Band Rehearsal in Uganda!

Discussion in 'Bandroom News - User Submitted' started by TheMusicCompany, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. TheMusicCompany

    TheMusicCompany Supporting Member


    I'm hoping you'll be able to help me with an amazing brass band project that's going on in Uganda!

    Many of you may well have heard about the work of Philip Monk in Mbale, Uganda? In addition to his fantastic efforts with medical care, education support, sustainability projects and his child sponsorship programme, he has also set up a traditional brass band - The Mbale District Schools Band and tutors many beginners in the Mbale district schools. Much more about his work can be found on his own website at

    I've been supporting Philip's work for a number of years now through my businesses with donations of the music we publish and in my own little way with the child sponsorship scheme (David Wanzala is now the proud principal cornet of the MDS band, no less!). Philip's enthusiasm is what enthralls me and his stories of the highly positive impact the brass band has made on the lives of its young members - building their confidence, giving them a sense of purpose, giving them goals, offering them responsibility and an overwhelming enjoyment when they perform.

    With all his efforts and the support of many generous individuals and businesses already, the band has got a collection of instruments (some of which are even playable!), music stands, stand banners and Tshirts for their uniform and a selection of music to rehearse and perform. But as we all know, bands always need instruments replaced and new music to learn and enjoy. - A photo of the Mbale District Schools Band with all their finery.

    I've now got the opportunity to go to Mbale, Uganda and get a first hand perspective of Philip's work. It will give me a chance to meet David Wanzala (the child I sponsor), help rehearse the band and assist in brass lessons at a few of the schools Philip attends to tutor his ever growing collection of beginners.

    So, the purpose of this posting is to see if there is anyone or any band out there who may be able to donate a spare flugel horn or Bb cornet in a playable condition that I can take over for a budding little player Philip is tutoring at the moment?

    By default, I'll be donating sets of the music we publish, but if there are any bands out there who have any spare band music in their library that they could also donate, I know the players will be delighted to have something new to work on and challenge them.

    Obviously any financial support and commitments to child sponsorships are also gratefully received, but please email Philip direct about that side of things (lots of details about this on his website).

    Please help - it's not every day an old brass instrument can change the outlook on life for a child in Uganda :D

    If you are able to assist, please PM, email or call me (details below). If you need the item(s) collected, I'll find a way, but time is short as this has been a last minute decision and I'm leaving on 10th July!

    Thank you for your time in reading this - I look forward to hearing from anyone who may be able to assist with an instrument or music ... or anything else that could be of help in that case!

    Clair Tomalin
    The Music Company (UK) Ltd

    PO Box 5684
    CM6 3TR

    Tel: 07949 123 069
  2. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    Please give any help you can.
    I have also been helping Philip with music and old instruments - this really is a GREAT cause.
  3. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    Have you managed to find a cornet ?
    I'm chasing up one that I loaned out - if I get it back it's yours.
    Failing that I'll save it for when Philip comes back in Septemeber.
  4. TheMusicCompany

    TheMusicCompany Supporting Member

    A HUGE thank you!

    A huge thank you needs to go to Paul Riggett of Sterling Instruments ( Paul hand builds and customises brass instruments and on seeing my original posting he rang to offer his support, helping not just one, not two, but three budding players!

    Paul has now donated THREE fantastic secondhand Bb cornets, all in extremely good condition, with mouthpieces, valve oil and hard cases to preserve their lifespan. He even organised an extremely quick delivery in time for my departure tomorrow!

    It really is true to say that Paul's generosity has brought brass band music into the lives of three children that otherwise would not have known the opportunity it bestows - for they will now have goals, personal responsibility, musical education, be part of a team, build their self-esteem and confidence, and most of all have fun!

    A big thank you is also offered to Andrew Norman for his kind offer of a cornet. Andrew - Consider it allocated as soon as you get it back :)

    I've also got to thank the branch manager of my local Tescos who cleared the way for me to take over a collection of clothing, pens and pencils for the children, all with their compliments.

    Friends and family have also been incredibly supportive with their donation of mobile phones. These will enable Philip to be in contact with the neighbouring villages at times of emergency - there was a terrible story about a young boy who walked for over an hour to try and get help for his dying mother, by then it was too late - had it been possible to notify Philip by telephone, he could have been of assistance to the family in less than 15 minutes!

    I've also had some financial contributions which will be spent on much needed mosquito nets. Finally, it's also been confirmed to me that one of my friends has now also decided to sponsor a child through Philip's programme. They particularly liked the knowledge and reassurance that what they give, the selected child will receive.

    So, the number of children and families that will be helped through the various levels of assistance is countless and I thank everyone who has contributed to this with all my heart.

    I'll report back on my return about the many projects Philip is championing out there, together with how the ever increasing group of Ugandan young brass-banders are getting on.

    Thanks to Paul Riggett of Sterling Instruments again for his particularly overwhelming donation.