Thank you for the music

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With an incredible 200-year history, the Gillingham Imperial Silver Band is now looking for new players

With an incredible 200-year history, the Gillingham Imperial Silver Band
is now looking for new players

At the recent Gillingham Town Meadow Fete, The Gillingham Imperial Silver Band (GISB) gathered to play a vivid programme of popular music. The six-piece ensemble drew the attention of many in the crowd to the world of brass, and in between musical sets the players engaged with the public to answer questions. Those who were interested were able to try one or more of the various brass instruments on display, such as the trombone, tuba and cornets.
The performance however not only involved playing but also recruiting, because the GISB urgently needs more members to help it thrive. Following the recent break in ‘live’ playing, plus work relocations, a significant number of players have not returned to the band, leaving it desperately short of players. “Without a successful recruitment drive this long-standing town band is in danger of folding,” says Marcus Adams of Adams Music.
The GISB traces its origins back to the 1800s when it was first known as a jazz band. Following a break in playing during World War One, the band reconvened and then became a brass band in 1928.

With an incredible 200-year history, the Gillingham Imperial Silver Band  is now looking for new players

Brass or silver?
Well, if you’re wondering, these days there’s no difference. Silver-plated instruments were once used, and were always deemed more expensive than brass, and so a ‘silver band’ was believed to be a little more superior. However, the key is that these bands are the epitome of a community.
Historically, young players would learn from the more established players, practise hard and hope to get a place in the main band as their skills and knowledge developed. Indeed, the GISB has both a Main Senior Band and an Academy Band in two tiers – Beginner Brass and Training Band – offering excellent brass-playing opportunities for both current and potential players.
While a small group perform together in many styles of music, Marcus Adams says: “The Senior Band, with its current low player numbers (it should be at least 25), is unable to engage in carnivals, parades, and contests without the help of players from neighbouring bands.”
The GISB will do everything in their power to ‘keep the show on the road’, arranging 10-piece and smaller group compositions themselves, but emphasise the opportunities for all ages and standards of musicianship from Key Stage 2 upwards.
If you’re interested in becoming an engaging part of the community, get in touch via the band’s website www.gisb.co.uk, the group’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/groups/86966453901 or by emailing Marcus Adams adamsmusic@btinternet.com.

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