MK Brass hasn’t had a blog before so this is a first, and probably a bit amateur-ish as blogging goes.
So to get the ball rolling, and hopefully draw some response and comment I’ll reflect a little on why I think MK Brass – Broseley Brass as it was then – was formed back in ’84. I got to thinking about this last weekend when Lizzie Bancroft and I bumped into the guy who made the formation of the band possible, Brian Brookman.
Back then Brian worked for the MK Development Corporation and I was a Primary School teacher in the same school as Lizzie and Brian’s son – and we had a fairly successful school brass band, age range 8 to 12 yrs. We, and a whole hat-full of brass-playing friends, had fallen out big time with the brass band we played with at the time and no longer felt comfortable passing on children to that band for further experience and tuition.
We renegades had the notion that a band with an educational ethos at its core would be a good environment for kids and could be developed over time into a really high quality band playing at the top level, and give both youngsters and adult players a really top class musical experience. The big “but” was of course the lack of money. When we shared this aspiration and the money problem with Brian (over a jar of some amber nectar, if I remember correctly) he didn’t say much (no surprise there – he’s quite a quiet bloke) but a few weeks later put our group of players in touch with the owner of Broseley Homes Limited, and from that meeting a sponsorship deal emerged which got the band off the ground.
Today we run two bands, and have given hundreds of brass players, particularly young players, the opportunity to develop their playing, and we have driven (due to the talents of a quite amazing MD – but that’s for another blog) the band to the highest levels of banding in the UK. Education has been retained I think as a core value – and I trust it will remain so.
And all thanks to a bloke who listened to the aspirations of a bunch of brass banders, thought it wasn’t a bad idea and went away and did something about it.
Thanks Brian – look what you helped get off the ground!