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Christchurch U3A Training Band

From the early formation of Christchurch U3A Brass Ensemble, later to be called Vintage Brass, it was felt that a facility to encourage members to learn to play a brass instrument should be put in place. From this idea it was decided to create a group, within Christchurch U3A, to teach the art of brass playing, and to encourage those who had previously played to renew their interest. It was called the Beginners Group. It was then decided that those who had advanced within the Beginners Group, should have some facility to advance their knowledge and expertise gained in the beginners group and to further encourage those who wished to progress into Vintage Brass. Consequently a group within Christchurch U3A was formed and called the Intermediate Group. Slowly this group grew in size, as did the ability of those involved. The group became more and more interested in playing as a band, rather than having individual lessons, so music was obtained to fulfil that desire. It became obvious that this group was performing as a small band and the title Training Band slowly came into existence.

The Training Band continues to improve and has performed at several Vintage Brass concerts.

Any member of Christchurch U3A who has played a brass instrument in the past, and would like to take up the art again, is very welcome to join the Training Band, with a view, hopefully, of joining Vintage Brass. Anyone not in Christchurch U3A and in the same situation of being a past player can join the Training Band by simply joining Christchurch U3A. 

Protocol for moving from Vintage Brass Training Band (TB) to Main Band (MB)

1.	The TB leader and the MB Musical Director agree that a particular TB player has the potential to flourish in the Main Band.  Evidence of this would be shown by the player being able to play a range of music:

Vintage Training - Brass Scale Sheet 1
Vintage Training - Rhythm Sheet 1
Vintage Training - Lip Flexibility Exercises Sheet 1

Plus all of the tunes in the 'New Horizons for the Young Brass Player ' book by John Ridgeon.

If possible, the MB Musical Director assesses all potential new members of MB prior to their acceptance in MB, with regard to their ability to meet the above minimum requirements.

2.	The potential MB player then is invited to sit in with MB rehearsals for a free 'trial' period of 4 weeks.  After this both the player and the MB Musical Director would need to decide if it's right for them and the band.

3.	If a transfer to MB is agreed the player, must then start paying membership subscriptions to both Vintage Brass and Christchurch U3A within 4 weeks.  Otherwise the  player reverts to TB.
 
These arrangements would also set a minimum standard of playing for any player to be able to sit in on MB rehearsals, whether from TB or from outside or to join MB from outside.  Any exceptions to this would be at the discretion of the MB Musical Director.

Vintage Brass Management Team

Chairman *Peter Guntrip
Musical Director *Steve Chislett
Band Secretary *John Wingfield
Treasurer *Janice Miller
Concert Organizer *Tony Kent
Website/Facebook *George Watts
Band Representative *Cynthia Godley
General Representative *Tony Hartle
General Representative *Roy Oxford
PublicityKate Sax
LibrarianRay Pickett
Assistant LibrarianRay Breakingbury
 * = Committee Member

The Support Team

Our support team works behind the scenes to make the group a success. Husbands, wives and their friends sell tickets; serve refreshments; work front of house as ushers and ticket collectors; set up and takedown chairs before and after concerts, etc, etc. They ensure that our concerts run smoothly. Their contribution doesn't end there, most are involved in fund raising one way or the other.

Examples of direct fund raising activities Include a Car Boot Sale (£70), a picnic with a competition to guess the weight of a Marrow, sale of surplus allotment vegetables and sale of home made Pavlovas (£61). homemade Jam sale (£88); skittles evening (£158) sale of hand made quilts (£80)

You name it, the support team have done il. Bring & buy sales A sponsored walk from Salisbury to Christchurch. Sundays spent manning a water station for the New Forest 10mile run, and marshalling their 1/2 and full Marathons plus the Bournemouth Bay 1/2 Marathon etc. etc. These money raising activities, plus surpluses from concerts, have enabled us to make significant capital purchases; music stand banners, E & B flat basses; Timpani and a Glockenspiel: Flugel Horn and additional Uniform Jackets, as well as covering the cost of music and the day to day expenses incurred in running Vintage Brass.

Some of the Group have made indirect personal contributions by repairing instruments in return for a donation to Band funds or by purchasing music and donating it to the Band. Thanks to all of you for your generosity.

If your contribution has not been mentioned we are sorry, it does not mean that you are unappreciated, it is just that we have run out of space. Whoever you are and whatever you have done to support Vintage Brass a very big THANK YOU from the Committee. All of us enjoy making music, it gives us a lot of pleasure which we are delighted to share with you too

Vacancies in our band

We currently have vacancies for:

Where we practice & how to join us

The band practices on a Monday from 1:45 to 3:45 pm at the St James Institute, Stourfield Road, Southbourne, BH5 2AR. If you are interested in joining us or coming to a practice session, please get in touch via the 'Contact Us' button on the 'Home Page'.