The Dobcross Youth Band is a brass band of committed players aged between 9 and 18 years old from the Pennine village of Dobcross in Saddleworth in the north of England. Formed in 1988 with a few village children it has now grown into a thriving organisation playing 30 to 40 engagements each year comprising of fundraising, contesting, social outings and supporting charities.
The band aims to provide an environment where children and young people, irrespective of ability or background, can learn to play a brass instrument, improve their musical skills, perform successfully as a band and develop an understanding of discipline, self respect and teamwork.
We have lost count of the number of players who started with the band and then moved on to other higher graded bands. Many championship band players started their life with the Dobcross Youth Band.
Acclaimed euphonium player Seth Livingstone is the musical director for the Dobcross Youth Band. Dobcross born and bred, he started his own musical career with the band at the age of seven, started helping out our younger players as a teenager and officially finished his playing days with us as solo euphonium in 2015 – although he has also regularly guested with us since then.
He gained a first class honours degree from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2018 and is now a music teacher. While at RNCM was a member of the multiple award-winning Brass Compass quartet.
Seth has assistance from senior members of the Youth Band for the beginners’ sessions, so they can be taught in small groups of two to four players. This individual attention – and practice at home, of course – helps them to make progress quickly so they can join the thriving training band, where they learn to play as an ensemble. Seth’s philosophy is that our young musicians should enjoy every single rehearsal and he encourages the training band to choose the music they play, to support each other and to have fun while improving their skills.
Musician, composer and arranger James Atkins is our Associate Musical Director, with special responsibility for developing the talents of our training band. James currently plays repiano cornet with the highly successful Championship section band, WFEL Fairey Band and works as a brass teacher in Kirklees. He grew up in Saddleworth, holding principal positions with local bands and graduated with a first class honours degree in musical arts from the University of Salford.
He’s also worked as a composer and arranger with small and large ensembles, including the world famous Brighouse and Rastrick Band.
As an experienced music teacher, he’s passionate about our youngsters getting enjoyment out of playing music and sees the friendships that develop in youth bands as a positive force in their development.