Wish us Luck!

January-2024-Happy new year

Happy New Year from Sherborne Town Band. Can you believe another year has flown by and what a year it was for us!

Like all organisations the band has had its highs and lows, we have had to say our last goodbyes to two loved and integral people of the band- our president Mr Stuart Hunter and our secretary Jo Derrick. These lovely and dedicated people were part of the fabric our musical community and were friends and family to all of us, they will be very sadly missed. We have also had constant prayers and positive thoughts for our principal cornet, Ian (Moley) Miles who has overcome massive personal illness to finally join us at the remembrance parade at the end of 2023. There wasn’t a dry eye in the band when Ian took his rightful place to play the last post and sunset at the Abbey.

2023 started with the normal post-Christmas tired lips- after the carolling, the abbey concerts, the Christmas tree festival and the boxing day tradition of playing in the Yeatman to the patients and the hard-working staff.

The beginning of the year starts with the ‘contest’ piece, contest I hear you say-brass bands contest??? Yes, thousands of bands across the UK (all sectioned like football) (youth, 4th,3rd,2nd,1st and champion sections) learn and perfect a piece of music -each section is given a different piece. We were in the 1st section in the southwest and headed down to Torquay on a rainy day in March to contend. We were down with Moley being ill but had great support from local musician David Bertie, some new members from ‘up north’ and two new American members who just couldn’t comprehend that a couple of adjudicators would sit in a box and listen to around 100 bands. And no, we didn’t know what time the bus would be coming back, Seth and Barbara!

After a good performance but feeling a little flat we discovered we had been placed 3rd and the points system gave us an invite to the National Finals of Great Britain and promotion to the champion section! This was fantastic, unexpected and as the chairman with his head in his hand said, well I can’t write what he said but expensive was in there somewhere!

Dave Shead our enthusiastic conductor had to work us hard to practise a new piece for the finals, put on concerts over the spring and summer and in September we travelled to Cheltenham to do our best. We were proud of our performance and had amazing feed back from our travelling fan club (my mum) and great remarks from the adjudicators, we were placed 19th. I’m going to spin this for the Sherborne community as 19th out of the 100 or so bands in the first section, in the whole of the UK! It’s a fantastic achievement and especially against all the odds.

One thing we all noticed was that other bands representing different areas of the UK made our band seem, how do I put this delicately? Um, well … we seemed quite mature which has led us to focus on our youth section. The best thing about brass bands is how accessible and levelling they can be. Male /female and older/younger, it’s all about the talent.  We have a group of budding learners led by Jim Bennett but would like to expand this section and promote the youth band by offering this for free from, well now-January 2024. We do have a few instruments available and will be seeking fund raising, donations and possibly sponsorship opportunities. With the cost of living so high, sadly music lessons can be an expensive and the next generation of brass players will be missed if we don’t help. We hope that by offering free group sessions more children can have the opportunity to experience music, benefiting the children, the schools, and the wider community. But to sustain this idea we will need the support of Sherborne and the local areas. Instruments are expensive and maintaining them a constant task so look out for future promotions.  

We would like to welcome Jonny Andrews as our new president and thank the Sherborne council for their continued support.

We also need to fill some vital sections in the main band so please contact us if you are a high standard brass player, especially cornet/soprano players or percussionist that would like to join our hard-working band, fun loving, music making band.

So, with that said the members of Sherborne Town Band would like to wish Sherborne a Happy New Year. Thank you for your support over 2023 and your continued support over 2024.