Getting people to listen to brass!


Active Member
Fishsta said:
Well, my "other half" hates the band.

Says I love it more than I love her.

I got her to come to Whit Walks last year (2001) with that scratch band, and she loved every minute of it. Asked her to come this year, and she said, "No, it's crap."

Christmas is particularly hard. She doesn't like me keep going carolling with the band.

There's no way she'll change her mind, and God knows I've tried.
I feel for ya brother.... got the same problem too.... :cry:

satchmo shaz

Active Member
I am very lucky, my husband plays bass bone, my 2 sons play solo cornet and sop, my brother is solo euph, his wife plays flugel, their 3 kids play cornet horn and the 6 year old plays drums! and I conduct them all!! Its the only time I@m ever in charge!


I am very lucky, my husband plays bass bone, my 2 sons play solo cornet and sop, my brother is solo euph, his wife plays flugel, their 3 kids play cornet horn and the 6 year old plays drums! and I conduct them all!! Its the only time I@m ever in charge!
On the theory that it's mainly family that makes up the audience, yours must be tiny!! They're nearly all on the stage :lol:

Big Twigge

Active Member
I'm a band geek and proud

I officially left my brass band 1 year and a half ago to go to university. However being a member of a brass band is like a can't get away from it. So far I have played with my old band in every holiday since I've been back and am now beginning to wonder if i need serious medical help!
The point is that once you get through those early teenage years (13-16) your friends realise that being in a band doesn't necessarily mean you only listen to brass band music (although I am partial to a bit of 'Oh listen to the band' on my way out on a friday night!)
If you're a strong enough individual you can do both, have a normal social life and enjoy the band life!

NB it does help if you have an open mind :twisted:


Staff member
I would agree that it is very important to tailor your programme (and advertising) to the likely audience. Most of my current experience of playing and presenting musical programmes is within the context of the Salvation Army. We have found that a number of our recent programmes have been given to very mixed groups, most of whom have very little prior experience or technical knowledge of the brass band, its instruments or repertoire. With such a group, it is not appropriate to present much in the way of a technical showcase, but rather more approachable items, some of which they may know from other sources. In that respect I am sure the Army has made the right decision in broadening the repertoire that can be used.

Above all, there must be a rapport built up between band and audience. I recently attended a programme where the bandmaster simply did not have the communication skills to bridge that gap, and as a result the atmosphere suffered. We are fortunate in that our bandmaster both chooses suitable programme material, keeping a good mixture of old and new, and also makes a conscious effort to meet with the audience, usually including an interval so that we can go out and mingle - not just disappear into the back for refreshments. These conversations are often fascinating, and on a number of occasions I have been asked for details of the instruments used by knowledgable musicians who have not encountered bands first-hand before. What must be avoided is a compere who does not really know what they are talking about, trotting through a prepared script and interrupting the flow - pacing is vital.

One of the problems in attracting an audience is that of meeting their expectations. When one thinks of concert-going in general, if you were attending an orchestral concert you would know in advance what sort of items to expect, often knowing the whole programme, and then able to decide whether or not it is going to be your cup of tea. It is good to see the work being carried out by some of the top bands in conjunction with musical education establishments up and down the country, so that other musicians can be introduced to new and more substantial repertoire. I have personally been disappointed more than once in going to hear a top band in the anticipation of hearing some meaty pieces, only to come away with a selection of lollipops - competently played, but, for me, a lost opportunity.

Whilst I agree to some extent with the idea of introducing other groups to share in concerts, there is a danger of no-one being really satisfied - I've just read a review of a concert given jointly by Backbeat and The Fodens Richardson Band, which I'm sure would have suited me fine, but for the reviewer (on 4barsrest) was a let-down as he could not relate to the percussion items. Some you win, some you lose!


I have 2 sons and my eldest is 6 years old. He has been coming to watch the Band for at least 3 years and absolutely loves it. I take him to every concert we do, if at all possible. His younger brother (4) isn't quite so interested in sitting still through a concert and says 'its too loud' but hopefully when he is a bit older he will become just as interested as his brother.
Obviously, playing myself I hope at least one of them will become interested in playing in the near future.
Aside from that, my Band did a fantastic concert on sunday at a local school. The concert was with the school choir and brass group. Naturally, the audience was mostly made up of band parents, wives etc and parents of the schoolchildren.
I happen to know quite alot of the parents who were there and have been inundated with them telling me how good the concert was and how they are hoping we do another one soon. These people had never heard a brass band before and were amazed at what they heard!
The other point is that the children loved us too and one little boy went up to a member of the Band and said 'your band's fantastic'!
This , to me, is a great way to introduce brass banding to 'the
uneducated' and if it brings just one extra person to our next concert or makes just one child take up playing a brass instrument ,I feel it has been all worthwhile.


Surely one of the best adverts for banding for teenagers are the scenes in "American Pie" and "American Pie 2".
Certainly some of the Education System Bands that I came through in Sheffield had similar ideals and practices as "Band Camp".... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:


Active Member
The way to get people to listen to bands is to make concerts interesting and not just to brass band buffs. There has never been a wider musical repetoire as there is now for all music genres. Most of all make it fun. We had played many concerts over the summer, we are a 4th section band, with obvious fourth section limitations. However the audiences have lapped up all the concerts, praising our program for been varied and also that the band appeared so happy and obviously enjoying themselves. One bloke from Salford enjoyed a concert we did at Beamish Museum so much he sent a cheque for 35 pound.

We have also had a lot of negative comments from the audience of other bands programs of previous weeks, which said that they were boring and drab. :roll: Contests are the vehicle to keep band standards up, but concerts are to entertain the audience not to impress a solitary brass band buff mixed in the audience. There is opportunities to play more taxing concerts which are organised for brass band enthusiasts but mr Joe Public in the park just want entertainment. If this doesn't happen there will be jugglers and punch and judy shows instead of bands. :D
I agree with Wonky Baton whole heartedly, I've been saying the same for years, but some players won't play anything unless it's their technical level, which is a great shame because the audience suffer in the end. :? :( People who go to park concerts don't want to hear test pieces they want film themes or something similar they can hum along too, not Nebucco or Resurgam, yes, brilliant works they are, but not for park jobs!!! :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:


Roger Thorne said:
Perhaps we need to take coach loads of teenagers to Pontins!
I took loads of photos in Pontins then took them back to school and my friends understood why I enjoy banding so much! :p


tMP Founder
Staff member
Roger Thorne said:
If you'd had taken in the photo's I took at Pontins you would have been expelled!
... perhaps there's a Sunday News Paper Roger who might help you make a fortune eh!.... :D


Active Member
I agree with Wonky Baton whole heartedly
That the first time any one has agreed with me even begrudgingly, never mind wholeheartedly. :lol:

One things worries me though. I didn't mind you leaving the band cos you heard I was joining, but I think moving to Singapore to avoid me was a bit drastic!! 8)

I enjoyed my brief stint with the band, especially the 4th Place at Preston against the big boys!!