Gillingham Imperial Silver Band Academy

Absolute Beginner Brass Academy:

If you have never played a Brass instrument before and would like to begin, then this is where it all starts.  Absolute Beginners meet at the Band rehearsal room on Monday evenings during school term from 5.45 - 6.30pm.  We will carefully select with you an instrument which suits and which you are happy to play.  Then we start to explore making a sound, learning a few notes, playing a few simple but fun tunes to begin with and learning to read music if of course you do not read it already. I started playing brass when I was 10 years of age, but if you are 7 years of age or thereabouts, you will be ready to learn brass.  We do currently have adults in the Absolute Beginner Brass Group so the door is wide open for all.

Beginner Brass Academy:

The next stage after Absolute Beginner Brass is the Beginner Brass Group, which also meets on Monday evenings during school term time from 6.30 - 7.30pm.  You will be either progressing from Absolute Beginners or joining us as a musician who is already playing brass to a Grade 1 or Grade 2 practical standard.  If you are in the latter bracket and not sure of your standard then do drop in to Beginner Brass on a Monday and we can assess your playing levels. Working together as a team, Beginner Brass seeks to develop you’re playing skills and theory of music knowledge by playing fun, but challenging, popular tunes and exercises.  There will also be opportunities to play in a Senior Band Concert at Christmas and as a standalone Group at Band Open Days.  The target from Beginner Brass is to aspire to the Training Band

Where you will meet and continue your brass and theory development with the Senior Band Director of Music. This is on a Friday evening from 6.30PM – 7.30 before the Main band come in a 7.30pm and you are welcome to stay and listen to the Main band. 10pt;">Jim Bennett who, like me, believes in making music a fun and happy pursuit.

Musical Director - Jim Bennett  http://gisb.co.uk/index.php/players/39-musical-director-jim‏

If you are interested in joining one of our Brass Teams, then please drop me a line or give me a call, it would be good to see you.

Marcus Adams

Brass Tutor

07977 262805

01258 863717

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The Cost of Learning a Brass Instrument is £15 a term

The cost  includes the provision of a brass instrument of your choice (subject to availability)

Benefits to musical education

Playing an Instrument makes you smarter

Many Studies have been conducted on the effects of music to the brain.  Scientists say that children who are exposed to music, of those who play a musical instrument, do better in school than those who don't.  Adults can benefit from learning to play an instrument too because it helps the mind to be alert and remain active eventually helping to sharpen the memory

2. Teamwork & community

Learning to play together, and to play in tune, helps to develop team skills, and the community of the band encourages new friendships.


Playing music requires concentration, and the more often you practice, the better you get.

4: Confidence

Playing in a friendly group helps to improve confidence, and when you master a piece of music, the confidence grows.

Playing music is all based on time, division and counting.  Learning music is proven to assist in developing mathematical and logic If you are interested in joining the Junior band, or even if you would just like to come along to listen,

Dave Wathen

Dave Wathen has been an avid supporter of many of the towns groups and clubs.  Over the years, Dave has been generous enough to donate money to the Training band, enabling them to purchase smart reversible uniform jackets and bow ties, to ensure they look as good as they sound.

Mr. David Wathen

A little more about Dave (Courtesy of the Town Council Website)

In October 1979, the Town Mayor, the late Cllr. C. C. Howe proposed that Mr. David Wathen should be officially bestowed the title of Gillingham Town Crier.  This proposal was unanimously supported by all members of the council.

Mr. David Wathen became a member of the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers in 1980.

During his years, as the Town Crier for Gillingham, David has travelled to Canada, where he has 'cried' in competitions in the cities of Halifax, Nova Scotia (many times), Fredrictown New Brunswick, Toronto, Vancover, Victoria and Sidney (Vancover Island), Annacortis U.S.A. Hamilton and St. Georges Burmuda.

David has also 'cried' in France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Majorca and all of the major towns and cities in the United Kingdom, where a competition has been held.

David achieved 'Notable Achievements, European Champion' in 1988.  Weymouth International Champion, 'Dorset County Champion' twice, with several placing and 'Best Dressed Crier'.

As a committee member of the A.A.H.G.T.C. for over twenty years, Mr. Wathen has held the position of Standard Bearer, Treasurer and Guild Sergeant.

Mr David Wathen has completed thirty one year's service as Town Crier for Gillingham and is still carrying out his duties to the highest standard.


The Band are very proud to be associated with David, and would like to thank him for his generosity over the years.


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