Youngsters in brass bands

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by second_horn, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. second_horn

    second_horn Member

    After returning to banding myself last year after a 30 odd year break, my 10 year old daughter decided she wanted to have a go. So we borrowed a cornet from the bandroom, and after a few days she could master a few notes. In September she joined our newly formed beginners group, playing such masterpieces as 'Popade' and 'Fish & chips'. In March I took her along to another band I play for who don't contest, just play for fun. The youngest member before she came along was 34! Then our conductor asked if she'd like to sit on back row of our 4th section band playing second cornet.The next youngest member in this band is 17. She loves it and is improving rapidly, would go every night if she could!
    I don't know if she will be asked to contest with us this's a possibility as one second cornet is on maternity leave, but I was just wondering if there are there other youngsters who contest, or is there a lower age limit? She is 11 now, but I wish she had more people of her own age in the band...there is quite a big gap between what they do in juniors and what we play, unfortunately we have no intermediate band. Any other youngsters out there playing in a band full of adults?
  2. BrassBander87

    BrassBander87 New Member

    My band is currently 3rd section and the youngest back row cornet player is 12 years old. We allow some of the kids to a senior rehearsal from time to time though and I think it provides them with valuable experience as well as promoting relationships between age groups. Bands often struggle to attract new members and even those with training bands can struggle to get members to continue to improve up to a standard befitting a senior band. I think it's important to keep them keen and involved in all aspects of the band, particularly any social events on the calendar.
  3. My non contesting band has a training band that consists of all ages and as soon as someone can play to the standard required they can move to the senior band regardless of age
  4. second_horn

    second_horn Member

    What is the 'standard required' though? Do they have to be able to play a certain hymn tune or something? Our beginners group music is a million miles away from even the simplest senior band do you bridge that gap? Or do you just put'em in the senior band and they hopefully pick it up as they go along?
  5. The training band meet on a Saturday morning, the real early learners get about 30mins 1 to 1 tuition then play with the training band for the remaining time some of the training band music they may find challenging but sit with a more experienced learner. The training band music is at the lowest level of the main band music so when they are Invited to sit in with the main band they also continue with the training band and just progress from there.
  6. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Active Member

    I have it on good authority that at the SCABA Entertainment Contest a couple of months ago, Tilbury Band had a 12 year-old on Bb Bass.

    Whether this is a good thing or child cruelty is debatable.
  7. Scrambled

    Scrambled New Member

    My youngest lad first contested at 9 on 3rd cornet for a 4th section 'development' band in LSC. Joined our band at 10 on 2nd cornet and has contested in 4th and 3rd section in the years since. He's just turned 15 and is our Soprano player. We have a strong Development band and many players join the main band's ranks when we have a vacancy. We currently have a group of young players between 14 and 16 in main band who keep each other company and support each other very well. In my opinion I think age doesn't matter so much as the standard of the player. If the standard matches the bands vacancy requirements and the young player can make the commitment to be at rehearsals and practice (plus grown up can act as taxi) then that is enough. I've not heard of any age limits in contesting but then not really looked into it too much to be honest!
  8. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    I am sure my former band had a twelve year old on stage at Cheltenham in the national finals.
  9. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    you'll never win anything with kids. Just ask that Scottish bloke !

  10. classicbrass

    classicbrass Member

    Or you could review the results record of Oldham Band (Lees) which has gone from 4th to Championship section over the last ten years, with the same core group of youngsters who were in Primary school when they started.
  11. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    that would go over you too id expect.

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