Greetings! After many months of lurking and listening I am saying hello. I have been following the various threads on the declining state of banding, and also the threads on 3rd row cornet and ambitions. Perhaps I need a smiley for fanfare here :biggrin: before my announcment: I have recently started in banding! I am not a late returner but a mature learner (=mid-life crisis). On a whim I bought a cheap import trumpet and taught myself a couple of scale worth of notes before acquiring 30y old cornet. I had the opportunity of sitting in to "help" in a children's music centre and from that was invited to sit in the back row at a local contesting-band. As a (so far) self-taught adult learner I have learnt to play by memory much better than my sight-reading, and this is a major handicap at band rehearsal. I can also only make one rehearsal a week due to child care. I was up front with the MD and suggested I would turn-up until he asked me not to (and no hard feelings if he did). The whole band have been incredibily welcoming despite my obvious limitations, and even have a pad with my name on! If this band is typical of the banding movement then I can only sing praise. Sorry for long post but I'm a convert!