Appledore has it's very own village band, who we are all extremely proud of. They attend almost all major events in the village and is the jewel in Appledores crown. We managed to get a time out with Paul who is the bands Secretary to ask him a few questions.
- When & why was Appledore band formed?
There are records of a Town Band in Appledore a far back as the 1880's and records in the bands possession show that from the turn of the century this was a Brass Band. It existed until the 1920's when lack of support and players caused it to be disbanded. The current band is the continuation of a Silver Band formed by Appledore Boys Brigade in 1942.
The Boys Brigade closed down in 1965 but the band continued under the stewardship of Arthur Boyles MBE. Arthur was able to convince 30 people to join the band, 18 Ex-Boys Brigade bandsmen and the rest who were willing to learn! With support from the church council, music theory, fingering was taught in the vicarage once per week and band practice was held in the church school on another. The Appledore Silver Band as it became known was, and still is very much a community band.
Brass Banding is a very social activity and members join not only to learn and further their musical skills but also to participate in the comradery that playing together brings.
- What instruments do you have in the band?
The band is very much a traditional brass band with traditional instruments;
Cornets - These are like trumpets but more compact
Soprano Cornet - This is a retuned cornet which is able to reach much higher notes
Eb Horns - These are the brass band equivalents of a French Horn which you would see in an orchestra
Flugel Horn - This instrument looks like a larger cornet and sounds somewhere between a cornet and a horn
Baritone - A little larger than a Horn
Euphonium - A little larger than a Baritone but not quite a Bass
Eb Bass - Large Bass instrument (but not the biggest!)
Bb Bass - The Largest instrument in the Band (Don’t play this one if you live on the top floor of a block of flats!)
Trombone - Jim would say the best instrument in band (Jim played trombone professionally for the BBC!)
Bass Trombone - A Larger Trombone
Percussion, including drum kit, Timpani, Glockenspiel, Bells and a variety of things that can be bashed and blown!
- What is the bands biggest achievement to date?
We would have to say that our greatest achievement is teaching and training the numerous people (adults and children) who through the band learn to read music and play a brass instrument. The band invests not only hours and hours of time but also thousands of pounds every year on this and is a real jewel for locals wanting to learn to play a brass instrument.
- What is the highlight of the bands annual calendar?
Undoubtedly the Appledore Last Night at the Proms Concert which is the final performance on the quay of our summer season. This has become a true highlight of the Appledore Calendar and attracts hundreds of people to the village for the event.
- If anyone was looking to join the band, could they? If so, how would they go about it?
We are always happy to accommodate new members. Non players / learners can join our training band who meet on Monday evenings. Those that can already play a brass instrument and read music can join the main band who rehearse on Mondays and Wednesdays. We can provide the loan of an instrument and uniform. Interested people should contact us via the band website: www.appledoreband.org.uk