A Conversation for Brass Bands
Researcher 195793 Started conversation Jun 4, 2002
The image of brass players walking down a street under the influence of alcahol strikes to the very heart of the diminishing interest in brass bands. Films such as Brassed Off, which helped this blurred image of brass band musicians has set the image of Banding back decades. Many fine musicians have come out of brass bands, i.e Elgar Howarth...conducting in today's Queen Jubilee and many composers have written for bands, even Sir Edward Elgar and Sir Harrison Birtwistle. The players at the very top sections of the banding movement treat their music seriously and in a professional manner and even when they play alongside orchestras, it is the orchestral plyers who are the ones in awe at the standard of virtuosity. It is a shame that this side of brass bands cannot be seen by the general public who thanks to i.e Brassed off treat brass band players as joke musicians. It is also a shame that in a time where this country lags behind in cricket and football and in many other ways that we have a brass band movement which is easily the best ensemble of its kind in the world decaying under our noses!!
Researcher 197597 Posted Jul 1, 2002
This is part of a message I wrote to 4 Bars Rest (a brass band web site)a few weeks ago. It still seems that many peoples perception of banding is working class and cloth caps. In addition to there being a lot more to the brass band repertoire than the Padstowe Lifeboat and the Floral Dance.
If you look at a lot of the grass roots bands they rely heavily on school children to fill the ranks and for future players, so how about promoting the merits of banding via children's television "its got to be cool to play". Banding has got to get away from its old image and realise its full potential.
Adults have also got to realise that life is not a dress rehearsal and to get out and do something I only started play because my wife, son and daughter all play although my wife is orchestral. We only play for a local band but it is considered serious fun, and the buzz you get from playing is a bit special to.
Nigel Horne Posted Jan 9, 2003
I run the brass band mailing list (http://www.bandsman.co.uk/bb-list.htm). I'm sure a lot of people would like to share & discuss your ideas, why not join and post your sentiments there?
csparke Posted Mar 27, 2004
I agree, the tradition of the brass band is definately going down hill in this country. I live in West London, almost ten million people live within 8 miles of me, but there isn't a brass band within half an hour of my house. There is a blackhole almost centered around my house. Staines and Egham brass are twenty five minutes by train and then a short walk to the West and Hendon is about half an hour drive to the North. How is a young man interested in preserving this fantastic tradition of the greatest ensemble in the world if i can't join a local band? I have listened to brass music as long as I can remember as my dad is a composer, and i have friends who live in Bracknell who are part of a fantastic Youth Brass program there, but there is little else on.
Tatty42 Posted Jan 29, 2006
I've just had my first marching rehearsal with the Yorkshire Volunteers. OK, they're a military-turned-civilian band, and not totally brass, but they're very serious about it all.
Key: Complain about this post