Meet Janet, our very first adult band member

Janet on 2nd clarinet tells us how the band has evolved from her very first day in 1990 to now.

Hi, I’m Janet and I play 2nd clarinet in the Bournemouth and District Concert Band.

Janet BADCB clarinet player I was the first adult member of the band from outside Kingsleigh School (now Bourne Academy) and joined in the autumn term of 1990. I became involved with the band after a chance conversation with Steve Williams (the founder and, at the time, musical director) at a staff social for Bovington Middle School where I worked with Steve’s wife, Mary. I mentioned that I played clarinet and used to play with the South Devon Music Centre wind band when I was at school.

The following week I found myself going along to my first rehearsal at Kingsleigh School. I remember thinking there were a lot of girls with frizzy blonde hair (1990s fashion!). Two of those girls are still in the band although their hair is no longer frizzy!

The band has evolved over the years and, although I had some years out from playing, due to having three boys, I have many memories of my time. There was the introduction of a red waistcoat with a yellow badge as part of our uniform (I don’t think that lasted very long!) to the change of name from Kingsleigh Concert Band to the band’s current name and logo.

I also remember competing in several regional band competitions in Chepstow and going on a couple of trips to the finals in Manchester. The finals were always a nerve-wracking experience and I can remember the change in acoustics made it sound to me as if I was the only clarinet playing!

Music and concerts

With the band I have played an eclectic choice of music: from dance band music to Shostakovich and Philip Sparke compositions, to medleys of Abba tunes, Phantom of the Opera and MissSaigon.

Venues for concerts have ranged from the bandstand at Bournemouth to the Tivoli Theatre in Wimborne; The Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) and Highcliffe Castle as well as numerous churches and community halls.

Over the years there have been many players that have come and gone but it’s surprising how many people in the local area have had some association with the band.

It’s great to see that the band has not only survived but continues to thrive to this day, with a great mix of individual players who come together every week because they enjoy making music together.

By Janet on clarinet