The Christmas period saw the Band playing at a number of local venues, including Syston Town’s Christmas Festival, Carols in the Square and their own Christmas Concert at the Masonic Hall. Christmas is always the busiest time in any brass band’s calendar, and Syston Band is no exception; so, after a hectic festive season, and having played what must be hundreds of carols, the band always look forward to a New Year break. But the New Year brings the beginning of the competition season so January saw preparations well under way for this spring’s contests.
Excellent results in the last two year’s national contest has earned Syston Band promotion to the Third Section (banding’s version of the football league). A passer-by going past the bandroom at the moment might be forgiven for thinking ‘I wonder why they play that so often’. The answer is that for the national competition every band is required to play the same piece of music. For 2019 the third section test piece is Gustav Holst’s ‘First Suite in Eb’. Syston Band will have competed with this in Oxford in February before the ‘big one’, the regional heats of the National Championship (known in banding as ‘the Area’) in Kenilworth in March.
Interested in playing? The band welcome new players of all ages and abilities. At the moment they are looking particularly for Bass players, Trombones and Cornets to complete the line up for their forthcoming contests. However, players in all sections can be assured of a friendly welcome.
The band meets on Monday evening 7.30pm to 9.30pm at the band hut on Central Park, Syston.
For more details call 0116 288 2218, email the band at [email protected] Contact them via their website www.systonband.co.uk Or drop in to the band hut on a practice night and have a chat.
Funding Grants Syston Band has been doubly fortunate recently to receive two financial awards. Syston Town Council have given an £125 contribution towards the band’s Youth Development Project.
Charnwood Borough Council (CBC) has awarded £3,000 toward the refurbishment of some of the band’s instrument stock. Brass band instruments are an expensive commodity; for example, a Euphonium can cost over £6,000 and a BBb Bass over £10,000. However, a refurbishment costing a fraction of this can extend the life of an instrument by many years. Syston Band provides instruments, music and uniforms free of charge and is grateful to CBC for their help in ensuring the availability of serviceable instruments for present and future members.
Syston Band Chairman, Dave Houseman, told the Syston Town News that the Band acknowledges the time and hard work that Committee Member Derek Burden devotes to sourcing grants.
Furthermore, the Band would like to express their gratitude to Syston Town Council and Charnwood Borough Council for their generosity. In particular thanks go to Councillors Eric Vardy, Ken Pacey and Tom Barkley for their support and encouragement.
With the help of a generous donation from the Chris Moore Foundation Fund, Syston Band are in a position to offer assistance to young players interested in learning to play a brass instrument.
Until recently Syston Band maintained its own beginner band. Called Syston Training Band; beginners and young players were provided with an instrument and music, and were able to receive tuition and mentoring from the band’s more experienced players. Some of these experienced players began their playing career in a similar organisation. But most began to learn music in school, with instruments and teaching provided free of charge. Sadly, the times when an education authority could fund music in schools, available to all who wanted it, are no longer with us.
One such player who first picked up an instrument and learned to play at school is Syston man Chris Moore. Syston Band’s longest serving Principal Cornet player Chris is currently taking a break from playing though his association with the Band remains as strong as ever.
Chris says he’s loved his time in banding, that though music he’s made life-long friends, been to great places and met some great people. “Being part of a music community means that it doesn’t matter what age, gender or walk of life you’re from, you can be part of a team that comes together for the same purpose … no matter what your ability or where you go or what you play … there will be a place for you”.
In establishing this scholarship fund Chris wants to be able to offer budding musicians the same opportunities that he had – and he hopes they’ll have just as much fun.
For more details or to register your interest email [email protected]
Band President David Elsmore
It is with deep regret that we have to report the death of our Band President, Mr David Elsmore. Before ill-health forced his retirement from playing, trombonist David was for many years Syston Bands hard-working and dedicated Band Master. A Syston man through and through, as Band Master, and then as President, David was tireless in his enthusiasm and a formidable negotiator on the band’s behalf. No matter what the band’s fortunes David was unwavering in his dedication to the band and in his confidence for its future. He will be greatly missed.