When I was at school, Wednesday afternoons were 4 lessons of Maths. Now anyone who knows me can tell you I am not the best at Maths so the alternative was the school brass band, so off I went to join the band and I had ever determination I was sticking with it. I was given a cornet and I have stuck with it ever since.
I have always been happy with the cornet as an instrument, although I did get some ribbing at school about ‘ice cream, and it’s not quite as heavy to carry around as the tuba
It has a lovely pitch a very mellow sounding instrument, in the right hands and good at playing slow melodies.
Comradery is a big thing in the band. We all go to the pub after rehearsals and we have a laugh about different things. There is a little bit of ribbing – the trombones are generally considered to be the naughty ones in the band and the ones that make the noise.
There is a whole range of ages in the band from younger players who have come through the youth band, right to players who are in their 60s and 70s.
We play lots of different styles of music, popular music, classical, show and movie themes but probably the most popular is from the film Brassed Off, not sure if that is because it’s set in Yorkshire but our audiences really enjoy that music.
Brass Banding is one of the few branches of music where you actually compete. You have to practise them not just within the band, but at home too, so you make sure that you don’t let the team down. It is to do with stamina also. You produce the sound through your lips and your facial muscles. If you stop using them, it is like going for a jog when you have not been running for a week or two.
What makes a good brass band? Team spirit is the main thing with lots of hard work, although we do prefer players to make rehearsals as long as you communicate you are missing a rehearsal we can work around it. Occasionally things do go wrong – someone will miss a note or something will happen – but you just carry on.
Come and give it a try, you never you you may just enjoy it.
Lofthouse Brass Band MD