£25,000 gift helps Alford Band to grow

Alford Band
Alford Band

A charity which wishes to remain anonymous has donated £25,000 to the popular Alford Silver Band to fund a major extension to its rehearsal centre.

Despite being one of the smaller towns in East Lindsey, Alford boasts a very successful and very popular silver band.

So successful has the band become in the last few years that its rehearsal room, which was purpose-built in the 1970s became just too small to accommodate the band.

“It became quite a squeeze,” commented the band’s chairman, Martin Briggs. “At some rehearsals there was a very real danger of some of the band members having to play in the car park. But we are a not-for-profit organisation and didn‘t have the funds to do anything about it.”

But then the charity stepped in and provided the money for the band to build its much needed extension.

“The donation was in recognition of the work we do with young people,” continued Martin. “We have a thriving training section, much of which is made up of youngsters. We provide them with an instrument and expert musical tuition, but more importantly give them a sense of self-discipline in a structured environment. They learn alongside the more mature trainees, and are mentored by players from the main band.”

He added, “It is a shame that we cannot publicly thank the charity concerned. They have done so much to help the band. But we do respect their wish to remain anonymous.”

Many of the band’s young trainees go on to play in the senior band, with some going on to university to make music their career.

The latest example is Josh Wilkinson who came up through the training section to become the band’s youngest ever principal cornet, before going on to York University to study music last September.

The success is largely down to the band’s professional musical director, Steve Walker.

Mr Walker manages to find time for the band in addition to his highly successful career as an internationally-renown trumpet player.

“We are very lucky to have Steve,” said Martin.

“Not only is he an excellent musical director, but he is a qualified teacher as well and really brings the youngsters on.

“And with Steve and the extra room, the band’s future is looking very good indeed.”

The band was also assisted by a small grant by one of the two East Lindsey District Council ward councillors. Coun Jean Bradley recently donated £200 to help the band improve its access for disabled players and visitors.

l New members are always welcomed to the band and anyone interested should contact the band secretary, Jane Taylor on 01507 466330 or via secretary@alfordsilverband.co.uk