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Woodwind and Brass

Woodwind & Brass

Woodwind & Brass

Head of Woodwind & Brass – Julie Beaman


There are 90 players in the Woodwind Department (70 first study) learning flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and saxophone. Competition for clarinet and flute places is particularly high.

We offer Taster lessons for pupils who would like to learn the oboe or bassoon. Pupils who take up the Taster lessons usually already play, or have played, another instrument. It is particularly helpful to already play the recorder since the fingerings and principles of playing recorder prepare you well for double reed instruments.

There are a wide range of ensembles to suit all levels of playing and interests, including the opportunity to learn the basics of improvisation. The Woodwind department join forces with the String and Brass departments to form the Training Orchestra,
CYM Symphony Orchestra, Training Band, Concert Band, Dance Band and Wind Orchestra.

As students get older there are chamber music opportunities including the Clarinet Ensemble, Flute Ensemble, Saxophone Ensemble, Double Reed Ensemble, Wind Quintet, Woodwind Quartets as well as chamber music with the Piano and String departments. Some advanced pupils will have the opportunity to learn additional woodwind instruments such as Piccolo, Cor Anglais, Bass Clarinet, Contra Bassoon, Tenor, Baritone and Soprano Saxophone. Students may borrow these instruments from the Centre with the agreement of the Head of Department.

The Woodwind department have the use of a fine collection of instruments including bassoons, oboes, tenor and baritone saxophones, Clarinets in A, piccolos, contra-bassoon, bass clarinet and contra bass clarinet. These are available to CYM pupils for long term and short term loans. A small maintenance fee is charged
at £25 per term.


The CYM Brass Department has some 70 members including both first and second study players. Tuition is available in french horn, trumpet, cornet, tenor horn, trombone, euphonium/baritone, and tuba. French horn and tuba are available as a Taster though for younger players this may mean starting on tenor horn and euphonium/baritone in order to overcome the physical size and weight problems of these instruments.

There are ensembles to match all ability levels and the opportunity to learn the basics of improvisation.

Brass students also take part in ensembles that involve other departments, such as CYM Symphony Orchestra, Wind Orchestra, Concert Band, Training band, Dance Band, Jazz Ensembles and chamber groups. Ensembles are open to second study players, including those not taking lessons at CYM.

All ensembles have opportunities to perform throughout the year and individuals are encouraged to take part as soloists in the Lunchtime Concerts. From time to time we have masterclasses and performances from visiting brass musicians, most recently from London Brass and tutors from Trinity College of Music.

Instruments of all standard types are available for loan – a small maintenance fee is charged at £25 per term – and the Department has a stock of specialist trumpets for more advanced players.


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