The Nicholas Branston Foundation
NB Music (as they are more popularly known) is a small, local charity, formed ten years ago after the death in a car accident of a promising young French Horn player, Nic Branston. Their aims are to promote the life-enhancing benefits of making music. Who couldn’t support such a marvellous aim?!
The charity was formed with help from the conductor, John Wilson, along with the Royal College of Music. They now organise the annual “NB Music Course” for youngsters in Bristol each summer and The National Youth Percussion Orchestra which attracts young percussionists from the whole of the UK.
Dame Evelyn Glennie is the the NYPO patron. Their fund raising also supports the work of Music Therapy and they have donated thousands of pounds in scholarships to post graduate students training in this valuable but under rated field of health care.
NB Music Courses originally employed Nic’s friends on the teaching staff and therefore had the unusual combination of musical theatre and instrumental tuition coming together for the week. It remains an empowering and wonderful five days of very physical music making with inspiring professionals.
The Valley Fest Drum Line comprises people who are a part of the National Youth Percussion Orchestra and the youngsters are hoping to attract young people in the area to the fun and discipline of playing percussion together.
Rachel Branston, the founder says: “Music is about creating something wonderful and positive where there had been previously been a void. Percussion and singing are the two places where children, of all educational talents, can really shine and benefits can be sudden and dramatic in all elements of their lives. Percussion playing can curb anger issues, forge friendships, offer a sense of self confidence and self worth whilst having the best time ever.”
The support from Valley Fest will go directly back in to the local primary schools through percussion days with the Head of Percussion from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Pat King. Pat will enthuse and demonstrate just how much fun can be had from making music together!