Wadhurst Brass Band
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March 2009 Concert
[photos Michael Flegg]
Spring Concert 2008 [Michael Flegg photo]
Wadhurst Brass Band is a group of friends from all walks of life who share a love of music making and entertaining local communities.
A brass band thrived in Wadhurst village in the late 1800s but faded away after World War II. The present band owes its' life to Algy Hoare. As a teacher at the Secondary School, now Uplands Community College, he introduced brass lessons in the fifties. He formed a school band in 1960 and he and his players became great ambassadors for the school. Success led naturally into the "Youth Band" that evolved in 1974 into the "Wadhurst Brass Band" that we all know.
Under Algy's baton, the band developed a friendly and welcoming style in which players both young and old were able to develop their musicianship. Most of all he encouraged his band to enjoy their music and playing for others. Locals came to love the easy wit with which he provided little snippets of introduction to each piece. in 1998, Algy hung up his baton which was taken up by Ken Rich the current leader.
Ken's association with brass bands goes back over 50 years. He has conducted since 1965 and has taught many a young person to play brass instruments. Ken has won prizes for his conducting and has appeared at famous venues such as the Royal Albert Hall for the National Brass Band Finals. During the last three years, he has helped to develop Wadhurst Brass Band into the successful Band that it is today.
The band has thrived and has travelled to Germany three times for highly acclaimed concert tours. As a friendly face of local culture it provides lively entertainment to all.
The band has played at receptions for High Sheriffs, Chairmen of County Councils, innumerable wedding receptions and private functions. Local fetes and festivals feel just right with the mellow tones of brass. It frequently plays for church services where the acoustics often add a special poignancy. Poppy Day and the Hospice in the Weald charity events are another welcome chance to add quality live music to the occasion. Two favourite locations are Hever Castle and The Pantiles bandstand, perfect backdrops on a summer day, to introduce foreign visitors to the very English sound of a brass band.
Two concerts are normally given in Wadhurst each year, one in the spring and the other at Christmas. Rehearsals are held on Thursday between 8.00pm and 9.45pm at Uplands Community College Music Block in Wadhurst.
The newly formed Youth Section of the band rehearses at 7.00pm on Thursdays welcoming beginners and players from many schools in East Sussex and Kent.
Much of this activity earns the cash necessary to help with the high cost of instruments needed to encourage young players in particular. Some members have survived from the original school band of twenty years ago. Others are welcome newcomers often travelling long distances each week to play. Concerts in Wadhurst have provided a platform for many a young musician, giving some a first experience of an audience. The band is a lively and happy unit, always on the lookout to welcome young people to form a new generation of players. Easy music on cassette, disc or video has not diminished demand for live music to be heard, seen and above all, played.
"If music be the food of love - play on!" Nourishing music is alive in Wadhurst and its Band will indeed - Play on!