Holbeach Town Band offers route into playing for beginners

Banding runs in families: Mel Hopkin with (from left) son James, James's children Natasja and Evan, and Mel's daughter Zoe.
Banding runs in families: Mel Hopkin with (from left) son James, James's children Natasja and Evan, and Mel's daughter Zoe.

Holbeach Town Band holds open days when people are invited to try out an instrument.

If interested, they can attend a learner group, held on Saturdays (10am) at the Holbeach Band Room.

That teaches absolute beginners who can then progress to a training band, properly called Holbeach Victoria Training Band, which meets at the same place on Wednesdays (6.30pm).

Once of a reasonable standard, they are then invited to join the main band, which also meets on Wednesdays (7.30pm).

There are some very young learners and players – the youngest learner is six and there are two primary age children in the 30-strong band.

The band has a busy calendar of events, including a recent concert with SADOS at which principal cornet Steven Butter, on behalf of the band, presented Mel with a cased baton in recognition of his 50 years of banding.

Mel says: “The big thing about brass band instruments is if you can play one you can play them all because they are all played in exactly the same way.

“It’s a unique sound and a powerful sound. I just thoroughly enjoy it.”