Academy Newsletter - Spring 2023

Academy Newsletter

Spring 2023


Welcome to the Spring edition of

your newsletter and I trust you had a good Easter. I do hope you have managed to enjoy some ‘down time’ for yourselves and enjoyed the Spring weather which largely has been favourable for getting out and about.



Spring Term reflections:

A wonderful Spring Term and a huge thank you to Academy members one and all. We had fun learning new tunes, using new exercises, learning new skills, furthering musical knowledge and a very good presentation to the Gillingham Beaver Group in their wonderful and relatively new Scout Hut at Milton-On-Stour just before closing down for Easter.

The Very Beginner Group at 5.15pm -

  • Super work – well done – you can all get up to your G in the stave (lines/spaces of music)

  • This achievement up to a G gives you 5 ‘Natural’ notes and 8 notes if we add in the sharps (#) and/or flats (b)

  • Keep practising, keep getting stronger, you are all doing extremely well!

Beginner Brass at 6pm

  • Fantastic work – well attended evenings (but we always welcome more players)

  • Super work dealing with The Addams Family, Bare Necessities, I’ve got my eye on You (Pirates of the Caribbean), and The Beatles Medley – challenging tunes that have been tackled positively and successfully

  • Musicality develops – good dynamics (loud and soft playing)

  • Geography of a piece (Dcs and DSs – going back to the beginning, going back to the sign)

  • Two Drummers – Hooray!!

Training Band at 6.30pm

  • Brilliant Concert preparation and equally brilliant mini-concert for the Beaver Group in Milton-On-Stour at the end of March – well done to you all!

  • Still hoping that a few absent Training Band members will drop in on a Tuesday evening to boost numbers – you are always going to be welcome and we are playing exciting music and exercises which at the same time as being challenging are equally manageable


Instrument Care and Maintenance evening:

PLEASE NOTE – The previously circulated date for this has now changed from Friday evening the 28th April 2023 6.30-7.30pm and is now being held on – TUESDAY EVENING THE 23rd MAY 2023 6.15pm – 7.15pm.

To date, I have received only two confirmations of attendance and three apologies as not being able to attend the original Friday date hence the change of plan. I met with Steve and it has been decided to move this event to a Tuesday when we would normally be running the Academy so all should be able to attend – please? I appreciate that times may differ from normal for some groups but I cannot stress enough the importance of looking after your instruments. During the evening, which I promise will be helpful, informative and interesting, I will be explaining and demonstrating why our care of brass instruments is high on the priority list. We need to be ‘blowing’ clean instruments and we need to minimise repair costs when defects arise due to lack of maintenance. Very recently we had a cornet with a tuning slide which needed the services of a repair technician to free, this cost the band £40 and with our only guaranteed income being the £15 per term subscriptions, we need to be minimising such occurrences and costs. So please do attend and as on previous occasions, I am asking that parents/carers attend with younger Academy members so that you can help with taking valves and slides out of the instrument to clean, oil and grease as necessary when at home.

I am also inviting along brass pupils that I teach and their parents as the evening will be useful for them and in the process, we might generate interest from some references trying out the Academy and joining us.

Light refreshments will be available.

Please confirm your attendance with me for this evening, thank you.



There are still some subscriptions outstanding so can I please ask that these are paid, thank you. If you are paying by Bank Transfer, could I remind that you kindly drop me a quick email/message informing me that you have paid as this is helpful and saves both myself and Steve a lot of time.

Bank details for a Bank Transfer are -

Lloyds Bank

Account Number - 00049337

Sort code – 30 93 45



This won’t apply to our newer members but it will be of interest. Pre Covid, the Main Band with the valued help of a Band Supporter’s Club, staged a major Christmas Concert on a Sunday afternoon in December each year. The Academy were part of the concert and performed a few Christmas carols/tunes just after the interval. This was a fantastic event and one would hope that in time it will be staged once again. It was part of the proceedings to present a number of Trophies to both Main Band and Academy members who had excelled in various fields throughout the year. In 2019, four Trophies were presented to Academy members and embarrassing as it is, I have to say that we have lost records of who were the deserving recipients. So please, if you do still have a Trophy at home, would you kindly bring it in when next at an Academy evening as I would like to re-establish a prize-giving event, thank you.



Recruitment – New faces:

Recruitment is still very much top of our task list, both from an Academy and Main (Senior) Band perspective. The Academy is gradually welcoming new members but we still need to work on the recruitment theme, especially with the ‘Absolute Beginner Group’ (5.15-6pm) and the ‘Training Band Group’ (6.30-7.30pm).

The Training Band with the help of one Main Band member performed a mini concert on the 24th March to the Gillingham Beaver Group following a brass workshop session. We were approached by the Beaver Group to provide an evening of brass awareness for them and we saw this as a dual opportunity to deliver an awareness evening and to focus on possible recruitment. The evening was a wonderful exercise in promoting the Band and especially the Academy. We opened with a Trombone duet where I was extremely pleased to play along with one of the ‘Beginner Group’ who is also one of my pupils at Gillingham School. The Beavers then progressed to playing hose pipes and funnels and then they tried an instrument, I am pleased to say that the majority produced a good sound on both hose pipes and instruments. We handed a publicity letter and flyer to all parents at the end of the evening and now we wait to see if the fine efforts that evening realise any new members.

Band Open House Morning – Saturday the 1st July – we will be promoting this widely and again, the focus will be very much centred on awareness and recruitment. We will need help on the day so if you can drop in please put this date in your diaries and do let me know, it will be very much appreciated. I would like the Academy to play at some point during the morning and although we still need to confirm times, I am envisaging 10am to around 1pm.

I am about to write to the three Primary Schools in Gillingham and those in the surrounding villages to request a mention in school newsletters and, if at all possible, to provide a small group to play at any Summer Fete that the schools might be holding during the summer.

So, a busy term approaches and let us hope that we can continue building the Academy groups. Please do your bit and advertise us to friends and relatives. Just £15 per term to receive brass and music tuition aligned with the new National Music curriculum, loan of an instrument, the opportunity to perform small concerts and make new friends is a really wonderful deal! Let us all work especially hard to get the Academy well and truly on the map.



Cory Band Concert:

As per my email some three weeks ago, the World famous Cory Brass Band from the Rhondda Valley in Wales are presenting a Concert on our very doorstep in Sturminster Newton’s ‘The Exchange’ on Saturday May the 27th at 7.30pm. This band is amazing and although I am not aware of the programme, it will have something for everyone. If you have not booked tickets yet I highly recommend that you do, it will be a concert above all others and will most certainly exceed your expectations. As this Newsletter goes out, the venue is about two-thirds booked.


Wessex Band Summer School:

This is a wonderful week of Brass and Wind music-making and education, open to both adults and younger people. The Wessex Band Course originated in 1970 when two young brass musicians, Andrew Pitts - Tuba (who I first joined a junior band with in Blandford – ‘The Stour Valley Band’) and John Grinnell – Trombone, had a wonderful vision of a Youth Brass Band course set in Blandford School at the very beginning of the school summer holiday. I attended two of these early courses which spanned a week from Monday to a Saturday and on Saturday evening, we performed a Concert. It was a superb and inspirational experience.

The course has since opened its’ entry to woodwind as well as brass and percussion players. It is based at Sturminster Newton High School and is non-residential although, there are camping facilities if one wishes to chance our unpredictable summer weather. They now run a Training Band for players of a Grade 1 to Grade 4 standard and a Senior Brass and Wind Band for Grade 4 and upwards. The course this year will run from Monday 31st July to Saturday the 5th August culminating in a concert at Sturminster High School.

If you are interested, please visit and/or contact me and I will be only too pleased to discuss it with you.


Gillingham Imperial Silver Band Structure:

There has been some confusion in the past with regard to the Gillingham Imperial Silver Band structure especially as far as the Academy is concerned. Therefore I thought I would just explain how things are set up in this Newsletter – here goes -



(meets on a Friday from 7.30-9.30pm)




Absolute Beginner Brass

(meets on a Tuesday 5.15-6pm)


Beginner Brass

(meets on a Tuesday 6-6.45pm)


Training Band

(meets on a Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm)


The overlap of Beginner Brass and Training Band is intentional – not a typo!

Hope this helps.


Academy returns -

We will be returning to the Academy on Tuesday the 18th April -

  • 5.15pm – Absolute Beginner Brass

  • 6pm Beginner Brass

  • 6.30pm Training Band


Looking forward to seeing you all then!!


Marcus Adams

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

07977 262805


MEA – ANL – 11/04/2023

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