The Egham Band Youth Brass Project
The Youth Brass Project is simply an idea to introduce opportunities for whole year groups of children to learn to play a brass instrument within school, perform at various events and continue to play after leaving school.
To be sustainable the instruments used during the year have to be purchased to remove the yearly hire costs and with the generous support of many individuals and organisations we were providing 90 instruments and helping to teach in two local schools.
During the summer after Year 5 they will be able to try other brass instruments and given the chance to continue to play on their cornet or a different chosen instrument. Opportunities for individual instruction and for graded exams will be available.
When appropriate students are invited to join The Egham Training Band, that now virtually all St Jude’s Brass take part in as well. The Egham Training Band has now grown to over 20 strong, and exists to give the children somewhere to play when they leave their Junior Schools plus as their ability increases they can have opportunities to move to the Egham Youth Band and the Senior Band.
In the 2020/21 school year we have taught brass to 60 children. We also continue to teach the students from previous years that have continued to learn brass. Those that have continued at St Jude’s have formed St Jude’s Brass and on leaving St Jude’s at the end of the school year are invited to join Egham Training Band providing a place where they can continue to learn as a group as well as perform in front of an audience.
The children from Year 5 are playing today on their p-cornets and the fledgling St Jude’s Brass are playing on their next level cornet which their parents are supporting the hire of. They all only started in September 2020 and in our view their high standard is remarkable for the short time since they first held a cornet, we are looking forward to continued developments in their ability in Year 6.
Depite the pandemic the Egham Training Band was restarted in June 2020 and continues to grow in numbers with new members joining after Easter and during the summer term as confidence and ability has grown. Their first live performace was held just before the end of term, with recordings being done at the end of the Christmas and Easter terms.
Covid has obviously caused a major curtailment of the face to face teaching. However, with fantastic support from the Headteacher Mrs Chiverton and all at St Jude’s, we have managed to keep going in a reduced way and as a result we produced the two recorded concerts and live End of Year Music Concert.
During Covid, fund raising has not been easy but we are determined to grow the number of children taking part and are looking to provide 140 p-cornets in September 2021 enabling us to introduce three whole year groups to playing a brass instrument and providing schools with ongoing Brass Ensembles to perform as part of the schools life.
From September 2021 it is our intention to return to teaching brass for year 4 at Thorpe Primary School and years 4 and 5 at St Judes. It is clear that starting in year 4 with three years before moving on to secondary school gives a child the best opportunity to start to learn a brass instrument and then develop on that instrument before either staying with the cornet or moving onto a new insrument.
This means that from September we will be teaching around 140 children from five classes. During Covid, fund raising has not been easy but we are determined to grow the number of children taking part and are looking to provide 140 p-cornets for September 2021 enabling us to introduce three whole year groups to playing a brass instrument and providing schools with ongoing Brass Ensembles to perform as part of the schools life.
Fundraising is an ever important part of our project as with anything in life nothing comes free. To date we have raised funds to purchase around 100 p-cornets to enable to loan the students one each so they are able to take them home to practice and play together. The Band has also loaned brass instruments for those in St Jude’s Brass that have continued to play. We are currently raising money to fund the additional 60 pCornets required to teach two classes.
We are very grateful for the donations we have received and continue to receive without which we would be unable to run the project. If you are able to help please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are not able to offer much in return for your donations, however, by donating you are supporting our future generation, not only to play a musical instrument, at no cost to the child, but also an activity that has been proven to support mental wellbeing, confidence, working together.
In return for your generosity we would be more than happy to add your name or company name/logo on our website/social media and in programmes involving the Youth Brass Project. Youwold also be more than welcome to come to concerts to watch and listen to what you have helped achieve.
United Church, Egham
Windsor & Eton 41 Club