Concert Band Celebrates 40th Anniversary
Last weekend the Concert Band celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a concert at the West Cliff Theatre, Clacton. With a theme of Bolero to the Big Bands, music included numbers from The Beatles, James Bond, Sousa, Lerner & Loewe, Radetsky, and Disney. In aid of St Helena Hospice, the concert raised £850 taking the band to over £10,000 raised for the Hospice in the past 10 years. With other charities that they support the overall total raised in the last 10 years is more than £40,000! As well as the financial successes, bandleader Graham Wilson is proud of the band’s achievements in other dimensions
Graham is most proud that the band continues to thrive on the ethos established by the band’s founder Sid Cooper. The band quickly grew from a bare 8 members to its current size; it only faltered when Sid died in 1990. At that time, the ball was very much in the air as debate surrounded two questions; should the band fold or strive to become something quite different and more serious? Fortunately, a middle road was found that retained the key element Sid insisted on, that the band should be all about fun music for all ages, whilst allowing its approach to mature over time.
For all ages & musical genres
Next up is a real USP, the band continues to keep a balance of all ages. Musicians young and old, all join in and are treated the same. The young players keep the band fresh and the older ones give it stability. The band has always been family friendly with many parents and children playing alongside each other throughout its history.
The band has always played a wide range of music to a high standard; playing classical through to classic and current pop/films/shows, the band has a repertoire of over 600 pieces and continues to expand it to keep things fresh.
The band has played over 150 concerts; it has also engaged with primary and secondary schools to encourage music. As a consequence, hundreds of young musicians have been encouraged on their musical journey by the band. There’s a lovely quote on the Band’s website about how inspiring the band has been from one of our early members, Michael England, who is now an international musical director.
How wonderful to hear that Sid’s band is still going strong, and celebrating such a milestone.
I wish you all the best with your celebrations, and the continued success of the band.
Sid inspired music for so many young musicians, so what a wonderful legacy he has left.
Graham concludes with the lovely thought that the band has been responsible for many lifelong friendships and weddings as a result of meeting at Band – including his own!
As he says:
It’s a lot of work – but people keep coming as the music is good, the people are great, and we have fun.
Want to Try for Yourself?
Friday 20th April (starting 7 pm) is the start of the band’s summer term rehearsals and Friday 27th April (also 7 pm), is an open rehearsal – either would be a great time for you to try the band out.
The band’s next event is a National Trust concert at Flatford on 10th June. If you want to find out more the band can be contacted through its conductor, Graham by email at [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”] or on 01206 824157.