From the End Chair – October Musings
September brought a respite in engagements, a busy summer schedule and optimism for the coming months, however we had back to school, and late holidays being taken causing a “void” in attendance at rehearsal. A little sad considering the momentum in progress amongst the players. It seems a shame that players are divided in what they bring to the stand in terms of becoming a better more experienced player and helping, by their input, to move the Community Band upwards and onwards. I’m reasonably optimistic it will happen soon.
Reflecting back over the last three months, it is ever apparent that more hard word is to come, to bring up and standardise playing. More importantly ingrain practice at home, especially on newer more technical pieces and practice can be as little as ten minutes a night / day. New music to our library and rehearsal pads is good – and more technical too, it keeps our interests and improve technical abilities!
Brass banding in general has stagnated somewhat, local education authorities in this area have focused on exam results and subject performance. However, no accent is put onto leisure in terms of music being a hobby. It’s too easy for them to say, “we do have an orchestra”, and “we provide tuition”, but it’s expensive and comes at a further cost to the parent. Back in the day when I was learning at school and in the school band, tuition was part of the curriculum, and essentially within the schools’ budget. Brass Bands, Orchestras, Big Bands etc. were a plenty. Halcyon and enjoyable days for me (and my similarly aged cohorts).
I feel that the only way to increase our number, is to continually improve, advertise, promote and work towards a staged concert….maybe with the aid of some superstars from the talented and multi-faceted Championship section. Providing inspiration is the key for newer and younger players, otherwise they move on or give up altogether!
When I played with another band not so long ago, an inspirational Musical Director said to his band “If you are going to leave any band to move onto another, don’t leave it unless it is for the right reason – a better and higher level.” – I guess if you are fed up with where you are, in any aspect of life be it work or leisure, you need to self evaluate and move onward and upwards.
The Band is moving in the right direction…..
Being really humbled by my position in the band (principal cornet) I can see and hear great sounds all around me. The powerhouse that is the back row, ably negotiating more complex notation and reading pieces ably. The middle section with a returning (to playing) horn player who has also improved greatly over the weeks and the powerhouse (not used lightly) that is the Bass end bolstered by another returner to playing with the band.
Sometimes players do not realise the blend of sound they input and the tunefulness that ensues, made more apparent by their ever growing confidence and belief that they really can play a brass instrument!
Long may all of them play and enjoy..
As a reminder, if you as a reader used to play brass or want to start playing, contact us and come along. All ages and abilities welcome.
On an extremely hot day in July, the band appeared as part of Trafford live. A particularly good performance aided by members of the main Flixton Band, ice cream and copius bottles of water!