Training Bands

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by jpbray, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. jpbray

    jpbray Member

    Undy, Monmouthshire
    I know the subject of the future of Banding has been debated to death, but what are we doing about it.

    I don't know the answer, but what is the percentage portion of Bands that operate a Junior / Youth band. The product we offer i.e. Brass Band Music is a quality product, but we have to go and GET our own future, namely that bands operate their own youth policy. Not just having a beginners group in a band but looking to operate a training band that can take part to the full in youth contests and festivals.

    An analogy would be to draw parallels with the "local rugby club" where they have the first team going down to the juniors, and this is the way we are going to have to fully commit towards operating

    Another question is, what funding, grants, help and assistance can bands recieve from Arts Councils, Local Government, Foundations, Trusts etc.

    Lower section Bands are not Black Dyke, we cannot just go and sign another player at will. Once over inflated egos realise this and bands try to grow from the bottom up then we just might stand a chance.
  2. Baritonedeaf

    Baritonedeaf Member

    Birmingham, West Midlands
    I am looking to start one of these at the City of Brum in the near future...
  3. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    A world of my own!
    We have a pretty good set up at Wem, check out our website, and you'll see the numbers involved.
    We currently have 3 bands. the main or "senior " band, the youth band, and a beginners section.

    All three sections are currently able to go out and perform in public.

    In my opinion, it is not just about getting the youth, and parents involved, we need to change the whole outlook of our bands. We need to get rid of the stuffy look, and go for a more modern look.
    I think Mount Charles Youth have the right idea, they look absolutely fabulous in their Rugby shirts. The band look great, comfortable out on the stage. Its certainly a look i would like to see our Youth Band in!!!
  4. tpcornet12

    tpcornet12 Member

    Our training band is growing rapidly and is not just restricted to children. There are a number of older people in the band, though to be fair they may be related to some of the kids. It actually has more members than the main band now. The connection with the main band remains high as it is conducted by the principal.

    Not aware of any funding but we receive a small amount from the concil each year to thank us for civic duties etc. I assume any expenses are met though the income of the main band.
  5. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    Both the bands I play for have training bands. At Leicester contest today Dronfield will have 6 players who've come from the training band in the last 3 or 4 years, and several others regularly play at senior band rehearsals and concerts. Conductor is the senior band's principal Euph.

    Killamarsh training band in the comparitevly short time it has been around have already progressed to some very creditable concert performances, both in joint concerts with the senior band and concerts on their own, and has a number of players who come to senior band rehearsals.
  6. Crazysop

    Crazysop Member

    Middleton have a youth band, a training band and a beginners section. Many of the senoir bands current members have risen through the ranks over the years.
  7. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Southport, Lancashire
    I don't think there's any doubt that unless you are a top band (and therefore able to attract players by reputation) the only way to ensure your survival is to have an active recruitment policy, and having a training band is one of the best ways to do that. It's not just the playing, it's being part of a team, the social side, making friends, the benefits are endless,
    You can pretty much forget the Lottery, the days where a band could apply for a complete set of new instruments have gone. It is a strange sign of the politically correct times we live in that something traditionally portrayed as working-class (see Brassed Off, etc) is these days perceived as a middle class hobby like golf and not considered worthy of Lottery funding (our contact actually said "If you were doing African drumming it'd be easy!").
    The way to go funding-wise now is gradual rather than big bang, bodies like Awards for All and the Arts Council will give grants for, say, 2 new euphs, 3 troms, 4/5 cornets and so on, then in 18 months time you can apply for the same again.

    Don't expect the Government to fund music in schools, if you can't measure it they're not interested (same as sport). It's up to the amateur groups of all genres (bands, choirs, whatever) to get kids interested in music and keep their interest, all the people doing that are to be applauded, without them serious music would die and we'd be left with the X factor.

    If you're a band with the same old faces in the same old seats, operating a "dead man's shoes" policy and not encouraging any kids in, I give you 5 years max. If you're lucky.
  8. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    Wantage, Oxfordshire
    Wantage Band - a big umbrella covering a beginners group, two trainer bands, an adult beginners group, a Youth Band, a Concert band, a Fourth section contest band and a Championship section contest band (and no band hall!). All the bands feed upward, and most of the bands work towards fund raising concerts and other events. And it all works because so many people contribute.

    Involvement in music has transformed my life over the years, and it's great to be involved with an organisation that unlocks musical doors for players of all ages.
  9. jpbray

    jpbray Member

    Undy, Monmouthshire
    Most of the replies "show people doing it", but I suspect this is not the bigger picture.
  10. dukfuq

    dukfuq New Member

    Could not agree more, alot of people say we need to encourage more training bands, but the truth of the matter its always someone elses job to keep the movement going, whilst everyone else comes up with their excuses. If everyone had a youth band within there own band and actually actively recruit them to the senior band, then there shouldn't be such a high player shortage. But it all comes down to contest results and short term success is more important.
  11. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    Athies, Pas de Calais, France
    Of the bands I know or am involved in round here, between a half and two-thirds of them have a youth/training set up. Certainly we do at Gretton and Dunchurch. Enderby are the nearest band to me that have an integrated policy from beginner to senior band.

    I would argue that the quality of the "Quality Product" is mixed. How many promising young players will be put off banding by spending the 3 months after Christmas playing the lower parts of the area test piece?

    The rugby club is a good analogy, but with a couple of differences to banding. First team rugby players have a finite career as age or injury will force them to retire at some point, making way for the younger players. Also rugby clubs generally have a thriving social side with the sport at its centre, helping everyone including relatives and ex-players to be involved.

    I think that if bands worked as hard at community involvement and having fun as much as contesting, we might find that it is a more attractive proposition for players of all ages.
  12. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    I think hade edge have something like; A senior band, A youth band, a training band, a jazz band, a junior jazz band, a choir and a junior choir, and probably a couple more.

    its nice how you see kids starting in the training band and then go into the senior band.
  13. kate_the_horn

    kate_the_horn New Member

    aye we do!, It's all go all week, the senior band rehearses Tues and Thurs, and we have two junior bands, a junior jazz group and a community choir. see Hade Edge Band for more details :)
    As an active member of the senior band for contests, concerts, and whatnot, I see what goes on day in and out.
    The Kids love contesting, and one of the 'extra' horns even came to support us, even though he wasn't contesting himself.
    It is usually commented about our senior band that we're pretty young.
    That being the case we still came 4th at Pontins, over some serious competition.

    As a member of the senior band and a volunteer helping with the beginners on a Friday night, I can honestly say the future of our band is in the kids hands.
    So I strive to help them offering lessons, and helping them in anyway I can.
    And we're still a good 1st section band.
    Nothing is lost from gaining these kids, certainly not quality
  14. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    So when do the other 4(?) practise, i mean, you've got a huge bandroom, but surely not big enough to have 2 rehearsals at a time


    We re-started Chapel-en-le-Frith Town band 3 years ago and one of the first things we wanted to put in place was a junior band. Now we have around 20 in the junior band (SK23) and several of those also play in the senior band. It was a lot of hard work initially but the rewards are visible now. Of the other bands in the area probably only 30-40% have junior sections.

    What I would like to say is; do everything you can to help others who are willing to set up junior bands. It is a daunting prospect when you first set out to do it, working out where to get music, teaching methods, who to go to for grants, getting instruments etc. etc. A helping hand to guide people in the right direction might help to make more people willing to put in the commitment it takes. Of course there will always be those who don't see the need for junior bands and teaching!
  16. JesTperfect!

    JesTperfect! Member

    Camborne Music Society does pretty well here too.
    Under our new set up, we have:

    Camborne Town Band: Championship Section
    Camborne B Band: 2nd Section
    Camborne Youth Band: National Junior Champions of GB 2004-2006 & National community Champions of GB 2007
    Junior Contesting Band: Recently set up in a bid to get the younger players contesting in their own right
    Training Band: The first taste of a band rehearsal for children just starting out
    Adult Training Band: so that those more 'mature' beginners don't have to spend their time learning with 5 year olds!
  17. dizzy winslade

    dizzy winslade Member

    Brackley have a junior band but the players don't end up in the senior band. The two only seem mix at the xmas concert...

    Croft silver has the main band at 4th section and below that a training band and a beginner band. The players are encouraged and often do move up to the next band level.
  18. andyh

    andyh Supporting Member

    Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK
    Woodbridge Excelsior have a thriving training band. We have senior band members starting off raw players, then we have Sara Norris training them up to the point where they can play in a band. After that Jackie Walker takes them into the Training Section proper. This approach has paid dividends and a goodly proportion of our Senior Band these days has come up through the Training Section, both children and adults. Just in the last 18 months alone we have promoted six players.

    Without the efforts of a few dedicated senior band players, I'm sure we wouldn't have the solid foundation of the senior band that we have today.

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