Fenland band pleads: ‘Help us by donating your unwanted brass instruments’

08:30 06 July 2011

Photo: Teachers Clare Hall (second left) and Rhiannon Smart (far right) with learners Fin, John, Gemma, Imogen, Roy, Joseph and Jenny.

Photo: Teachers Clare Hall (second left) and Rhiannon Smart (far right) with learners Fin, John, Gemma, Imogen, Roy, Joseph and Jenny.

Archant

A FENLAND band are asking people to dig deep in their lofts to pass on forgotten brass instruments to help the next generation of musicians.

Manea Silver Band are holding an ‘Instrument Amnesty’ on Monday at the village’s methodist chapel. They are asking for any unwanted cornets, trombones, horns and any other brass instruments to be donated to help enable the band to continue attracting new players to brass band scene.

Last year the band ran a free summer school giving children - and adults - the chance to learn an instrument.

Band secretary Niki Williamson said: “The enthusiasm for the programme has been amazing.

“But to run the classes again we really need people to dig out old instruments they are not using any more and let someone else have a try. Or better still people can come along and take a refresher course.

“Manea is such a friendly band and we’ve had our ups and downs of late but we’re so proud of our players. This is a great chance for people to get involved with what we’re doing.”

Manea Silver Band was rounded in 1882 and was recognised as one of the best bands in Fenland until the group died out in the 1960s.

However, the band - a register charity - was revived in 1982 and its current musical director, Clare Hall, a teacher at Mildenhall College of Technology, said the brass band community provides a “great opportunity for friendship and laughter”.

The band plays a variety of songs, including chart hits from Black Eyed Peas and Bruno Mars, and will perform at Manea Gala, Ramsey Abbey Gardens and the Skylark Showground this summer.

• For more information about the band, or the amnesty, call Niki Williamson on 07912667743 or Clare Hall on 01354 680733.

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