Messages from JMcK

Recent significant emails from Jock McKenzie, Director of the HCYB, are posted here just in case members lose their emails.

13th May 2016
Instrumental Insurance

Dear Parents and band members

The HCYBs along with support from HCYBA strive to make instruments available for all members that need them. This comes at considerable expense for both purchase and maintenance. Also because our instruments are continuously ‘in transit’ for rehearsals, concerts, tours, schools, college and community use etc we have to additionally ensure that each instrument has wide ranging insurance cover.

If you are in possession of a brass instrument allocated to you specifically from HCYBs stock, please can I ask you for £15 payment towards insurance cost. This requested sum of £15 provides cover for the whole of the academic year 2015-2016 including school / college holidays. I have delayed asking for payment until now in an attempt to spread costs for you (tour payments, Fairthorne Manor residential course 2015 etc).

Please could you email Emma Davis ( confirming that you wish to pay the £15 contribution and an online payment request will be sent to you via email.

Please note if you have your own instrument or your instrument is provided by someone other that HCYBs please do not respond to this email.

15th April 2016
Festival of Brass - Anvil

Dear Parents and members

Please can I remind you of the ‘finale’ event of the Hampshire Festival of Brass.

Date: Sunday 26 June 2016

Concert starts 3pm

Venue: The Anvil, Basingstoke

Audience tickets via the Anvil box office 01256 844244 (all tickets just £5!).

This event will celebrate youth brass playing throughout the county of Hampshire and will focus on encouraging young brass players to take up membership of bands and ensembles.  As well as the three HCYBs plus our Endangered Species Project we will be joined by first access brass players, young brass players interested in taking up future membership of the HCYBs and a HMS staff brass ensemble.

The schedule for this day is as follows: 

12 noon – van & HCYB arrive to set up

12.15 – HCYB rehearsal

12.45 – HCTB rehearsal

13.15 – HCJB rehearsal

13.45 – massed rehearsal (all performers)

15.00 – Concert

Many Thanks

Jock McKenzie


15th April 2016
HJYB - Reminder

Dear Parents and band members

I hope you had a great Easter break.

Can I please remind you of the HCJB hosted Festival of Brass concert.

Saturday May 14th 2016

Bay House School and 6th Form, Gomer Lane, Gosport.

Concert starts 7pm (4pm rehearsal please)

Audience admission £6 & £4

This concert will also feature the Portchester, Fareham & Gosport Junior Band plus local first access brass musicians. This event is the third in a regional series, each of which has been hosted by one of the HCYBs. As you know, the festival series culminates in concert featuring all three HCYBs plus guests at the Anvil, Basingstoke on Sunday 26th June 2016.

Many Thanks

Jock McKenzie


11th April 2016
Attending the Nationals

RE HCYB visit to Manchester 17/04/16

Dear Parents and band members

I can now at last give you final and confirmed details for our participation in the National Youth Brass Band Championships at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. We have been drawn to perform first with a performance time of 4.10pm. This will be precede by registration and then a practice / warm up session. Because of distance, time etc I have now arranged that we will start our homeward journey after we have performed (leaving Manchester at 5.15pm). We will be represented at the results and presentations by two band members plus parents who will be staying in Manchester.

Listed below are coach pick up / drop off times and location as provided by Lucketts Travel (our coach company for the day – 01329 823755).

Sunday 17 April 2016

6.00am - depart Crofton Community Centre, Stubbington

7.00am -  depart Perins School, New Alresford

7.45am - depart Tothill Service, Newbury

Return Journey:

5.15pm - depart RNCM Manchester

9.30pm – drop off Tothill Services, Newbury

10.15pm – Perins School

11.15pm – drop off Crofton Community Centre

There will be opportunities to purchase food en route, but I would suggest members bring a packed lunch.

Please remember to bring instruments, music, mutes and uniform.


  • Please notify Emma Davis ( of your intended pick up / drop off points
  • If still outstanding, please return to Emma Davis your completed Medical Form / Emergency Contact form (see attached)



Jock McKenzie


23 March 2016

HCYB Nationals

Dear Parents and band members 

Please could I ask that you complete the attached Educational Visit form for the Nationals taking place on Sunday 17 April 2016.

Electronic forms are acceptable, please send back to Emma Davis at the Music Service (address below) or no later than Monday 11 April.

Many thanks

Jock McKenzie

Attachment here.


18th March

Reminder for Sunday

Dear Parents and band members 


I’m looking forward to seeing you all at Sunday’s Easter Extravaganza.


Please can I remind all band members that the dress code is casual – no uniform to be worn.


Many thanks


Jock McKenzie


4th March

Extra Rehearsal - Saturday 9 April 2016

Dear Parents and band members

I am pleased with progress HCYB are making in preparation for the ‘Nationals’. All the same it is important to see this in context – we will be ‘competing’ against some other youth bands who treat this event as their single main focus for the year. Prior to the event they will have met over the Easter Holidays for intensive rehearsals on residential courses etc as part of their preparation.

For HCYB I prefer to see this event in the wider context as one of several events / activities aimed to give our members a positive experience from HCYB membership. However, the long lay-off from HCYB rehearsal due to the Easter break does cause me some concern. Hence I am scheduling one extra rehearsal for HCYB on Saturday 9 April 2016 – 10am – 12.30pm at Perins School. I realise this is a ‘big ask’, but I would ask that you give this your full commitment if at all possible.

Many Thanks

Jock McKenzie


26th February

HCYB - 3 July 2016

Dear Parents and band members

This is to confirm that HCYB will not be able to take up the offer to perform on this date. With a number of absentees and a less than full response I am not able to give the organisers the necessary assurances that would guarantee a HCYB performance.

Many Thanks

Jock McKenzie


26th February

HCYBs Easter Extravaganza

Dear Parents and band members

Please can I remind you of our Easter Extravaganza on Sunday 20 March featuring performances from the three county youth bands and some HCYB ex members.

This will take place in the sports hall at Perins School at 4pm (finishing 6pm). There is no admission charge for this event. This is a popular event in the band calendar. Audience and band members are encouraged to bring a picnic meal & drinks. Tables and chairs will be provided, but experience tells us that these may run out, so please can I suggest you bring folding chairs and tables if possible.

Members and family of our new phase of HCYB Endangered Species are most welcome to join our audience  – this is a great opportunity to see what you have got yourselves involved with!

The event will be preceded by a rehearsal at 2.30pm for just HCYB plus ex members.

Many Thanks

Jock McKenzie



HCTB Concert 5 March - Connaught School

Dear Parents and band members


Re HCTB Concert 5 March 2016

Venue – Connaught School, Tongham Road, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU12 4AS

Door Admission - £5 & £3 concessions

This is the second of the Hampshire Festival of Brass events. Each of these festival events features one of the HCYBs, an area band and a collection of beginner and early level brass players from the locality. The aim is to enthuse and inspire the younger brass players thus ensuring a future generation of area and county brass players.

The details for the event on 5 March are as follows:

3.30 HCTB van to arrive, unload and setup
4.00 HCTB
5.00 NEASBB's
6.00 First access and HCTB
6.30 Finish

Tea & change

19.00 Concert starts
20.45 Concert ends (approx.)

Please remember to bring your uniform and a packed tea.

Many thanks

Jock McKenzie


15th January 2016

HCYB Members

Dear Parents and band members

Re HCYB Concert 6 February 2016

Venue – Kings School, Winchester, Romsey Road, SO22 5PN

Door Admission £6 & £4 concessions

This is the first of the Hampshire Festival of Brass events. Each of these festival events features one of the HCYBs, an area band and a collection of beginner and early level brass players from the locality. The aim is to enthuse and inspire the younger brass players thus ensuring a future generation of area and county brass players. These events also offer an opportunity for some HCYB members to coach and mentor the young brass players (good for university / college / employment applications etc).

The details for the event on 6 February are as follows:

15.00 Winchester Area Schools Wind Band rehearse 

16.00 HCYB rehearse + plus Matt Watling (soloist)

17.00 HCYB are joined by local early level brass players for a rehearsal until 17.45

17.45 We all have to move rooms!

18.00 HCYB + young brass final run through (until 18.15)

Tea & change

19.00 Concert starts

20.45 Concert ends (approx.)

Many Thanks

Jock McKenzie



Extracts of a letter sent out by e-mail Friday 26th October 2012.  Confidential and out of date elements have been removed so please check your e-mail.

Dear Parents and band members

Attendance and commitment 

The HCYBs enjoy an excellent reputation for musical standards and opportunity. Our standards and values are as a result of the commitment shown by so many of our members across the bands as well as the work and skills of our staff team. All members and parents are aware of the conditions of HCYB membership including the crucial elements of regular attendance and commitment to all band activities. Of course there will be instances where absence is unavoidable e.g. illness, educational activities etc but otherwise full attendance is a requirement of HCYBs membership.

All three bands have made an excellent start to this our 50th Anniversary year, but, at the same time there has been a high level of absenteeism at rehearsals. As a result musical standards and productivity suffers. Equally significant is the period of notification given for absence by some. All rehearsals are carefully planned for by our staff; we don’t simply turn up on a Saturday morning to announce “what shall we play today”? All too often this term notification of absence has been last minute (if at all in a minority of cases) or even given in retrospect. I should point out that falling ill at short notice is understandably a different context altogether). This forces conductors to abandon at the very last minute what was planned for the good of the bands & hence the standard of band playing and productivity suffers. Band / ensemble playing is a team activity – everyone matters and conductors plan for everyone to matter!

Please can I ask all members and parents to consider this matter with understanding and recognition of the excellent commitment shown by the very substantial majority of our members. Put simply we want you to be members of the bands and we want you to have a great time, but we expect you to commit!

Insurance of HCYB instruments 
Our band instruments are used in many varied situations. Very often, members use our instruments in a non HCYBs context i.e. school / college use, community bands, transit, storage etc. It is particularly this varied use that creates a situation where insurance issues fall ‘between the cracks’. It is for this reason that each year I pay a very substantial sum of money from the HCYB account to adequately insure our instrumental stock with a specialist company and policy. This protection ensures that our equipment is safe and operational in all manner of situations inside and outside of direct HCYBs use. The protection of these instruments ensures that instruments of a good (and often professional standard) quality are available to all band members that need them & who stand to benefit from their use in the HCYBs and beyond. This protection also ensures that our instruments can be maintained to a workable level. The day has never yet come when a student has been denied a place in the HCYBs purely because they do not possess a suitable instrument – I do not wish that scenario ever to arrive! Appropriate insurance of our band equipment goes a long way to safeguarding this provision.

Although not officially requested, some parents have chosen to include HCYB instruments on their household contents insurance, but the instrument has of course been insured at the same time under the official HCYB policy. In the recent past the there have been instances where household insurance policies have not ‘paid up’ in the event of a stolen / damaged / lost etc HCYB instrument. For this reason and those stated above it is essential that all HCYB instrument insurance matters are handled through our official policy. HCYB does not charge a loan or rental fee, but I would ask that parents contribute to the cost of insurance as requested (if in possession of a HCYB instrument). The amount requested is significantly subsidised and does not seek to differentiate between sizes and values of instruments.

Many Thanks

Jock McKenzie 
Director, Hampshire County Youth Bands