We’re looking for new musicians! Flute player Emma tells us why she joined our Bournemouth band

Has lockdown got you thinking you’d like to pick up your instrument again and join a Bournemouth band? Or maybe your studies are on hold and you’re looking for a sociable group of musicians to join? Well, we’d love to hear from you. While we’re not able to rehearse together at the moment, we’re looking forward to the day we can. 

One of our flute players, Emma, knew she wanted to join a band back in 2014. Here, Emma tells us what she loves about the Bournemouth and District Concert Band (BDCB) and why she’s never looked back. 

Finding the right Bournemouth band

It can be a minefield trying to find the right band. You type ‘bands near me’ into the online search bar and a whole host of results come up. How do you know which one will suit you best?

Bournemouth and District Concert Band standing in front of bandstand in Bournemouth gardens

This is one of my favourite photos of band and sums us up! Photo @andrew_potter_photography

For me, I hadn’t played in a band for quite a few years and it was important I found the right one. As soon as I went along to a BDCB rehearsal I knew I wanted to be a part of it. At the time I was looking for a young-ish, vibrant band who was friendly and sociable, and that’s exactly what I found. I loved that BDCB had so many musicians and I could belong to something big and make new friends. Today we’ve grown to around 65 members ranging from teenagers to someone in their 80s. We welcome people of all ages from 14+ years old.

I joined in 2014 and I’ve never looked back. I’m now on the band committee which I love. Before signing up I had no idea how much work goes on behind the scenes and I feel privileged to be able to help. Everyone on the committee volunteers their time and it’s amazing what we can achieve together with the band’s support.

I’ve also had opportunities to push my comfort zone. Last year I was asked to perform a duet in our Autumn concert and my immediate reaction was NO! The thought of standing up to play in front of a large crowd of people terrifies me but I wanted to challenge myself. Somehow it was effortless, I really enjoyed the performance, and playing with someone else made it easier. Plus, the band was really supportive.

The music is varied

View of Bournemouth gardens from the bandstand and music on a stand

Our view from Bournemouth Bandstand during one of our summer performances

We practise and perform music from across many different genres. There’s a great balance between playing easier pieces and getting stuck in to difficult pieces where you can challenge yourself musically. There’s something for everyone to enjoy playing, from marches, dances and classical pieces to film music, Disney medleys and modern popular tunes.

My favourite part of the year is the summer term where we perform well-known easy-listening pieces in outdoor spaces like the Bournemouth bandstand or Highcliffe Castle. There’s always a buzz in the atmosphere, and when the sun is shining it’s even better!

We’re a sociable bunch of people

Band members doing white water rafting

Brave band members doing white water rafting on tour in Wales (I’m on the left waving!)

We’re not able to rehearse together at the moment because of the Coronavirus pandemic and our plans for 2020 are on hold. But, that hasn’t stopped us seeing each other’s faces online every week – oh no! We’ve been virtually meeting every Thursday where we’ve competed in quizzes and caught up with band members. Plus, Simon our Conductor has taken us through some pieces (while we’re all on mute!) so we can get some practise in. Our quiz nights get competitive!

During non-Covid-19 times we aim to get at least one social in the diary every term. We’ve done all sorts of activities including indoor climbing, outdoor games and eating lots of food. In 2018 we went on tour to Wales and loved it so much we’re hoping to visit somewhere new every couple of years or so. It’s a great way of getting to know members of the band. Our singing on the coach journey is questionable though!

Interested in joining? Get in touch

When we’re allowed to practise together safely again as a band, we’d love for you to come along to a rehearsal. There won’t be any pressure to join – you can come to a few rehearsals before we would ask you to join. Ideally you’ll be around Grade 5+ standard and have some band experience. If you’d like to get to know us sooner you can meet us virtually on Zoom 🙂

Email our band Chair Sue to find out more about BDCB:
Please tell me more about BDCB, I’m interested (email) >

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