History of the Band
The band first met in September 2005 when about 30 adults and children, ranging in age from 10 to 65, joined together in the hall of Durrington Junior School. Prior to this there had been nothing in the village to enable children, who had started music at junior school and had played in the school band, to continue to play in any sort of group. Because many of the children were leaving the junior school with very commendable levels of playing ability, there seemed to be a real need for some continuity and the seeds for a Community Band were sown.
After just a few weeks it was evident that there was the making of a good band and it was not long before more people found out about us and joined. Membership then stood at around 40 of which about two thirds were under 18’s. A grant from the Local Network Fund enabled the purchase of music stands, a PC and software to enable music to be arranged to suit the group and the various levels of playing ability, and instruments to both enable players of high ability to advance their technique and, at the other end of the picture, to be able to loan instruments to children wanting to learn. We were also able to subsidise lessons where there was financial hardship.
After a few weeks, a committee, comprising children and adult members from each instrumental section, was formed to formalise the running of the band. The village Rector agreed to become band Chairman and a Treasurer and Secretary were appointed. The band adopted its own Constitution and all the necessary safeguards for good practice with children were put in place.
The band first appeared in public at the Village Carol Evening in December 2005 and went on to hold its first concert in the following spring. Local people gave the band full support and it now has a good reputation in the region and has been asked to play at other local events.
As its stated purpose the band exists primarily to provide an enjoyable continuity of practical music for all local children and adults, to ensure, where possible, that any child who wishes to learn an instrument has the opportunity to do so. Within this we hope to raise money to help others in need, particularly children.
As time has gone by, the band has taken on a more adult bias, many of the children from earlier days having moved on to university and other destinations. Several professional players have joined and the musical direction now has the benefit of these players giving a wide range of expertise on several genres of music.
In 2013 the need to provide training for all ages became evident and the training unit was formed with the intention that it dovetailed into the main band as players progressed.
We have formed a close link with Muzikzug Grafelde - a village band based in the Hanover Region of Germany and with Tenbury Wells Town Band.