Whitwell till I die

I am a non-playing ("Who's sneezed ink all over this page? So that's what music looks like. Ah well, at least I can listen!) Brass Band Supporter. Any more of you out there who would like to say "Hi"?

I got into Banding as a dutiful parent. One day my son came home from school to say that his teacher had brought a cornet in, and that he could get a note out of it and would like to learn how to play. So we went back into school to see if they had any spare instruments. They did, and that's how he came to play tuba! At the age of 9, it was as big as him, but by 14 he was invited to join Whitwell.

Up till then, the missus and I had just gone along to school events to support our son, but we were invited to sit in and listen to Whitwell's rehearsal. From then on I was hooked. I was astonished by everyone's enthusiasm and the range of music played and the meanings of the sounds and the stories behind the pieces.

My son has now grown and moved well away from the area with work, but I still go to as many rehearsals as I can, and because I'm around a lot I was asked onto the Committee which I now Chair.

From the beginning I have tried to predict Whitwell's place at each contest and never got it right once - neither as a pre-contest prediction nor a predicted outcome (having listened to everybody else). I once thought that we had won and said so, but we were third - though we have won three titles since. I, now, never predict a win: not with my track record over the last 9 years.

On this site I like to have a go at the predictions thread, but I have a self-imposed rule of not placing Whitwell. I know that we aim to win every contest we enter (after all, that is the whole point of contesting anyway) so I help by not hindering.

At a contest you will usually find me on the front row. I like to listen to everybody play so that I can have a bash at placing every band. Because I'm a non-musician my adjudication is based on the sound that our MD has got from our Band at reherasals; how much a Band seems to be enjoying themselves; the expression on the MDs' faces; overheard comments from the people sitting around me; but mostly if the performance feels right to me personally. The next contest we play, come and say "Hello".


Staff member
Great to hear from you, and how much we value those non-playing supporters who work hard behind the scenes.


Active Member
Great to hear from you, and how much we value those non-playing supporters who work hard behind the scenes.
Quite agree PeterBale. Sometimes its good to here from people who are not a player, on how their views are on thing in this funny but exciting banding world we live in!

BIG Paul

I too went along to support my son when he learned to play the cornet at the age of six, at eight he moved to trombone at fourteen he moved to percussion (poor neighbours) at 18 he left and I am now chairman of the band and attend as much as possible, he is now 23, so you are not the only one in the position of non playing supporter.


Supporting Member
I do often wonder how many people who claim to be unable to read music
or to play are really in that category. We have more than one Senior Citiizen
in our training band, and in our Senior Band we have one Dad who we
persuaded to attempt the tuba after his son had become an indispensable
cornet player! He's done fantastically well in a very short time...

So, all praise to non-playing supporters but I would like to encourage those
people to try something, especially where their band has, like ours, a flourishing
training section with members of all ages.