A group of musicians from Alford Silver Band visited King Edward VI Academy in Spilsby earlier in the week to help raise awareness of live music and an understanding of brass band music in particular.
The visit was part of the band’s Educational Outreach Programme, which aims to take live music into local schools.
The band has visited many of primary schools in the last few years. But this was the band’s first visit to a senior school.
The visit was the brainchild of band member Charlotte Burton, who is the music teacher at King Edward VI Acadamy.
Charlotte first developed her love of music as a young girl, learning to play the cornet with the Alford Silver Band.
After gaining a first class honours degree in music at Salford university, she became a music teacher in a school in Northumberland. But she rejoined the band when she took the post at King Edward VI Acadamy last year.
“Young people often have a perception that brass bands are boring,” smiled band chairman Martin Briggs. “They are then amazed at the variety of music we actually play.
“It’s great to see the smiles on their faces when they hear us. And we are always keen to help young people learn a brass instrument.”
The band has a well established training section that teaches both youngsters and adults from scratch. Many of the trainees progress into the main band and some, like Charlotte go on to study music at university and make it their career.
“The band is fortunate to have two very gifted musicians bringing the youngsters on,” explained Martin. “Musical director Steve Walker is an internationally renown trumpet player and a qualified teacher. And he is assisted by Richard Walker (no relation), a virtuoso trombonist and ex Army musician.
“And with players like Charlotte around, there is never any shortage of high quality tuition.”
The group had already performed at Spilsby Primary School on Tuesday before going on to King Edward’s and both performances were very well received by the staff and pupils.
After the performance, which included an explanation of how each instrument works, King Edward’s pupils were given the opportunity to try a few of the instruments themselves.
“You can’t beat live music,” concluded Martin. “And you can’t lip-synch with a cornet,” he chuckled in a reference to the recent controversy over a performance by Beyonce.
Alford Silver Band offers expert tuition for just £1 per week per student, which includes the loan of an instrument.
Further information about the band including details of its training section, the Educational Outreach Programme and the band’s 2013 performance programme can be obtained from the band secretary, Jane Taylor via 01507 466330, or via email@example.com or from the band’s website: www.alfordsilverband.co.uk.