Academy Newsletter - Spring 2022

GILLINGHAM IMPERIAL SILVER

BAND ACADEMY NEWSLETTER

SPRING (APRIL) 2022

 

Hope you all had a fantastic Easter; the weather was great so I am sure many of you were making the most of it to partake in a few outdoor activities. I put the finishing touches to a brick path that winds its’ way through our flower and veg beds which adds to the fine views I enjoy during early evenings practising the Cornet looking out onto the garden. The reds of brick and sandy coloured cement gets me thinking about the colours of sounds (tones) that we can produce on brass instruments. Ever thought about matching colours with the sounds of instruments? An exercise for the Summer term, it will be interesting to see what we all come up with and we will include percussion instruments.

 

RETURN TO BEGINNER BRASS AND TRAINING BAND – TUESDAY 26TH APRIL 2022

I am looking forward to meeting up with you all on Tuesday and setting out on a fun packed Summer term of music!

Beginner Brass – Tuesday 26th April – 6pm to 6.45pm

Training Band – Tuesday 26th April – 6.30pm to 7.20pm

As Training Band members will be aware from Steve’s mail out, your evening changes from a Friday to a Tuesday and I have spoken with a few members already to ask if that gives rise to any problems but so far so good. However, if there are any issues please do get in touch as I am here to help and will always do my best to ensure we give everyone the opportunity to enjoy developing brass playing skills.

I will be taking the Training Band from here and onwards, and I very much look forward to it. You may have heard that our long standing Music Director Jim Bennett who took the Training Band has sadly resigned from the Band. There are two reasons for the Training Band’s change of evening to a Tuesday; one is that I am away for quite a few Friday evenings throughout the year rehearsing in Salisbury and the second reason will become obvious later in this newsletter. I am hoping to increase Training Band playing membership in the near future and have a few ideas to help this along and also ideas for the progression from Beginner Brass to Training Band and Training Band to Main Band for those who are happy to move up a step. You will see there is an intentional overlap from 6.30 – 6.45pm of the Beginner Brass Group and the Training Band. I will make sure there are chairs/stands ready for Training Band members to seamlessly get into place alongside Beginner Brass for a valuable 15 minutes of joint music making. This will be good for both groups. The Beginner Brass will benefit in having Training Band members sat next to and playing along with them and Training Band will benefit in being part of a larger group. Once the Main Band have settled with a new Musical Director, I would like for any Training Band members who wish to do so, to join with the Main Band for say 15/20 minutes at the beginning of their rehearsal.

 

MAIN BAND RECRUITMENT DRIVE – MUSICAL DIRECTOR AND PLAYERS

The Main Band are seeking a new Musical Director and also musicians in most positions. Playing membership was a little short prior to the onset of Covid in the Spring of 2020 and by the time of our return in the Autumn of last year, it transpired that a Covid enforced ‘stand-down’ along with some work relocation issues had both played a part in reducing numbers to an even greater degree. To compound personnel issues even further, more players have left their Main Band seats over recent months due mainly to a significant shortage of players at rehearsals. Jim Bennett did a wonderful job as Musical Director with so few players to work with and was a pillar of strength as numbers sadly reduced. But, even for a guy as resilient as himself, Jim decided it was time to move on and tendered his resignation a few weeks ago. Like me, Jim is a visiting brass teacher and has been a great asset to the Band for about 8 years, he will be missed that is for sure. There has been interest in the job of Music Director already, and we will be auditioning a candidate next week (beginning the 25th April). In the meantime, if you know of any brass musicians without a Band then do mention us to them and equally alert us to them, thank you.

 

 

CONCERT ON THE 29TH MAY 2022 – CURRENTLY PENDING A DECISION TO RUN OR POSTPONE

The planned 29th May Concert may be postponed and sorry to be the bringer of disappointing news but the decision to put this event into the calendar was made prior to the departure of a further four players and the Musical Director. I am sure that once we appoint a new Musical Director, he/she will be looking to stage a Concert as soon as possible and practicable. As an Academy we will continue to rehearse a fine programme in readiness to support the Main Band whenever a Concert happens. Do keep the 29th May (3pm at the Olive Bowl, Gillingham) in diaries for now and I will push for an early decision on this one.

 

 

 

WHAT MUSIC WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY?

We have all got a favourite piece or pieces of music that we enjoy listening to so, if possible, why don’t we do our best to play such music. I am more than happy to arrange one or two new pieces each term and/or, if already written for Academy Band, to purchase a set of dots for us to work with. Do have a think before the next two rehearsals and we will put a list together of your Top 10 or Top 20 tunes and will begin looking for or arranging them in-house to play.

 

 

NEW ACADEMY MEMBERS – YOU CAN HELP

At the beginning of September if not before, I would like to put in place weekly group sessions for absolute beginner brass players. We will shortly approach local schools with Academy information for possible inclusion in school newsletters and any other media channels to parents. Some of you will recall that pre pandemic we took a small Main Band brass ensemble into St Mary the Virgin and Gillingham Primary schools and presented mini concerts for the children which I then backed up shortly afterwards with brass workshops to upper year groups and these in turn were followed by an information flyer to parents. This recruited a few new Academy members. Over recent years, St Mary the Virgin Primary School have been most supportive of the Academy and since the initial ensemble concert, we have been back to deliver another one and both myself and a former Gillingham Band player have visited to sound Last Post and Reveille for special Armistice Day services organised for the children. You can play your part in the recruitment process by spreading the word amongst friends, relatives and colleagues to ask/encourage them and/or their children to try out the Academy. We have plenty of instruments cleaned and serviced ready for use and just waiting for a new owner.

 

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Just a quick note to remind you about subscriptions please. £15 per term (£10 for any second family member) and payable in cash, cheque or Bank Transfer. The details for Bank Transfers I have listed below and if paying by this method, will you please let Steve or myself know which is even more important now as until the forthcoming Annual General Meeting, we do not have a Treasurer.

 

Bank details for Bank Transfers -

Lloyds Bank

Sort Code - 309345

Account Number – 00049337

 

Cheques – payable to Gillingham Imperial Silver Band

 

 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – FRIDAY 20TH MAY, 7.30PM, THE BANDROOM

All are invited to the Band Annual General Meeting in the Band Room on Friday the 20th May at 7.30pm. There are as you would expect, a number of Committee vacancies and in particular we require a Treasurer, Secretary and Publicity Officer. In the past, some Committee posts have included non playing members which is of benefit in several ways. It can be quite onerous for playing members dealing with a busy committee role in addition to practising and/or preparing for rehearsals and Band performances. Additionally, it is great to benefit from ideas and visions from people outside of the Band playing membership. So do come along if you can, all will be most welcome and do give some thought about joining in with the running of and rebuilding of a great Band. It is going to be a major job getting the Band back up to strength but it will be rewarding.

 

THANK YOU STEVE!!!!!!

A big thank you to Steve – always there at the Academy and during the Spring he stepped in at short notice with Elizabeth to cover my enforced Academy absences (Covid and some other nasty virus). Steve is a real Band stalwart and a real keystone!

 

 

THE BAND WILL PLAY ON!!!!!

 

 

Take care and best wishes to you all,

Marcus Adams

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07977 262805

 

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