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Torbay Concert Brass
During the late 70's and early 80's, Torbay boasted a Championship brass band and also a junior training band.
Early in 1983 it was apparent that very few young players were coming forward to join the band and the youngsters already there began growing up and moving on. Either to the Torbay brass band as a new player or college, University and other places of interest to them.
The ages of the players in this band ranged from 7 to 18. Many of them were bought to practise by parents and grandparents. Practise sessions were on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings. In those days our practise rooms were at the Castle Chambers in Torquay.
After struggling on with fewer and fewer youngsters coming to band, it was decided that sadly, the junior band was to be broken up. Those proficient enough were transferred to the Torbay Brass band as full players. Unfortunately, this left a few youngsters very unhappy at the prospect of not being able to meet and learn any more. The parents at the band room had a meeting and asked if it would be possible to rename the junior band and instead, form a band that would welcome ALL ages. There were surely adults somewhere who would like to try a new hobby and would be interested in coming along! This idea was taken further and it was suggested that us parents should also be more involved and prove it would work by becoming the first adult learners.
That evening Ann Goolding and Ros Ridler were given a loan of an instrument each and told to 'go home and see if you can get a noise out of it'! It was suggested that if our boys could teach us a simple scale in 2 weeks then the idea would be taken further.
A few other adults came forward; we were delighted to see the late Ted Atkinson join us. A player of many years standing who was feeling he had had enough of competing and just wanted to play 'for fun'. Then Brian Goss and a few others joined in. Our conductor, mentor and all round good sport was Dave Pilkington. How he suffered!
We struggled on and finally came to grips with reading the music, remembering the fingerings on our instrumenta and keeping half an eye on the frantis instructions Dave gave with his baton and we started making what some people would loosely call MUSIC!
Sadly, we had to loseDave a little while later as his work took him to another part of the country to live. We had some willing volunteers over the next few years, Sean and Brent to name a few.
Over the years, many playershave come and gone, we have formed some lasting friendships and generally had a great time. We have seen a complete learners come on to shine like real stars, we have had players from other bands move to the area and join us and we have even had some players join us from Torbay brass, just because they like the atmosphere in the band!
Initially we were called the Torbay Brass B band, but once we started inflicting ourselves on the public, we decided we needed a better name for ourselves. 'B' band made us seen somehow second rate. After a meeting we decided on the name Torbay Concert Brass Band, now shortened to Torbay Concert Brass.
Some of our original players are still with the band and we take great pride in our history. The way we started really with nothing and built ourselves up. We take great delight in welcoming new players - learners or established ones. There is no prejudice here. We are just a bunch of like-minded people who enjoy making music.