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Brass bands trumpet their success

PUBLISHED: 18:10 15 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:44 02 July 2010

Sam Emanuel

Brass bands across the country might be on the brink of extinction, but business is certainly booming for one Norfolk band which has members spanning eight decades.

Brass bands across the country might be on the brink of extinction, but business is certainly booming for one Norfolk band which has members spanning eight decades.

The struggle of brass bands has been well documented this year through shows like BBC2's Band of Britain, in which Sue Perkins attempts to save The Dinnington Colliery Band from extinction.

But the Taverham Brass Band now has 47 musicians, with members aged from 12 to 81, and attributes its success to the fact it's willing to diversify.

The band's musical director, Ian Colman, said: “There is a great demand for local entertainment - 2009 was our busiest year ever. “But an insular attitude stretching back centuries is potentially killing some bands and the support for them.

“The band is a hobby and many members have family and work commitments, but by knowing and researching both your internal and external market you can structure the band and structure the music to entertain both performer and customer alike.

“The balance of youth and experience is key as imbalance either way can store problems for the future.

“Our band has had a clear ethos - to enjoy our playing and comradeship, to entertain others, to raise money to support our existence and for other causes and to give opportunity for learning and progression.

“We undertake around 30 concerts per year including five concerts in our village which sell out two months in advance.”

Another brass band in Norfolk which is doing well and raising money for charity is the Hellesdon and Sprowston Brass Band, which will be holding a charity concert this month.

The show will take place on Friday, April 23 at 7.30pm in the Dussindale Centre on Pound Lane, Thorpe St Andrew, to raise money for Leeway, a charity which helps domestic violence victims.

Ticket are £5, with under 14s going free, and refreshments are available. For tickets, email handsband@yahoo.co.uk or go into Sainsbury's, Pound Lane, Thorpe St Andrew.

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