Brass summer school returns for a third year

Stephen Crooks brass summer

BRASS TUTOR…Stephen Crooks

THE FERMANAGH/Tyrone brass band summer school is to return for a third installment this year.

The summer school, set up by tutor Les Neish, a professional tuba player and Stephen Crooks, a tuba player from Letterbreen who is studying at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, brings together brass enthusiasts from across the two counties.

The summer school has had at least 60 participants each year, and are hoping to exceed that this summer.

“The summer school started when the principal tutor of the course Mr Les Neish and I wanted to bring a unique opportunity to people in Fermanagh/Tyrone who play a brass instrument to work with brass players of the highest calibre and to bring both sides of the community together in a unique brass ensemble workshop,” Stephen explained.

“In previous years the summer school has been run in the Letterbreen Methodist Church Hall where we are thankful for them letting us use their hall for the event.

“The participants got the chance to ask Les Neish different tips on brass playing over a three day period and got the chance to work with players from others brass bands in a different environment.”

Stephen added: “In the past couple of years we have had 15 bands represented including Murley Silver Band from Fivemiletown, St Mary’s band tempo and Ballyduff Silver from Carrickfergus.”

The summer school this year organisers have brought something new to the table. They are bringing over the North of England Regional Champions ranked 13th in the world, the Leyland Band.

The Leyland band will be bringing over 10 tutors to the event to help work with the participants.

The course starts on July 24, with a final public concert at the Westville Hotel at 8pm on July 26.

You can get involved by contacting Stephen Crooks on 07857708664 or by email

A local tuba player has landed a top gig with the European Youth Brass Band.


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