WHIT SPIRIT BRASS BAND

If you're not going out, join in ...

So, it seems we're confined to barracks for a while (to quote Chuck Berry, we've no particular place to go!), but worse than that, this year's viral mess put paid to 'the greatest free show on Earth', the famous Saddleworth Whit Walks and Contests ... but we didn't let that stop us!

We marked the occasion, as bands have done since 1884, by pooling our creative skills and putting on a performance to celebrate both our geographical diversity and our solidarity through music:

What we did ...

We put together a new 'virtual brass band' and, on 5 June 2020, we released a music video of traditional favourites to evoke the memories and emotions of Whit Friday banding, featuring the Saddleworth 'Anthem', 'Hail Smiling Morn', a good old march, 'True & Trusty' and a beautiful hymn arrangement of 'Dear Lord & Father of Mankind'. Our movie is called 'To Saddleworth with Love' and it reflects the traditions, the landscapes, the people and the beauty of Saddleworth.

As part of our Whit Friday project, we also played hymns, alongside Diggle Community Brass, and a march to open Saddleworth Churches Online (this year) Whit Friday Morning Service, which you can view on this link.

We took the opportunity as well to enter a Whit Friday Online March Contest organised by Foden's Band. You can see our entry on this link.

We felt honoured, to win the Foden's 2020 Award for Spirit and Inspiration for our entry in their Whit Friday Online Band Contest. Congratulations to everyone involved!

In fact, you can see all of our Whit Spirit Whit Friday 2020 videos, including player interviews (in progress) all in one place, on this Playlist link.

Our follow-up project ...

We pooled our skills again to record a tribute to the famous Durham Miners' Gala, 'The Big Meeting', which this year would have marked its 149th event, has sadly also been cancelled. We released a movie to honour this great event and tradition on the originally scheduled date, Saturday 11 July 2020. Here is the resulting movie, which has been well-received in Durham!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our follow-up project ...

We have entered the Cory Band Online Band Championships 2020 and we are currently putting our movie together, a ten-minute 'entertainments' programme, for which we are fortunate to be mentored by Cory's Rob Nicholson (BBb Bass). Our entry must be submitted by 4 September and the Contest will be streamed and judged on the weekend of Saturday 19 to Sunday 20 September 2020.

How we are doing it ...

We're providing opportunities for Brass Banders to play and record audio and video with us online. We would like all regions, ages and abilities of players across our nation to be represented in our projects. We'd love to see you playing in your gardens, in your own streets, wearing your own band uniforms, perhaps half-closing your eyes and imagining yourselves striding through the packed streets of Durham, in front of exuberant crowds and under bright banners and big skies ...

We're posting updates and information on the Bored Bandsmen Facebook Group and also on our Four Hills Music Facebook Group . Contact us giving your name, instrument, regular band name and email address and we'll send you more details.

In brief, we record a 'click track' (bass line, guide melody) and send it to you, along with music relevant for your instrument. You practise it and record yourself on video, listening to the click track on headphones to keep in time and pitch. We collate everyone's recordings centrally and mix down a collaborative audio track and make a music video from what you send us.

How good do I have to be? ...

Anything goes. We can hide or 'fix' any duff notes (lol) ... but seriously, we don't want a perfect, 'elite' performance, rather we want to reflect the whole range of abilities and experience in the British brass banding universe, just as we experience and celebrate those things at the real events.

Who are we? ...

This is an independent project for the purpose of encouraging, entertaining and inspiring people everywhere to make and enjoy making music. In 'normal' times, we run some excellent local community music projects in Saddleworth, Oldham and London that include Enfield Film Orchestra, North London BrassEnglish Jazz Orchestra and North London Singers.

We are a team of professional musicians with decades of experience. In these difficult times,  we want to continue to use our talents to help yours shine brightly and most of all to bring hope.

Next steps ...

Email us on martyn.stogden@yahoo.co.uk or contact us on this link to let us know you're interested and for further details. If you're under age 18, you'll need to get permission from an adult, please).

If you're not going out, join in ...

Martyn and Claire Stogden

martyn.stogden@yahoo.co.uk

Enfield

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