Recruiting players


At the moment we having problems getting younger players from schools to join either our junior band or the main band. From what I've been told the head of brass in our area is an orchestral brass player who doesn't like brass bands. Anybody got any interesting ideas for both recruiting and persuading this teacher that its ok to join a brass band!!!


Active Member
give him a list of top professional brass players who have/still play in brass bands.

Big Twigge

Active Member
Gat a small group of people to go into the local primary schools giving a demonstration. Hand out letters inviting the children to a taster day at the band worked for us! Between the Junior and Youth band we have about 35-40 young people learning to play.
Take the said area brass guy out for a few beers and remind him of the fun times to be had!


tMP Founder
Staff member
... or tell him to inform his student brass payers of the plethora of orchestras out there willing to let them join, play along and learn, sociallise, travel, meet other like minded orchestral players et al ... I'm sure his students will be really spoilt for choice... :wink:

Okiedokie of Oz

Active Member
Similar situation here. the local teachers do not want brass band style education or instruments, yet jump at the chance to let my baritone player play a brand new baritone in their band to fill out the bass section. Get this, last night I had a hone clal from a parnet saying her son ( a TC trombone player) has been told he cannot play witht he advanced group he always plays with at an upcoming workshop only because he cannot read bass clef.

If the teacher is against brass bands, circumvent him. Hit up the students and the parents. give letters of invitation to the player and their mums/dads. It's not school related so you're not exactly stealing students or interfering with any lessons he may have planned.

Big Fella

I am deping for a band this afternoon, who have been having problems.
There solution, for the next 3 Fridays they have put a 10 piece together, and are going to 3 nearby schools and doing a 30 minute concert.

They are hoping to get 6 or 7 from each school to begin playing..

Good Luck


Active Member
Okiedokie of Oz said:
Get this, last night I had a hone clal from a parnet saying her son ( a TC trombone player) has been told he cannot play witht he advanced group he always plays with at an upcoming workshop only because he cannot read bass clef.

To be fair an 'advanced' trombonist should be able to read in 4 clefs, or at least TC and BC.


Active Member
I have to agree, it’s in every trombone players interest to know bass clef, since it’s the standard clef for the instrument…

Anyway, I would agree with those saying you should go around schools doing demonstrations. If you give them a quick talk about the instrument, and most importantly, how you can learn “on the job” so to speak, you should be able to attract a number of youngsters. And if the head of music doesn’t like you preaching Brass Bands to the children (“protect their ears!!!”) tell him to grow up… as a head of music he should be open to the promotion of all styles and forms of music!


New Member
If the band can teach kids of primary school age from scratch it makes things a whole lot easier. By the time they go to secondary school they'll have a couple of years tuition under their belts, hence the school music teachers are happy 'cos they've had some of their work done for them, and they'll think the band is the best thing since sliced bread!
It is shocking to see that this practice of discouraging players from playing in brass bands is as previnent as it is! I would even go as far as to see that it is a bl***y disgrace!

Turriff Silver (my last band) have exactly the same problem. They have the disadvantage of being a small town about 40 miles from aberdeen. the head of music (a former brass band person himself) it would appear has actively discouraged people from joining the band while at school. It has now got to the point that they have had to go back to the grass roots of banding and my father-in-law now teaches at the band hall three nights of the week. In the space of a year, the Junior band has moved from a handfull of players, who could not even play, to a nice wee band who get a good crowd wherever they play. I personally think that this will help to improve turriff band over the next 5-10 years and in a country town like turriff will get a band spirit that will be hard to find, or create, anywhere else!

I think that there are times that no matter what you do with the local schools, they have the attitide that brass bands are just not worth it. One player (who is going to be a right good cornet player) also plays the cello at school. Her mum was told that there was no point in carryin on with the cornet as after she leaves school there is nowhere for her to play! Am I being a little bit stupid, but exactly how many orchestras for non school kids are there in the north east of scotland......!

Granite City Brass (my own band) now have a Community band who are a mixture of school kids and adults who have not played for a while or just do not want to contest. It has doubled in size over the last year, so we must be doing something right. Anything that ensures that people still play after they leave school is a good idea in my eyes. we are fortunate enough to have a number of school teachers in our band which helps, but not for trombonists as it would seem that they all are taught BC and not TC. Then again it is not exactly that hard to learn another clef...

Anyway, that is my rambling rant over :evil: Sorry to go on so much, I feel quite strongly about this (you may have gathered)!

Okiedokie of Oz

Active Member
ScrapingtheBottom said:
Okiedokie of Oz said:
Get this, last night I had a hone clal from a parnet saying her son ( a TC trombone player) has been told he cannot play witht he advanced group he always plays with at an upcoming workshop only because he cannot read bass clef.

To be fair an 'advanced' trombonist should be able to read in 4 clefs, or at least TC and BC.

I agree, which is why I can read 4 clefs, and transpose from sight, but my principla belief is you should teach a skill that can be used later in life. So I prefer my tromboniosts to be well versed in bass and treble clefs. Normally I start kids on bass, but this kid's family aren't well off and his older brothers are trumpet and tenor sax players. So to try to save money on music, I said teach him TC first. Then the school got accepted into the state program, and the new teacher left him as he was. But now she's saying what she did was wrong.

Well big woop, I say. You've made the mistake so why make the kid suffer?


Active Member
I have seen the same problem ion the past where a local perry is not a brass abd fan and all the kids he tought just learn't bass clef!!

I always thought all musicians embraced all kinds of music for it's variations and Style's, And brass bands are possibly the most versitile bands in the country!

Next time you need a trombone dep, ask this fella to do it, Convert him :wink:


Iv noticed that the players who involve them selfs in brass bands tend to keep playing past the age of about 18 and if go to uni tend to find a band were they go more people who take orchistra root tend to pack in .
Yes i think the best way to get players is to have a youth band which any youngster can join, and then build from that to develop some good players who could then fill some seats in the senior band. The best way to get youngsters to join a youth band is to get the word around through the local school or through posters. Also, make sure you have plenty of spare intruments and a few who can teach for free, every youth band practise. It is extremely surprising how many youngsters would like to learn a brass instrument, and within a year or 2 they would be developed enough to play in the 'main' youth band.



Supporting Member
This kind of thing works for Old Hall. We have a 'junior' band that's almost as big as the main band. Some of them are as young as 5 or 6 and they have their own uniform, music and do their own concerts and so on.

Members of the senior band come every Saturday and give some lessons as well as help out with the conducting and everybody benefits.

It's brilliant.
I had an interest in music before I started to play Cornet and I was 'trained' by my local brass band through beginner sessions before the main band practice. I was motivated to continue to play and eventually join the band and other brass bands. I was motivated because there were other younger players (late teens etc.) who were an active part of the band. The band formed a 'family' that I wanted to be part of. This over the last 8 years has dramatically brought the average age of the band down. When I first started there was one cornet player under the age of 25, now theres about 12 of us under the age of 25!

I have the opposite problem from the ones previously mentioned in that my perry teacher was really into brass bands and encouraged me to play anywhere and everywhere. I moved school and my new perry teacher insisted that I joined an orchetra so that I experienced 'proper' playing. I now do both but other than when Im on tour with the Youth Orchestra my Brass Bands always take priority- much to my perry teachers disgust!

Okiedokie of Oz

Active Member
I don't think it's fair that any one teacher can call a music style "real" music. But, in in all honesty, I've played in bands of all styles, and I still come back to brass bands.

Concert Bands are fun, but too chirpy and bright
Orchestras tend to let you sleep most of the time
jazz bands are exciting, but only open to select instrumentation.....

Brass Bands - Pushing the barriers of all brass musicians....except stupid trumpet players :wink:


Supporting Member
Isn't "stupid trumpet players" a tautology? It's a bit like saying "thick drummers! :) Or argumentative cornet players, :p Or clever, witty and charming Bass players :lol:


Supporting Member
flugelgal said:
.. or Wonderful Flugel Players..

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Sorry Kirsty, you've got it wrong -

It's unbelievably fabulous and absolutely gorgeous Flugel players, please :)


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