The Community Brass Band is one of CPP Hounslow’s ongoing participation projects. It is run in partnership with Hounslow Music Service and was developed as a result of consultation with a wide range of local people and community groups. Whilst the borough has a strong schools music service, there are very few music participation opportunities for adults. The Brass Band, based in Feltham, requires no previous experience of playing an instrument or reading music.
On 23rd February 2016 two professional Music Directors and the Feltham based Community Arts Worker waited in anticipation, wondering how many people will turn up after just a month of drumming up interest. To everyone’s surprise 18 people filled the room with their presence, excitement and eagerness to try out the various brass instruments. 14 out of the 18 people had never played an instrument or read music before. One of the Music Directors, Robbie Henderson, sums up his experience so far: “it is a real honour to be able to see the members of the ensemble progress and enjoy their time amongst their musically talented friends. Many of the players, who had never touched a brass instrument before, are now rehearsing and performing arrangements of The Planets, by Gustav Holst or even Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. Brass bands across the country have often been described as “one big happy family” and ours is no exception! With Brass Bands reaching a higher and higher standard, it keeps us all inspired to look towards the exciting future as a band and to see if one day in the distant future, we may be performing at grand venues.”
The group love to perform and welcome every opportunity as a chance to continuously grow and learn from the experiences, whilst spreading the word about the group itself. They have performed at local schools, been a part of national events like Get Creative and got the public singing along at Christmas concerts on the local high street!
When the band members were asked to give their thoughts about what it meant for them to be a part of Hounslow Community Brass Band this is what they said:
“Such a joy to have found a band that I could join, despite my limited knowledge and experience.Two excellent, friendly and very patient tutors. Really friendly, mixed age group members who made me feel welcome instantly.”
“Being a member of the Hounslow Community Brass Band has enabled me to re-capture the feeling of playing great music amongst a group of friendly and talented musicians. The ability to come together and take part in creating music has created challenges and does require some dedication and perseverance, but in the end the more effort you put into playing the music, the more enjoyable the experience.”
“I have always wanted to be part of a band, but never had the confidence. This opportunity has increased my confidence and enhanced my musical ability.”
“Never thought at the age of 55 that I would learn a new skill, but I was wrong. Joining the Hounslow Community Brass Band has started teaching me how to play cornet / trumpet, and improved my music knowledge. I have met new friends and found a new hobby, which brings fun and a sense of achievement to me. The group is friendly, supportive and great to be part of.”
“Joining the band has been the best thing I have done for a long time. I have learnt a lot and it is such fun playing in a group. The tutors are all excellent and it doesn’t matter if you have never played before although a bit of music background is an advantage.”
Hounslow Community Brass Band welcomes new members. To find out more contact firstname.lastname@example.org