Finding new players

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by I iNNoCeNt EyEs I, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. Hi all.

    Just wondered if anyone has any ideas on how to drag young people into the band? I play with Marsden's Junior Band, and we are struggling for players. We've tried the usual ad's in papers, messages read out in assembly's at the local Primary school etc.. But we don't seem to be getting anywhere.
    We have players from 6 years old, and at the moment we aren't that good as we are over rode with the cornet section, but badly lacking on lower end.
    Every rehearsal the MD asks if any of us know anyone who'd like to join, but that's the problem, we don't.. and are running out of ideas to find anyone.

    Any help would be appreciated!
    Lucy x
  2. Kerwintootle

    Kerwintootle Member

    Ad's in papers are good. But what you need is an angle for a story in the newspaper. Something to get free publicity. A personal success story of one of the players. Or a testamonial from an audience member from a recent concert. Take your own digital photos and send them in. Who does the brass column in The Examiner? Papers are always looking for good news stories especially about children.

    Also, messages in school are also good but why not give a presentation at the school. i.e get a couple of members of the band to visit the school and show them the instruments and let them have a play on them. Have brochures ready to hand out to the kids and get them to take them home. Have these brochures available wherever you perform and make a large sign asking for new players on outdoor jobs. When I was at Paddock Youth (with our lovely purple jumpers), Douggie Hodge used to drag (literally) players in off the street.

    Organise a 'fun' day when it gets to summer and have the band play and hold other kids events and football comps etc. It could be a good fundraiser and show local youngsters what fun it can be to play in a band.

    Good luck,

  3. David Pegram

    David Pegram Member

    We go into the local primary schools give a short concert,have a Q & A session then let the kids have a blow on the instruments.This has been successful and enjoyable for both parties.
    We also have a couple of guys that go into nurseries and do a light hearted routine for the kids.This way we are in their minds from an early age.
  4. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    We do a similar thing in Chorley, in primary schools. We make sure that everyone knows what a CORNET is by the time we leave, and try to undo the years of class prejudice by orchestral brass.

    Nothing personal trumpet players. A great instrument in the right context, but there must be 10 times as many cornet players as trumpet players. Why do we never hear about the cornet?
  5. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    I think you're wrong about that ratio. Maybe in parts of Britain that's true, but in most of the rest of the world it's 100 to 1 trumpets. You won't see many cornets in jazz bands, big bands, orchestras of any size, show bands, concert bands, wind ensembles, military bands, etc, etc, etc.
  6. Thanks for the pointers so far guys, I'll put them to the MD at the next rehearsal!
  7. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    Ron Massey is the brass journo in the Examiner, we have contact details for him if you'd like them?

    We've found that good old postering in shop windows pays a lot of dividends, we've picked up quite a few players that way. It has to be said tho, by far the best publicity we've had and absolutely the single most effective factor in now having a full band is good old tMP.

    Use it, it's simple to do, free to use and a lot more people see your ads on here than you'd think.
  8. might get intouch with Ron Masse actually.. he's my Great Uncle, so we don't need contact details but thanks anyway Crawf lol :p
    Only thing with advertising on here is most players who come on here are alot more professional than the rest of my band, and older =/ I've protested about changing us to a 'B' band so that we can have some older players, cos come next year there will be me and a few others that will have to leave because of our age. We have a million cornets, but only 1 percussionist, 1 Euph and 3 horns.. and thats our lower end =/
  9. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    Blimey!!!! That means you must be related to one of the Special Care nurses at the HRI that looked after Annabelle, cos he's her father in law!!
  10. Don't ask me, aint got a clue lol My family's huuuuge. All I know is Ron Massey is my Grandma's Brother lol
  11. o_O I just got that totally wrong lol.. He's my Grandma's Uncle... I think :S oh i dunno, dont ask me lol
  12. ruthatron

    ruthatron Member

    go into the schools, do a concert for them. show them all the instruments. i've done things like this, with a brass quartet (it doesn't need to be many people). show them fun things, they always seem to love it when someone does flutter tonguing. maybe take along a bunch of mouthpieces and try and get them to do some buzzing on them, getting them involved is always good.

    also, our youth band do an event, funded by the wychavon people, where we invite the young players to come and have a day with us. gives them an idea what playing in a band is like.

    do you have any other youth bands of any sort around? or any local authority music people?
  13. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    Probably only true in Britain that there are more cornets, agreed. It could be this is the only place there is the class prejudice as well. So we try to at least make sure that children in this country are aware of the two instruments!
  14. Liz Courts

    Liz Courts Active Member

    Open days seem to work for St Agnes. An open rehearsal on a Sunday afternoon usually seems to get 10/15 new players interested...:)
  15. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    The class prejudice is over here to. I was laughed at the first time I brought a cornet to school. Until I auditioned and bumped the top trumpet player out of his seat . . .
  16. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    well you do have much more demanding parts on a cornet!
  17. ruthatron

    ruthatron Member

    maybe you could do a swap with our youth band, we're having the opposite problem! we have a fantastic lower end (6 basses, 4 euphs, 4 bari's, 5 trom's, 7 horns and 4/5 percussionists) but we struggle to fill the cornet places! the standard gap is huge between the cornets and the rest of the band (apart from the top 3 or so cornets). we struggle with good top end players, although i think we may be in a minority there.
  18. Liz Courts

    Liz Courts Active Member

    :clap: Well done, that's what I like to see happening!!...(not that I'm biased or anything...)
  19. HANNAH

    HANNAH Member

    A couple of things I'd say. One it probably helps if the kid's teacher has something to do with a band, just so theres some connection. Other than that I guess your best bet is to do a concert at the school. Make it a fun programme, get arrangements of kids tv shows etc. Feature different instruments as soloists, preferably stuff like tubas and trombones, anything lower end if thats what you're struggling for. Then make sure theres long enough set aside afterwards for you to talk to kids and get them to try out instruments. You could even incorporate this into the concert. Just anything to get them interested. Even if its not practical to take the whole band (which is quite likely seeing the concert would probably have to be during school time) just take a 10piece or even a quintet. Please don't take offence to this older players, but it could also help to take some of the youngest players you can to show kids what they could be able to do at that age, and not let them think only 'ancient' people play in brass bands!
  20. dickyg

    dickyg Member

    I think it is a perennial problem we have here. I am a secondary school music teacher and have been MD of a Youth band so have been through what you are going through. One piece of advice that I could give you is to make contact with your local Peripatetic brass teachers. You'll probably find that if there is a county brass/wind band(s) then they will be recommending their pupils to go there. If you can get one of them to 'break ranks' as it were or better still get involved in your band you have a better chance of getting a regular stream of youngsters. Are there local school teachers who are brass players who would get involved in your organisation? This gets around the problem of expensive Police checks etc and adds a certain credibilty to your organisation.It also means again that you have a foot in the education door.Can you work with your local LEA/Music support service?

    Good luck