The National Methodist Youth Brass Band (NMYBB) is a group of young brass-playing Christians from all over the country who come together a few times a year to make music and share the love of Jesus Christ. We visit churches up and down the country around 4 or 5 times a year for a weekend and also have an annual tour lasting between 10 days and 2 weeks. We play a wide range of music, from Christian Hymns and Song Settings through to arrangements of classical music and adaptations of film music. We welcome any young Christian brass players between the age of 13 and 21, but don't have a leaving age so you can play with us for as long as you want!
As a Christian band we take part in the church services of the host churches as well as putting on concerts. We have a dedicated chaplaincy team, and our motto is FFF. In musical terms this means very very loud, but for us it also means Fun, Faith and Fellowship; three things which really sum up what the band is all about.
We have lots of fun as a band, making music together and through non-musical activities too! Fellowship is important because we enjoy spending time with each other – when we meet up (4-5 times a year plus a tour) there is always a lot of catching up to be done! We are also like a family, and support one another too.
Lastly but certainly no means least, is Faith. We are not a group of musicians that happen to be Christians but we are a group of Christians who happen to be musicians. At the very core of what we do is our faith in Jesus Christ, and we believe that as a band, God uses us to encourage the churches and circuits that we visit.
How the Band works
NMYBB is a charitable organisation that meets up 4 or 5 times a year for "Band Weekends". We arrive on the Friday night, at times ranging from 7pm to midnight, and have a rehearsal for a couple of hours. Afterwards we will share in an epilogue following a weekend theme, before spending some time catching up with friends after a few months of being apart. We then sleep overnight on the Church premises.
Rising early, we will spend the morning in rehearsal before exploring the local area during the afternoon. In the evening we put on a concert in the host church, before having a second epilogue and staying up into the early hours of the morning!
Sunday is seen as the most important part of the weekend; a time when the band will take part in morning worship. Participation can be as small as playing the hymns or as large as taking the whole service ourselves. After one final meal together, everyone returns to their respective homes until the next weekend arrives.
Every year we also go on a tour, lasting between 10 days and 2 weeks. We generally have more rehearsal time and play a lot more concerts, a mixture of formal evening concerts and more informal concerts. In the past we have played bandstand concerts, as well as playing during lunchtime at Chatsworth House and marching round Naples! This time is great, as it also gives us more of a chance to explore our Faith, one of the central tenets of NMYBB.
NMYBB aims to be entirely cost neutral to the host church, covering all costs including food, heating, water etc. so no church should feel that they cannot afford to host us. All members pay to attend and after church expenses and travel expenses have been paid, any money the band makes as profit goes towards our running costs (buying music, insurance etc.) and supporting the band’s charities.
If you would like to know more about NMYBB, or enquire about hosting us, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
History of NMYBB
NMYBB was formed in April 1987 when 20 enthusiastic young brass players responded to an advert in the Methodist Recorder and met together at Surbiton Hill Methodist Church. After just two lengthy and concentrated rehearsals they gave a creditable first concert and then on the Sunday participated in morning worship by playing the voluntaries and accompanying all the hymns. The National Methodist Youth Brass Band had been orn. It was evident from that first weekend that there was potential and promise for such a band and that God’s Spirit was urging it on. Since then, we have met up around the country for 4 or 5 “Band Weekends” a year.
In 1988, NMYBB embarked on their first summer Tour, visiting the South Coast of England. This was so successful that tours became an annual event, visiting Methodist Churches around the UK and also further abroad. In recent years, most Tours have been around the British Isles, but we still travel abroad occasionally.
Throughout its history the band has performed at a number of large Christian gatherings and events; “Spring Harvest” in Darlington, “Easter People” in Scarborough, Torquay, Blackpool and Bournemouth, the “Share Jesus” mission in Cornwall, and most recently at “Cliff Fest” in 2014.
NMYBB has also appeared on TV playing in a live BBC coverage of a Sunday morning worship service from Scarborough, and have led the singing for a live Radio 4 broadcast of a special open-air evening service from St Ives. The band also performed for the 300th Birthday of Charles Wesley at The Queen’s Theatre, Burslem and marked the 200th Anniversary of Primitive Methodism atop Mow Cop, both events being aired on Sky TV. ther prestigious performances include participation in the Methodist Conferences in Leeds, Westminster, Ipswich and Wolverhampton, an ordination in Chester Cathedral, playing for the World Council of Churches in Geneva, as well as appearing at the European Methodist Festival held in Potsdam, Germany, again celebrating the 300th Anniversary of the birth of John Wesley.
Over the years the band has not only undoubtedly enjoyed the challenges of making music together but have had a great deal of fun together, enjoyed good fellowship and have grown in their faith together.
You may have read about NMYBB’s motto: Fun, Faith and Fellowship. The chaplaincy team supports and encourages the faith element of the band. The team is currently made up of an eclectic bunch of four people.
Who we are
Nathan has been a member of NMYBB since 2000 and plays the Tenor Horn. He is now a Methodist Minister currently stationed to the Stafford Circuit. Nathan is married to Hannah (who he met in the band) and they have two children. Nathan believes that the band was one of the main vehicles that God used to encourage him to be doing what he is doing today!
Dave joined NMYBB’s chaplaincy team in 2006. Dave is also a Methodist Minister currently stationed to the Burnley and Pendle Circuit and brings a lot of experience with him. Dave is married to Hazel, a Local Preacher, who was officially added to the chaplaincy team a couple of years ago. Though Hazel and Dave love music they are not brass players but get as much out of NMYBB as they put in.
Completing the team, we have the youthful energy of Georgina. She would describe herself as “the novelty chaplain” but she has a heart for people, and adds so much to the team and to the band. Georgina plays the Flugel Horn and Cornet and has been in NMYBB since 2010. A recent graduate in History and Music, she is pursuing a career in teaching at a relatively slow pace. She is currently a Teaching Assistant in her old primary school and spends her free time reading, going to the theatre and irritating her parents by not having moved out yet.
What we do
The Chaplaincy Team provide onsite spiritual support on weekends, helping band sections in the planning of epilogues and co-ordinate the involvement of the band in Sunday morning worship. There really is nothing as special as leading worship with NMYBB!
When the band get together for weekends or tours the chaplains choose a theme to base our epilogues on. Epilogues are short acts of worship which explore the theme by looking at a Bible reading and seeing how it applies to us and the theme.
Every year NMYBB holds a 10-day tour either in the UK or abroad. Whilst on tour, the band has the opportunity to visit many places, performing and sharing in worship in the places we stay.
In 1988, NMYBB embarked on its first summer tour; a week-long trip along the south coast from Plymouth to Bournemouth raising funds for NCH (National Children’s Home - the Methodist children’s charity) from the eight concerts given. These early years also saw them participating in the annual MAYC (Methodist Association of Youth Clubs) “London Weekend” giving two outstanding performances in the Albert Hall and taking a major role in the ‘Rendezvous’ events playing to 11,000 young people in Trafalgar Square.
The second tour in 1989 was a fortnight’s overseas tour to Canada and America - the first of many memorable overseas tours which occurred initially every two years, alternating with UK tours in the intervening years. Unforgettable was their next adventurous overseas tour into the recently freed Eastern Europe in 1991. Numerous concerts were given in Poland and the then Czechoslovakia and a special relationship developed with the Polish Methodist Church. This most successful and exciting tour encouraged them two years later to tour in the Baltic states performing in Estonia and Latvia as well as in Sweden, Poland and Germany. Other memorable overseas tours have taken them to Switzerland, Norway and Jamaica; again supporting the work of NCH in their orphanage in Kingston. Through tours to Italy in 2001, 2012 and 2016 a special relationship with the charity “Imparare Giocando” has also been formed.
Islands have also played an important part in NMYBB’s history, for not only have they performed in Jamaica but also on the Scilly Isles, the Shetland Isles, the Isle of Wight, Caldy Island, St Michaels Mount, Holy Island, North and Southern Ireland, the Channel Islands of Jersey, Guernsey and Sark, and even on the isle of Capri. The Isle of Man was the destination of our 2015 Tour, where we played in a variety of places, including a Monastery, a Viking museum, by a water wheel and also at a Victorian Day!
Most recently NMYBB visited North Eastern Scotland, staying in Aberdeen, Buckie and Peterhead. Whilst in the area, we also visited and played in the beautiful Fyvie Castle, the picturesque Inverness and at the very wet and windy Fraserburgh Lighthouse!
Tours provide us with a unique opportunity to take part in activities that we cannot do during the course of a normal weekend, including engaging in charity work, team building opportunities and unique activities such as the Chapel Crawl in 2011; where the band visited over 90 Cornish chapels in one day!
We are always looking out for new members to join NMYBB as it ensures the future of the band. We are a very friendly group and new members are warmly welcomed. Many of our members think of NMYBB as family and, as a testament to this, the majority of members stay in the band outside of the usual parameters of “youth” - luckily, we have no leaving age! By joining NMYBB, you not only join a group of fellow Christians and musicians, you will make life-long friends; several people have even gone on to find husbands and wives in the band...awww! Whilst we would encourage any new member to attend a whole weekend (because then you don't miss out on any of the fun!), you are more than welcome to just come to listen to a concert/join us for the Sunday morning service or whatever you are comfortable with so you can get to know us.
In order to join NMYBB, you must be a Christian (or be willing to explore what following Jesus might mean), aged between 13 - 21 years, who plays a brass instrument or percussion to a standard of about Grade 5.
If you, or anyone you know would like to join NMYBB or even just find out more information; please get in touch - email email@example.com. Please also check out our Facebook page at “www.facebook.com/NMYBB” where you can see what we have been up to lately.
Charity work is very important for NMYBB; we try and support as many charities as we can, regularly making donations. We have supported a number of charities in the past and often look within the band to charities that are close to our member’s hearts. We are currently supporting the following charities:
Action for Children - (formerly National Children’s Home). NMYBB has been a long-time supporter of Action for Children. All of the sales from our "Praise Him, Praise Him, All His Children Praise Him" CD go directly to support the charity.
Imparare Giocando - based in Naples, Italy, Imparare Giocando is run by Rosaria Vincenzi. NMYBB first visited Italy in 2001 where Rosaria was working in an orphanage in the Naples town of Portici. Now she runs a day care centre providing a safe space for the local children and young people of one of Europe’s most deprived areas, keeping them off the streets and away from involvement in organised crime. The band visited again Italy again in 2012 and 2016 and plans to return in 2020 to continue supporting Rosaria’s work.
CLIC Sargent - a cancer charities for children, young people and their families. This charity is close to the heart of the band, as they have helped support one of our current members.
Under the Mango Tree - another charity suggested by one of our members and our newest charity that we support. Named after the mango tree Reverend Makonde began teaching children beneath, Under the Mango Tree educates the children of Chinyume (Kenya) and surrounding villages providing them with a valuable education with the hope to create a self-sustaining school.
NMYBB donated over £800 in 2016 and over £1,500 in 2017 so far. If you are a tax payer and make a donation, please fill in a Gift Aid form so that the band can claim 25% of the value of your gift to further support our charities even more.