Murton Colliery Band to fold

Discussion in 'Bandroom News - User Submitted' started by HelenPlaysBaritone, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. HelenPlaysBaritone

    HelenPlaysBaritone New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Gateshead
    This announcement was posted by the committee on Facebook.

    "Formed in 1884, Murton Colliery Brass band is one of the few bands in the north east of England who retain their colliery name.

    Unfortunately over the last two years the band has been struggling with the numbers of players coming through the doors and we have lost a number of players during this time.

    It has become increasing difficult for the band to continue with the decline in number and the committee and trustees of the band have come to the painful decision that Murton Colliery Band are to fold. This is a decision that has not been taken lightly."

    I'll add to that the band's last engagement will be the Durham Miners' Gala on 14th July this year and we will dissolve no later than 31st July.
     
  2. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,054
    I'm sorry to hear of another band closing down, especially one that's been running as long as Murton, but I don't think any band can rely on players 'coming through the doors' anymore; unless you're at championship level, those days are long gone.
     
  3. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    Location:
    Chigley
    Sad to hear, but it adds context to your other post seeking another Band to play with.

    I realise that the decision is taken and fixed, but for another band in similar circumstances it might be viable to continue playing together as an ensemble instead. Music for smaller groups is, I have found, reasonably available and small group playing can work very well.
     
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  4. T Winch

    T Winch Member

    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    Sunderland
    Very sad to hear about the sad demise of yet another northeast band. Is it not worth trying to keep going in some form? We were in a very similar situation at Felling a couple of years ago. We called a meeting to decide the future of the band. Five of us turned up. To make matters worse, we lost our bandroom at the same time. It would have been so easy to fold then but we decided to give it a few months to see what happened. We continued to have rehearsals, maybe about once a month to start with. With the kind help of players registered with other bands this increased to once a week. Sometimes there might only be a handful of us there but more and more frequently we have 15 or 20. Sometimes even more. This has enabled us to take start taking on engagements again during the past year although contesting is still out of the question. Having said that, we are intending to enter the Brass In The Park contest in July. I know this is a decision that will not have been taken lightly and I especially feel for those members of Murton who I know that have been with the band for as long as I have been involved in banding in this area, but sometimes it can be worth carrying on.

    If the worst does come to the worst, and I really hope it doesn't, we would welcome any players along at Felling who want to keep blowing. Who knows, we may be able to get a contesting band together from the players we have between us
     
  5. rootertooter

    rootertooter New Member

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    24
    So its their own fault ? really, did you have to post that remark ?

    So sorry to hear your announcement Helen, sad times indeed.
     
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  6. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,054
    Is it somebody else's fault, then? If so, whose?
     
  7. rootertooter

    rootertooter New Member

    Messages:
    24
    You really are something else !
    :(:(
     
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  8. Slider1

    Slider1 Active Member

    Messages:
    243
    Location:
    Kent
    Bands in the Championship section are not exempt. Its not players 'coming through the Doors' which is the problem but players going out, each has a different reason, but unless problems etc. are raised it's probably too late to reverse decisions etc.
     
  9. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    Location:
    Chigley
    Perhaps at some point there will be a turnaround or happier ending for Murton, we can hope for it for them and for other bands in similar difficulties.

    The recent competition by Big Shinny Brass brought a couple of things to my notice and I feel that they should encourage us all. Richmond on Thames lost its once quite successful band some years back, however a new one has been set up recently and it looks like its doing OK. Hereford doesn’t have a Brass Band but one of the runners up in BSB’s competition came from that City, perhaps in time that ensemble will grow into a Band. At least there are people playing in some form in those places and, with no disrespect to any struggling bands, such ensembles show us a way forward.
     
    KenIrvin likes this.
  10. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    Location:
    Chigley
    I do see both that you were prompted and where you are coming from on this. To my mind there are times when a bad result doesn’t need to be (attributed as) anybody’s fault, sometimes nasty stuff just happens despite the best efforts of all concerned. Good luck to all those in Murton as they dis-band and find their ways forward.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
    Jack E and 4th Cornet like this.
  11. GER

    GER Active Member

    Messages:
    170
    So sad to hear of another band folding, hopefully the players will find somewhere else, but it is difficult to change if you've been one band for a lot of years. Personally it's sad to hear to any band folding, but especially sad to hear of another colliery band going, when I think of all the great times I've had playing for colliery bands, it is heart-breaking.
    Best wishes to all at Murton, there does look to be a number of bands in the area, hopefully some good will come out of it, though I appreciate it will not feel that way at the moment.
     
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  12. squirrell

    squirrell New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Very sorry to hear this Helen, and I know this sounds in bad taste, but we are looking for band jackets for a Production of "Brassed Off" in Spalding in October, so would be interested in hiring or purchasing them?
     
  13. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    Location:
    Chigley
    The liquidation of assets might be a touchy subject, however I suspect that those actually tasked with winding the band up would welcome interest from potential buyers, etc. The decision has been made to wind the band up - they will have their reasons for not continuing as an ensemble - and if there is a best thing to do I suspect that it’s supporting those who are executing that decision.
     
    squirrell likes this.
  14. HelenPlaysBaritone

    HelenPlaysBaritone New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Gateshead
    I'll ask the secretary.


    Whilst I can't deny that the band caused some of its own problems, there is a bigger structural problem here as well. In County Durham, the kids getting LEA brass lessons are taught exclusively on orchestral instruments and are often steered by their instrumental teachers into bands that said teachers are involved with, and, in some cases, discouraging said students from attending other bands. This is why some bands are heaving with kids and others are struggling to get young players to come. One of our members who is a trainee teacher went with his head teacher to the LEA to plead for the kids to be given the choice of trumpet or cornet and was basically told no because trumpets are cheap. When kids are being actively pipelined into the orchestral world and actively deterred from their local colliery band, it starves brass bands. I'm intent (when I'm less busy) on doing some research into how widespread this kind of policy is and how many instrumental teachers are using their students to exclusively feed their own bands. This doesn't just harm brass bands, it harms the kids as well because the more kinds of playing and conducting styles you experience, the better you get as an ensemble player.

    When I was at school, my fabulous LEA had a range of instruments of different types, Saturday morning music centres that taught brass band, wind band, woodwind ensemble, string ensemble, and orchestra and fed into a set of more senior ensembles, and the teachers actively encouraged you to play outside of that provision as well. Two of the people I was in senior brass band with are now Championship level players with Fodens on their CVs. Two out of around 35 isn't a scientific study, but I can't help feeling that the broad playing experience those two were encouraged to get will have contributed to their success.
     
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  15. GER

    GER Active Member

    Messages:
    170
    We have the same problem in our area, talking to one of the tutors (who, ironically plays in a brass band) it's all about funding. The music centres see themselves as 'ripe' for cost cutting by councils, so promote themselves (understandably) to the exclusion of other groups, which obviously include brass bands. I know it's too late for you, but our band concentrates on players and ex players children, it works at the moment, the 'pool' is obviously less, but the retention rates are a lot better, due to the massive family nature of brass banding in the area, something I would imagine is also prevalent in your area.
    Heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your band, and best wishes for the future
     
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  16. squirrell

    squirrell New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Thanks Helen, it would be appreciated...!
     
  17. HelenPlaysBaritone

    HelenPlaysBaritone New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Gateshead
    The secretary says we have 21 blue jackets in various sizes. PM me a phone number and I'll pass it on to her.
     
  18. squirrell

    squirrell New Member

    Messages:
    5
    07925 400303 Thanks Helen! That would be fantastic!
     
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