Spotlight on: Martin – one year at BDCB

One year at BDCB flies by! Martin, one of our saxophonists, joined us last year and shares his experience of joining and playing with the band…

Before joining Bournemouth and District Concert Band in January 2023, I must admit, I wasn’t even aware that a local concert band scene existed.

Martin profile photo

Previously, I had played mostly in small ensembles and combos: in hotel/pub trios and quartets playing MOTR dance music; a six-piece Cuban Son party band; and various 4/5-piece rock and pop bands. And, although I have also been part of an 18-piece salsa band, (and the occasional big band), the nearly 70-piece Bournemouth and District Concert Band was quite a step up in size for me and was therefore a new challenge in a number of ways.

A big warm welcome

There were so many musicians and instruments in the same one room! It was daunting. But, on my first Thursday evening rehearsal, I clearly remember being warmly welcomed and thanked for coming by Simon the Conductor, Nick the Bandmaster, and Sue the Committee Chair. They do this very important thing for all newcomers to the band.

The band plays so many different styles of music! Marches (I’d never really played them before), musical medleys, original concert band compositions, film music, big-band pieces, classical music arrangements, and much more.

Playing a diverse repertoire

I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge of playing such a diverse repertoire and it has significantly helped to improve my musical understanding and playing technique.

Martin playing with saxophones

Martin (second from right) practising at rehearsal with some other saxophone players

I am developing many playing skills which include: listening to intonation and tone, playing the dynamics, and trying to capture the various styles and overall musical shape of a piece (particularly the longer and more complicated pieces). Also watching the conductor and playing my part at the same time! Listening into and trying to blend accurately with my section and the ensemble as a whole, counting rests, and working on technical passages.

There are many other aspects and a lot of this was relatively new to me, especially having to do it all at the same time!

I have learned so much and I am thoroughly enjoying the experience playing with the Bournemouth and District Concert Band.

By Martin on saxophone

Thinking of joining a local band? We’re especially looking for horn players and percussionists. Here’s how to joins us.