East Anglian Banding - The Real Truth.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Chunky, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    I have decided to set this up as a seperate post having just read some comments made about 'the virtually non-existent banding scene in East Anglia'

    I have just listed over 20 bands in Norfolk and Suffolk without trying too hard! They may not all compete, be top section bands or even up to full compliment, but they sure do exist.

    Some of these bands have thriving youth sections who are working very hard to produce the players of the future.

    Being a member and trustee of the East Anglian Brass Band Association I can state categorically they work hard to actively promote Brass Bands in the area. Within the past 5 years, they have worked with Sonar Brass on projects with youth bands. comissioned several new pieces aof brass music for their contest across all levels of age and ability. This is in addition to the yearly training day which last year had over 90 delegates.

    The most important thing they have produced is a Child Safety Policy for Brass Bands, which was among, if not the 1st in the country.
    However the drawback is that usually you have to be a member of a member band, but usually the bands that are members are those that are going forward and looking to progress. So it is probably best join an Association member band

    Without this sounding like I am boasting about my own Band, Cawston, we consistently have and have done for the last year or more , had 25 players at each of our twice weekly rehearsals. We have been around for nearly 120 years now and there are several bands in this area that go back that far.

    So, in summary my feeling is that in my 25 years of East Anglian Banding and the last 3 years working with the East Anglian Brass Banding Association we do exist, and will do for many more years to come.
  2. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

    Well said mate. I may not live there anymore, but I do have many fond memories of East Anglian banding.
  3. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Sounds like you've got more than London!
  4. Cornet_player

    Cornet_player Member

    I totally agree....brass bands do exist in East Anglia. I play for Breckland brass band and wouldnt replace it for the world. :D :D

    However I do feel that there is not enough work done in schools or enough publicity for brass bands. :(

    My band is brilliant and they are really supportive of everything that I do but I have played for some that think band practice is simply a social gathering and there little point in even getting the instrument out of the case as so much time is wasted!! I had to move around a number of bands before finding Breckland.

    I guess that you are probably refering to James post on 'How To Get Into Championship Section Bands'. We dont want insult local bands in any way and are sorry if this has caused offence but neither of us are looking to replace our local bands. We are just seeking advice on how to reach are dreams and play for a championship band.
  5. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

    I think the reason this thread started Heather, was because James had said in a previous thread that brass bands were non-existant in East Anglia.
    East Anglia doesn't always get the recognition that it deserves, but the EABBA is certainly trying to put this right.
  6. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    No I was referring to his posting on the floods thread! However ambition and goals are very important and should always look to be achieved. I posted this read as James stated that Brass Banding in East Anglia was virtually non-existent.[/b]
  7. Cornet_player

    Cornet_player Member

    I guess that it depends on what James was refering too as non-existant. I know that James doesnt play for a brass band that is linked with the brass band assosiation. I however do!! :D :D

    I have been looking for some time for a good contesting band that is not too far from home (well at least not until I pass my driving test) that doesnt practise on a Wednesday night and am having difficulty finding one. So in this sence which I assume James was referring to the brass bands are limited. I do agree unfair to the local bands tho :wink:
  8. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    Well you could be more than welcome at Cawston. We rehearse twice weekly at St Faiths just to the north of Norwich. However, we rehearse Mondays and Wednesdays and currently have no vacancies. But if you wish to come along for a blow just for experience of playing with a 2nd section contesting band you are more than welcome. If you are interested PM me and we can sort something out.

    Sharing the same room as us is Matthews Norfolk Brass. They rehearse on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Although at the mo I think they are only rehearsing Tuesday, but I maybe wrong. I don't have any contact details as we tend to see each other in passing alot. But I know of a couple of people on this forum who might!
  9. Cornet_player

    Cornet_player Member

    That would be great :D :D
  10. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

    I used to play for Matthews Heather, and I still have some contact numbers for them if you want them.
  11. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    I don't know a thing about East Anglia banding, I do know that Fife Banding is where ppl steal ur players.

    :wink: :wink:
  12. Cornet_player

    Cornet_player Member


    Im 17 and open to any suggestions :D :D so any advice from anyone (as long as it useful and not too insulting :lol: :lol: ) is gratefully recieved!!

    My aim is to progress and Im not going to be able to do this without the help, advice and contacts from others!! :D
  13. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    ermm................... OK James, I think thats helpful or am I missing something here, its been a long week! :?
  14. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    na, just a passing comment in reflection to Tullis loseing players to other band(s)

  15. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Were they Fife and Drum bands :?: :wink: :lol:
  16. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    Understood James! It happens all over the country I'm sure. However it can be annoying if bands get preyed upon, and especially if your band is the one that is consistently loosing out!
  17. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    Ha blo**y ha, ha ;) ;)

    But in fact yet, they were and they played Kingdom Triumphant.

    Sorry I think now is time to stop! :wink:
  18. jameshowell

    jameshowell Active Member

    Can I just firstly say that I never intended my comments to be taken how they were, and on reflection my comment was probably not well though out. Sorry if this had the effect of offending anyone, especially those who are doing their best to change things.

    It was in no way derrogatory towards all the people that are working hard to increase the awareness of Brass Bands in this area. I was just pointing out that it is much harder to find a band around here (in my experience anyway) than say if I lived in Yorkshire.

    Just for me to find a brass band in the area I would be loking to travel for about an hour and a half each way at the best of times, twice a week, and being an A level student relying on friends and family for transport, that would just not be an option.

    What upsets me is had it been say a windband or orchestra there are many around with free transport, or that are even so close I could walk. Or even if I lived in the next county I could go to a county standard Brass Band (Norfolk Youth Brass Band)

    My comments were more referring to how little known the brass band world is around here.

    For example I have managed to get the chance to play in a few rehearsals for Travelsphere, which is an amazing opportunity, but on telling my friends etc they just laughed and asked me what the hell a brass band was!!!!!

    That was more my reference point, to how they are unknown, rather than non-existent. Once again my fault entirely, I didn't use the best choice of words.

    And I am glad that, to a point, I have been proven wrong by everyone. This means that (other than feling stupid and guilty at offending people which wasn't my intention) things are a lot better than I knew. Which has to be a good thing, right?!

    Anyway, I'm going to shut up now, since this will probably take up a page by itself already!
  19. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    James, please dont beat yourself up over it :wink: . I didn't take offence over anything you said.

    My point was not to prove you wrong but to just explain to you that alot of banding does go on in East Anglia.

    I too like you get frustrated, but sometimes its easier to change things from within, hence I got involved with the local association.

    I make you the same offer as I made Heather, you are more than welcome to come and have a blow any Monday or Wednesday evening at Cawston. I MIGHT even be able to help with a lift to and from Thetford as one of our players travels from there. We are no Travelsphere mind, but we are a 2nd section band moving in the right direction.

    My feeling and point of reference is that too often, not just in Brass Banding, East Anglia, Norfolk and Suffolk is just forgotten about as a carrot crunching backwater, when in fact it is a very vibrant place to live, work and socialise with many musical opportunities.

    I admire your enthusiasm, the brass band movement is better off with people like yourself and Heather who want to achieve the best you can.

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