'Questions Page' (F.A.Q.) ~ Bromyard Symphonic Wind Band      

  1. Who are the Conductors / Musical Directors?
  2. Where does the Band rehearse?
  3. When does the Band rehearse?
  4. What instruments do you have in a Wind Band?
  5. Do I need my own instrument?
  6. What are the Subscriptions and other charges payable when I join the Band?
  7. What type of music do you play?
  8. What standard a player do I have to be?
  9. How do I join?
  10. How can I book the Band to for a 'gig'? Are there any technical requirements or booking conditions?

Who are the Conductors / Musical Directors?

Our principal director is David Thomas G.R.S.M., A.R.C.M., Cert. Ed..  David received Professional Music Training, and taught for over 20 years at a High School close to his home city of Hereford, England.

For more details about David, click here. He does have is own small website; click here for access to that.

We usually have two Assistant Conductors;

Colin Hales has recently retired from the position of Bandmaster of the Household Cavalry. For more information about Colin, please click here.

Ken Farr is a Retired Salvation Army Bandmaster. Ken has over 80 years experience as a Cornet Player, Conductor and Teacher.

The band has an Associate Conductor, Leigh Phillips BA Mus., who works in London. Born in Wales, he was, for a time, Head of Music at Swansea Sixth Form College; being very busy as a composer and arranger. He then moved to London, where is currently a Tutor in film-music composition at  the London College of Music, (Thames Valley University), as well as being even busier with his own composing projects. You can find more details about him on Wikipedia. and you  can also check him out with a "Google" search. His Facebook page is here.

For our website page details about our other conductors, click here.

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Where does the Band rehearse?

We rehearse at the Falcon Hotel in Bromyard, usually in the Ballroom, but occasionally in the Mews, adjacent to the Hotel. We are most happy to use these facilities, and are thankful to the Hotel's owner, John Silver for his co-operation. More details below. To see a map for this venue click here.

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When does the Band rehearse?

The band rehearses on Friday evenings from 7.30pm - 9.15pm. The season starts in September, to coincide with the start of the School Year, and ends in mid-July the following year. Most concerts are performed on a Friday evening too, if at all possible. For a complete list of current rehearsal dates click here. We never rehearse or undertake bookings during the month of August.

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What instruments do you have in a Wind Band?

A Symphonic Wind Ensemble will have the following instrumentation. There are other minor permutations possible, but these would be with instruments that are not very common, such as an Eb clarinet. Woodwind: Piccolo, Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone. Brass: Trumpet / Cornet, French Horn, Trombone, Bass Trombone, Euphonium / Bb Baritone, Tuba. Percussion: Drum Kit, Timpani, Mallet Percussion such as Glockenspiel, and numerous other instruments. Occasionally a String Double Bass or Electric Bass Guitar will be used......yes a string instrument in a wind group is possible!

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Do I need my own instrument?

You do, ideally.. The band does own a few specialist instruments, such as a Drum Kit, Bass Clarinet, Tuba and Euphonium, but 99.9% of the members use their own instruments. 

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What are the Subscriptions? Are there any other costs involved?

Subscriptions for 2020 are as below.. We do have an early-payment discount scheme*.

The rates [January 1st to December 31st] are: £43 (£33*) per year for full members; £32 (£22*) for 'retired' players or pensioners, and £21 (£11*) for students, children and unwaged, but please see § below. For those who join in the middle of the Band's Financial Year, after 31st March, or the following September, the remainder of that year is pro-rata ~ either £22 (March) or £11 (September). A full subscription will be due by 31st January following.

§ PLEASE NOTE: If payment is received by 31st January, a £10 DISCOUNT will be applied. The range of subscriptions would then be the reduced rates ~ £33, £22 and £11. Any later payments would be at the "normal" rate. If, at the Annual General Meeting, the subs are increased, early payment will have saved you even more money.

We have a "family" discount scheme; if there are three or more members of one family in the band, the total subscriptions are reduced by 10%, For example, two adults and one child = £77 gross total ~ less 10% = £70 to pay.

There is also a one-off charge, for new members, of £16.50 for a band fleece. This is to wear when the band is playing at outside functions. It is black with an embroidered band logo. Various sizes are available to new members. The fleece is not rented or loaned, it is yours to keep.

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What type of music do you play?

We play all types / ranges / styles. Most original Wind Band music is relatively modern, but we do try to play pieces from all music genres. Pieces can range from 'Classical' arrangements through the 'Miller' era, to modern pieces by present-day composers.

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What standard a player do I have to be?

The minimum standard of players would be about Grade 4**, and the most advanced players are of professional standard. The very nature of the group allows for this wide range of abilities and just because you might have a 'Grade 6' and another player might 'only be Grade 4', does not mean that the '4' player is not as good as the '6'. It will depend on your playing experiences as well as your ability. If wishing to join the band you will be expected to "audition" by attending a rehearsal, when you can be assessed. (See below for further details).

** Please note that for inexperienced younger players, we do make allowances, and sometimes we will waive the "Grade 4" rule. We would welcome younger players of lower standard, in the hope that they will improve through the playing experience with the band.

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How do I join?

Contact the Musical Director by telephone or E-mail. David will ask you a few questions, such as....  where you live, [yes that's not a miss-print!...it's no good wanting to play in the band if you live in Aberdeen is it? ], what you play, and your playing standard!  Don't be modest, but don't tell lies either! It is very easy to say you are brilliant when you are not. You will be asked to attend a rehearsal, and play in one of the sections. Our M.D. will be able to assess your playing ability from this. Although players of any suitable instrument are usually welcome, please note that some places/instruments are not always available. You can see a list of current vacancies on the website.

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How can I book the Band for a 'gig'?   Are there any technical requirements or booking conditions?

Contact David Thomas..... Full contact information is on the band's website.                Email:   conductor@bromyardwindband.com

If you prefer to write, please do so to:              

3 Holmer Road, Hereford, HR4 9RX, England.

OR You can send an email to the Michael Shorland, the Band's Secretary:  BWBsecretary@gmail.com

When you book the band, you will need to supply an adequately lit covered area of at least 55 - 60 square metres** for the band to perform, along with 40 chairs suitable for the instrumentalists. There will also need to be a secure area for instrument cases and the band belongings during the performance. Full details of the terms and conditions will be discussed when you book. PLEASE NOTE: WE DO NOT ACCEPT BOOKINGS FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST.

To give the band and it's members adequate notice, we would ask that bookings are made at least 3 months in advance of the proposed date.

** This figure is an "ideal" ~ we can sometimes manage with a smaller area but would need to discuss options when you make your initial enquiry.

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Revised:  January 2020