The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, December 8, 2021


Britain's brass bands fear being blown away by virus curbs
Principal cornet player Mark Wilkinson (R) and solo trombonist John Barber of Foden's Band, pose for a photograph at their practice room in Bradwall Village Hall near Sandbach on February 9, 2021. A sign welcoming visitors to the northwestern market town of Sandbach calls it "Home of the World Famous Foden's Brass Band". Manager Mark Wilkinson, who has played in the band for 29 years, said that in normal times it would be the centre of members' social lives. Usually the band, which dates back to 1900, would perform 30 concerts a year and rehearse every Tuesday and Thursday for two hours. Paul ELLIS / AFP.

by Callum Paton



LONDON (AFP).- They have been central to working-class life in mining communities for decades but Britain's colliery brass bands say they are now fighting to survive due to coronavirus restrictions.

With Britain again under lockdown, brass bands are struggling from the lack of opportunity to perform and drum up crucial funds, or even to practise together.

Even the most famous among them -- the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, which inspired the 1996 film "Brassed Off!" starring Ewan McGregor-- has not escaped the effects.

"The issue really is about survival at the moment," Andrew Coe, director of the band, based in northern England and founded in 1917, told AFP.

"We were staring down the abyss of running out of money probably this summer," he said.

Known for their colourful uniforms and fierce rivalries, colliery brass bands have faced existential threats before, not least in the year-long national miners' strike over coal pit closures in 1984-85.

Coe said that the turbulent period under then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher had been "pivotal" for the amateur bands, associated with pits.

"Under great pressure, a lot of them did disappear, sadly," he said.

'Brink of extinction'

Since March last year when Britain imposed its first virus lockdown, bands have turned to online crowdfunding to cover costs like renting practice halls and paying salaried staff.

So far, more than £140,000 ($193,000, 160,000 euros) has been raised under the aegis of the Brass Bands England support organisation, which represents 400 bands in England and Wales.

Kenny Crookston, the organisation's chief executive, said that the money had been vital to giving traditional brass bands a future.

"It really is that serious for them. They are on the brink of extinction if they don't get some money in," he warned.

He said the funds had provided a lifeline not only to bands like Grimethorpe, which tours around the world, but smaller ones with just a handful of players.

The British government has also provided £1.6 billion to help keep all arts organisations afloat during the outbreak.

'Uncertainty'

Some top brass bands participate in international competitions and perform at high-profile venues, such as London's Albert Hall.

Smaller local bands normally appear in bandstands, at village halls or local marches.

But repeated changes in coronavirus restrictions have provided a series of false dawns.

"The biggest problem we have is that uncertainty," Crookston said.

Last year, when infection rates and deaths fell, some areas of the country saw restrictions eased, allowing bands to play under social distancing rules.

During that period, Brass Bands England worked closely with Britain's culture ministry and public health officials to provide specialist advice.

"A lot of bands went to a bit of expense and a bit of trouble to make the place spotlessly clean, put screens up, good ventilation... just to get the band back together partially," said Crookston.

But, as rules have tightened again, including another lockdown from last month, Brass Bands England has said all practising should stop.

There is currently no indication of when practices or performances will return.

Heart of life

Financial difficulties aside, bands are also concerned about the pandemic's lasting impact on local communities.

A sign welcoming visitors to the northwestern market town of Sandbach calls it "Home of the World Famous Foden's Brass Band".

Manager and cornet player Mark Wilkinson, who has been in the band for 29 years, said that in normal times it would be the centre of members' social lives.

Usually the band, which dates back to 1900, would perform 30 concerts a year and rehearse every Tuesday and Thursday for two hours.

"We feel so busy, we will spend a lot of time with each other," he said, adding that members, spouses and children were all friends with one another.

Foden's has managed to keep playing online, including organising regional competitions, judged remotely.

But it has been hard for the band to miss live performances, such as representing England in the European Brass Band Championships in Lithuania in May last year.

Solo trombonist and band chairman John Barber described the thrill of performing live as a "rollercoaster type of experience".

"When there are 25 or 26 people on stage who are absolutely giving it their all, it's not just the sheer volume and the timbre of the sound that quite literally pins you to your seat," he said.

"There's a collective responsibility and pride because you're representing your band."


© Agence France-Presse










Today's News

February 12, 2021

MFA, St. Petersburg exhibition focuses on Greek art created during the Geometric period

Jazz legend and fusion pioneer Chick Corea dies of cancer

Christie's to offer rare illuminated manuscripts from the Collection of Elaine and Alexandre P. Rosenberg

Shelburne Museum acquires John Singleton Copley portrait of Mrs. John Scollay

George and Martha Washington's hair among Presidential memorabilia up for auction

Exhibition presents some forty essential works by Mark Tobey

The Met announces Alex Da Corte as artist for 2021 Roof Garden Commission

Britain's brass bands fear being blown away by virus curbs

Frederick Douglass ALS leads Fine Books & Autographs at Swann

Forgotten at home, Italian comic strip enjoys cult status in ex-Yugoslavia

Berlin film festival to spotlight pandemic-era movies

Coin collection of the late Richard Plant is 100% sold at Dix Noonan Webb

Leslie Robertson, who engineered the World Trade Center, dies at 92

James Gunn, prizewinning science fiction author, dies at 97

National Book Foundation names new leader

Review: Shakespeare's baddies convene in 'All the Devils Are Here'

In Spain, virtuoso violinist pays tribute to war-torn Lebanon childhood

World War II Citroen truck for sale with H&H Classics

John Murphy named Director of Development and Donor Relations at MWPAI

New Orleans Museum of Art announces major fund and pledged endowment from Del and Ginger Hall

Timken Museum of Art names Kathleen Lundgren and Alexandra Davis Perez to its Board of Directors

George H.W. Bush Letter to Mikhail Gorbachev to be auctioned

Toledo Museum of Art promotes two to senior management roles

A vision of Asian American cinema that questions the very premise

A High Quality Website Shows You Care About your Company and its Customers

OtelMs Company │ Provide Best Hotel management Software

Is sports betting down to luck or is it really an art of skill?

Longest Running Hindi TV Daily Soaps

The Japan Culture & Arts Profitability Enhancement Project brings to you Video on Demand Adventures!

Follow these effective and simple tips to secure good grades in your Law college degree.

Guide to Travel With Younger Children - Why It's Important

How to Promote Art via Video on Facebook

5 Tips That'll Take Your Drone Photography to New Heights

How to get a cell phone with bad credit and no deposit

Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Car in Florida

Eyeshadow Palettes to Rock Day or Night

Where to Search for Rental Cars

How do Hemp Cigarettes Help You Quit Smoking

The Best Studio City Rehab Facilities




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful