense of social cohesion, to convey our emotions and to keep our communities together.

Castle Hill YWO and NWWE have mobilised their members to continue to play and share music. Not only have we continued our weekly rehearsals, albeit from different homes around the Hills District, but we have also embarked on new and exciting recording projects. YWO are so proud to share our Isolation Project African Symphony which shows how hard we have continued to work and love what we do. Alongside, our North West Wind ensemble members recorded their ANZAC Day tribute with Colonel Bogey. March by Kenneth J. Alford recorded at 39 locations across Sydney. These are both available on our Facebook pages or at the YouTube links.Special thanks to Bob Wheatley of Stolen Planet Productions and Tristan Baker of BAM Studios for their audio and video editing expertise and assistance. We hope you ENJOY!