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The World

Published on August 14th, 2016 | by Robbie Joseph

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BAS YESC – “A Voice for Young Musicians

The Future Development Forum (FDF) of the British Association of Steelbands (BAS) was created in 2006 to encourage young people in the UK pan community to get involved in the organisation and to develop the skills needed to lead future generations of steel bands. FDF sought to achieve this by highlighting and developing the innovative skills and talents of young pan players through showcases, competitions and events designed specifically for them.

In 2014, following a review of the role and function of FDF, it was agreed a slightly different approach was needed in order to more effectively engage young people, as well allow young leaders to flourish. As a result, the BAS Youth Engagement Sub Committee (YESC) was set up.

YESC is made up of a small group of individuals from various bands across the UK, selected by BAS to carry this vision forward. Through the nurturing and guidance of BAS executives and experienced members of the organisation, individuals are developing their interpersonal skills, as well as other transferable skills such as fundraising, planning, networking and event management which can be used to further their own individual bands, as well as the national network.

The sub-committee has been working hard to fulfil its aims and objectives. Their mission statement – ‘YESC acts as a voice for young musicians within the UK pan community, assisting BAS in offering opportunities for development’ – guides their work and the group have come up with many ideas about the services they can potentially provide to youths and to bands in the future. However, although the ideas have been flowing, they have found it difficult to get many off the ground due to funding restraints – but that has not dampened their enthusiasm. They reintroduced and (almost) self-funded the Pan Explosion Ensemble competition in November 2015, and are looking at the feasibility of a range other events in order to build relationships between bands as well as to improve performance, technical ability and musicianship.

The YESC continues to strive to achieve their aims and are continuously looking for ways to promote and develop youth engagement. More importantly they have the desire to promote cohesion within the pan community across the UK by finding ways of encouraging the young people to get to know each other.

If you have an idea you would like to put to the YESC, email them at yesc@panpodium.com.

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