FORMERLY SHIPSTON JUNIOR BAND
Training Band Rehearsal Schedule . . .
6.15 - 6.30 - All beginners - with Heidi
6.30 - 7.00 - All Junior Band players PLUS any Beginners who wish to stay on - with Heidi
7.00 - 7.15 - BREAK
7.15 - 8.00 - All Junior Band players - with Tim.
What A Compliment . . .
The following was an unsolicited e-mail that arrived quite recently in our Web Masters inbox and we thought you might like to read it . . .
My eight year old Grand-daughter announced to me that she wished to play the Trumpet. After repeating her wish several times I knew it was time to take action and with time on my hands it was a great chance to be involved.
Happily I found myself chatting to someone who was a member of one of the Shipston Town Bands. They pointed me in the direction of Tim Wilson the Conductor of The Training Band. He suggested I could go to the band room in Shipston with my Granddaughter to meet Heidi Ellis who works as coach with the beginners.
We went along one Monday evening not knowing what to expect. Heidi, who was welcoming, energized and brimming with enthusiasm, greeted us. After a brief chat she explained that brass bands use cornets not trumpets, she presented her newest recruit with a loan instrument, took her to one side and commenced to teach her the principals - at the end of the session my proud grand-daughter was actually playing a tune.
I was amazed to learn that everything was completely fee-free and that the bespoke rehearsal facility belonged to the band, as did the vast library of music and instruments. I do not know of anything like it and when I commented that any other organisation would charge surely, “Well they’re not us“ was the firm reply. We went off after that first session to practice with a beautiful loan instrument in its velvet lined case, free of charge!
The whole band set up is all very relaxed and sociable and we are both meeting lots of people and making new friends. My Granddaughter was thrilled to discover someone from her school also played in one of the bands. This experienced and very able young player generously gave up time in school lunchtimes to help her young mentee with practice and general encouragement in the early days, which was a great confidence booster.
It seems all the Training Band looks for from players initially is effort and commitment. It is not an age-specific organisation, but takes beginners ranging from primary school children to those in retirement. I was really pleased to see the wide cross section of these ages all mixed in together. I think that it is great for the younger ones to mix with grown ups on an equal footing, all sitting and learning together.
Talking to a band organiser I learnt that the Bands are self-financing relying on money raised through public performance - so in case you wondered, that’s where the funds come from. I learnt that for the musical amongst us, brass banding is a brilliant way to form a lifelong interest, “you never stop learning and with the commitment and practice, have more and more fun each passing week. Some of our instrumentalists started playing at primary school age or early teens and at close on seventy years of age they are still at it.”
The Training Band is run by members who themselves play in the various bands and along with the welcoming atmosphere, it is their skill, enthusiasm and determination that ensures recruits get the best possible start to their musical career. I am really enjoying being involved, albeit as an observer, watching my small granddaughter develop her skills, and her confidence. She and I being introduced to a rich seam of wonderful music both with the training band and through the programme of really enjoyable concerts given by the experienced players in the main bands.
Listening to the fledgling Training Band as they join together to make music is a thrill for me and I hope the start of what might be an enduring interest for my granddaughter and many others who are lucky enough to discover this rewarding, nurturing and inspirational organisation.
Are you the next Kirsty Abbotts
And wondered . . .
COULD I DO THAT?
“Eric” was an ordinary lad, he wasn’t particularly academic, but he was musical as he’d sung in school and church choirs and had always yearned to play something. He’d become a member of the local ACF bugle and drum band - but something was to happen to our “Eric” one cold and blowy May Day that would change everything.
The local Rotary Club were holding a May Fair on The Green that year, so feeling rather bored on the cold Saturday afternoon in question he went to take a look. The main attraction was the local brass band, who played a march called ‘Pendine’, songs from the shows and ‘the like’. Wow! Our Eric was blown away, he had made up his mind up - he wanted to play in that very band. Oh, he had messed about for a while in the local Army Cadet Force Band, but this was different, it was real music, none of that drum and bugle stuff. Eventually after their performance he rushed home and enthused to his mum he wanted so much to play in that band he’d just heard.
A day or so later his mum remembered an old work colleague she had an idea used to play in that very band and a week or so later the young chap found himself clutching a rather worn old tenor horn, a book of scales and exercises loaned to him by a member of the band. So with a little help and a lot of determination he taught himself to play, by the next Area Contest he stood cheering as the band had qualified for the National Finals - THAT WAS OVER 40 YEARS AGO!
So after reading the above anecdote IS THERE a little of YOU there? Or have you, like Eric, often wanted to and wondered . . . could I? Well if the answer is YES or you’re just plain curious to see if you could.
Contact Tim juniors@shipstontownband
Perhaps you’re not Shipston’s next Kirsty but you never know, age is no barrier either . . . players range from eight to eighty.