Past, Present and Future
There has been a band in Alford since the 1860s, when the town formed a Rifle Brigade Band, in common with many other towns and cities throughout the country. This early band later became the Excelsior Band until 1900, when it divided into two separate bands.
The outbreak of World War I and the loss of many players to the armed forces caused the suspension of the brass bands in Alford, and it was not until the 1920s that a band reformed. This was initially in the guise of the British Legion Band, but which then changed to become the Alford Town Band, the first to bear the town’s proud name. Sadly, the outbreak of World War II saw the demise of this band.
The modern Alford Silver Band reformed in the 1960s and has gone from strength to strength ever since.
Today, this popular band has over 60 playing members, including a large Training Section (predominantly youngsters but also with a number of adults who have decided to learn a brass instrument in their more mature years).
Unlike some of the more “household-name” bands, we do not compete in brass band contests; nor are we a ‘marching’ band. Alford Silver Band is a straightforward concert band that enjoys making good music and entertaining people. The band has a wide ranging repertoire of music from the classics to pop, and everything in between. And more music is being added to the extensive library all the time.
The players are all unpaid and play just for fun, though many also play for other bands, some on a semi-professional basis. Many travel considerable distances to be a member of Alford Silver Band. There is a lot of musical talent in the band.
And the Band enjoys an enthusiastic following!
We are very fortunate to have a gifted Assistant Conductor in the guise of Richard Walker. Richard, himself a gifted virtuoso trombonist, is a former army musician who again is guaranteed to get the best of any performance from the band.
They also manage the Training Section between them, aided by a number of the more experienced players who act as mentors to the trainees. Many of the trainees have progressed through to the Senior Band and some have gone on to study music at university and become professional musicians. Parents and guardians of young people playing with the band can be confident that the youngsters are properly looked after as the Band has a robust Child Protection policy and a dedicated Welfare Officer for the young people.
This expert tuition in the Training Section is provided at a cost of just £1 per week per individual … and even the instruments are provided by the Band!
Managed by a hard-working committee formed from within the membership, the Band is largely self-funding through subscription paid by the Senior Band players, topped-up through competitively priced charges for performances. However, the Band is fortunate from time to time in attracting grants to purchase replacement instruments and uniforms.
The Band rehearses every Wednesday evening in its own, dedicated Rehearsal Centre, located behind the Alford Foodstore (Co-Op). The “Starter” class for those with absolutely no musical experience starts at 6.00 pm, followed by the main Training Section at 6.30 pm. The Senior Band then rehearses from 7.45 pm to 9.15 pm.
To ensure the future of this talented Band, there is a constant need for new players to replace those who leave the area through work, or go on to university, or who just get to the end of their playing careers! All new players are assured of a warm welcome whatever their standard, the chance to make new friends and the opportunity to improve their playing.
More details about the band, including a list of current engagements, how to book the band and even how to join the band can be obtained from the Secretary, Jane Taylor via 01507 466330, or via firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the Band’s website: www.alfordsilverband.co.uk