Making music fun in east anglia

Background

Martlesham Brass was formed on 13th September 1996. In response to a great demand from brass musicians in the Martlesham area an organisation was set up with an original membership of 26 musicians and three Bandleaders. The idea behind the group is to provide an opportunity for people in and around the Martlesham area to learn to play brass instruments at minimal cost.

Since our formation, we have grown very quickly. We now have six Bandleaders, several Assistant Bandleaders and a very strong training structure. The band is run by its main committee which meets once a month. The band also has a fundraising committee who organise events to help raise funds to support the band's activities. The band holds an AGM each year at which the band administrators, bandleaders, and committee members are elected.

Martlesham Brass is split into 4 bands (beginners, preliminaries, intermediates and main). Most people play in one band only, with new entrants being placed in a band depending on musical ability. No previous experience is required to join Martlesham Brass - all we ask for from our members is enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. Beginner players are admitted as and when we can accomodate them. Through careful management of our resources, we try to ensure that new players are provided with an instrument within a few weeks of joining. The average age of the band is about 16, although we do have members as young as six and few over 60s (reaching into the 90s too).

Our main Friday practice takes place at St Michael's Church Centre with an additional smaller practice being held on Wednesday evenings at Beacon Hill primary school. As far as the musical ability of the band goes, the standard of performance has improved beyond all recognition since we started. Both traditional brass band music and more modern popular arrangements are performed. We have also arranged a number of pieces of music ourselves and try to encourage our members to develop other skills such as conducting. Members are also encouraged to help organise social events.

Over the years, we have discovered that Martlesham is a village with a great community spirit. We believe that the addition of a brass band to its attractions gives a lot of pleasure to its inhabitants. Activities that involve all people from young children to the elderly are rare and a valuable means of forging links within a community. We intend to continue to provide access to music for all - regardless of income, age or ability, and to promote the enjoyment of playing music together. As we continue to grow and improve, we hope to provide the opportunity for more and more people in our community to learn how to play brass instruments.

You can find out more about how our band started on our history page. A copy of our constitution is also available together with our policy statements relating to child protection, equal opportunities and structure, practice and progression.