new band

adrian174

New Member
am new but i need some info long time back in the village we had a brass band so now i would like to bring it back but i dont know were to start
as we need some one to teach and we need to get the money for the instruments and people to join so were do i start from ??
oh
am from the north east near Durham
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
You need some information. Your village used to have a Brass Band and you would like to re-establish it. You don’t know where to start.

It’s several years back but I started a group in my local community (which had similarly lost its Band many years ago) and it was successful whilst I was involved with it.

My own start point was pragmatism followed by faith and some personal financial backing (I paid the bills until the group was self supporting and later recovered my expenses). I wanted some people to do something rather than a full Brass Band to appear, decided that I was going to make it happen and then put some money where my mouth was. As a full Brass Band wasn’t going to appear I set about learning about small group playing and what music was available, Matt Kingston publishes just the stuff needed and at a very reasonable price. We / I needed players, fortunately I know a lot of players and I also contacted every Brass group I could think of seeking folk who’d play with us - even if they could only join-in on a restricted basis. Some of the other Bands were concerned about me poaching players but after discussion and explanation their fears were reduce to nothing. The group met monthly and all the players had their own instruments (either from the Bands that they normally played with or purchased from there own funds). A rehearsal space was a problem but a local church helped at a nominal cost. A conductor was a problem and initially we struggle along, the (experienced) players managed to keep time between themselves whilst someone sort of waved a stick - not ideal but we did something rather than nothing. Eventually our conductor became quite good, better than some ‘proper’ Bandmasters.

That group worked well enough and after a few years even did a couple of small events a year. I’m not certain about its current condition but when I was involved membership had got into double figures and we sounded just about OK. We all enjoyed rehearsals ‘cause the music was both new to us and and right for us, ‘cause we met friends from different bands and ‘cause they were monthly (so small commitment and fun). Subs were small and pay as you go (just a token amount to cover rent and music costs) and we ended up with a small and growing surplus in our funds. I kept meetings fun and kept in touch with every player. Folk turned up ‘cause they enjoyed the meetings, ‘cause I kept reminding them when the next one was and ‘caused I kept in contact with those who missed rehearsals - listen to and support your players.

In the longer term that group could have formed itself into a full Band, that would have been via a succession of small changes over say a decade. So, in my experience, the key things are to start small, accept a long timescale and build on the available skills of existing players. Good luck with your venture, I wish you all possible success.
 
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2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
West Auckland and St Helen's Silver Band as I find it became called. The last contest result I found for it was 1970 in the fourth section (playing London River, which I quite like)

It might be worth contacting the Durham Brass Band Association to see whether someone might known how the band was wound up and whether any of the members are both still alive and not too far away.

The next nearest bands appear to be in Darlington, Spennymoor and Ferryhill; have a chat with them for any history you can find? Looks like there’s another here too: https://m.facebook.com/AycliffeAndBrancepethBrassBand/ .
 
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2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
thank you just need to try and get it back dont know how lol but will give it a go
Your start point is getting as much background and local information as possible, and maybe getting some support from the Durham Association too. After that it’s think small occasional meeting group to start with and then make plans towards becoming a full sized regular meeting Band over a decade. You’ll need to make contact with some like minded people and before you know it a year will have passed and you’ll be having your first playing session - that might just be three players but you’ll have made a start. Good Luck!
 
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adrian174

New Member
St Helen Auckland Brass Band (Durham)Active from the 1870s to the 1920s. Also known as St Helen's West Auckland Band, and St Helen's Bishop Auckland Band
i will go to see the durham association my next port of call
 

Jack E

Well-Known Member
I would thoroughly endorse 2nd Tenor's recommendation of Matt Kingston's publishing company, trading as 'Big Shiny Brass'. He has a broad spread of arrangements of all types of music for bands, and the big plus is his arrangements for small ensembles - so even if you can only get together a handful of players, you can still get a multi-part arrangement which sounds good. Matt also has a sub-section called 'Little Shiny Brass', with music aimed at juniors / learners - I think his idea is probably on the lines of "the sooner you can get your juniors playing music as a small group, the more you boost their enthusiasm and self-confidence, and the more likely they will keep pegging away it at, rather than losing interest".

Some of his arrangements can be played by as few as four players; 1st and 2nd cornets, tenor horn, baritone or tenor trombone or euph, plus bass in either Bb or Eb. And as you buy them via downloading in .pdf format, he can keep the costs well down. Nearly forgot to add; the arrangements come with the conductor's score, too.

And I think 2nd Tenor's advice to be willing to start small and let it build over time is as sound as a gold sovereign. There's nothing like seeing other people doing something and enjoying it - even if it's only handful of people - for pulling in new recruits!

And the very best of luck with your venture. :)

Jack E
 
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