Could South Holland’s bands be your ticket to Glastonbury?

Musical director Mel Hopkin with Holbeach Town Band. SG040617-138TW
Musical director Mel Hopkin with Holbeach Town Band. SG040617-138TW
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Could traditional bands be the new rock and roll now the Black Dyke brass band has played Glastonbury?

The world famous band hit the stage that has seen legends like the late, great David Bowie rock the crowds.

Picking up a cornet seems an unlikely route to stardom but being a member of a traditional band can land you in unexpected places – like it did for a Spalding’s Marching Ambassadors.

The Ambassadors are not a brass band but drumming members appeared in opening and closing ceremonies of London’s 2012 Olympics.

Spalding Brass, Holbeach Town Band and the Ambassadors are looking for new members who can join while at primary school and benefit from free music tuition and a ready made social life.

Spalding Brass switched practice nights at Broad Street Business Centre to Fridays, so more people could play without worrying about school or work the next day.

Numbers have grown from five or six to 16, including six learners, over the last year but the band would like more people aged eight upwards to join.

“We don’t charge for music lessons,” said member Julie Key. “And that’s the good thing about us because lessons can be very expensive.”

Julie says being a member of a band is a great social activity, a chance to make friends while making music.

Members attend practice once a week, when they can, and from time to time play at a mix of often informal engagements.

To enquire about joining please call Julie or husband Richard on 07809 031163 or email

Being in a brass brand doesn’t mean playing music rooted in the 1920s, according to Holbeach Town Band musical director Mel Hopkin.

He says: “We play film themes from Pirates of the Caribbean and Avatar and songs such as Queen’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”

The 30-strong band recruits players aged seven upwards and it’s hoped more will join following the 16th annual Learn to Play in A Week event this summer, details of which will be publicised shortly.

To enquire about joining please call Mel on 01775 712420.

Spalding Marching Ambassadors are considering dropping their entry age from nine years to eight in a bid to recruit more members.

In May, we reported the Ambassadors’ numbers had dipped to a record low of 12.

Last month, the band triumphed in a competition at Stoke-on-Trent but disappointment followed in Barnsley on June 18 when they came second in their class.

Bandmaster Jim Bright said: “We were up against a band with three times as many people and the number of instruments they had on the field was mind boggling.”

The band play trumpets, drums and xylophones, and anyone keen to learn can attend the United Reformed Church, in Pinchbeck Road, Spalding, between 7pm-9pm on Wednesdays or telephone Jim on 01775 723087.

Subscriptions for the Ambassadors are just £1 a week.