3rd December 2006

Corporate Friends Launch new support programme

The Corporate Friends of Stalham Brass Band have launched a new support programme covering the next three years. More details on specific initiatives will be released when announced.

Back where it all began.

Tracey Tuttle, Business & External Affairs, Shell U.K. Ltd, presenting Tim Thirst with a Besson Sovereign Cornet at Stalham Hall.

Members of the Stalham Brass Band in North Norfolk might be justified in thinking that Christmas has come a little earlier this year.
For many prospective brass band players the cost of an instrument which ranges from over 1000 for a cornet to over 5000 for a Bass can be a daunting prospect for an individual to finance, or even to hire.
Stalham Brass Band's philosophy is to give its players the best opportunity by working hard to ensure that it has a full complement of instruments - over 40,000 worth - with which to welcome new players with.
As the oldest established brass band in the East of England it is a philosophy which started with the band's founder - Edward Cooke of Stalham Hall - over 130 years ago. Mr. Cooke paid for the first instrument set on the condition that the band paid the money back from any engagement fees.
Nearing its target to complete the new instrument set the band was surprised to receive a donation from one of its Corporate Friends - Shell UK.Ltd - to purchase a Besson Sovereign Cornet;
in recognition of the band's unequalled community work in North Norfolk.
 The presentation was made to the band's director of music, Dr. Tim Thirst by Tracey Tuttle, Business & External Affairs, Shell UK.Ltd, appropriately at Stalham Hall, where the band started all those years ago.
A few days later another donation arrived, given anonymously this time by one of the individual Friends of Stalham Band, to enable the band to purchase a Besson Sovereign Eb Bass, one of the largest instruments in the band. The donor wished to emphasise, in a practical way;
how much the community appreciates the band's sterling work in music training initiatives for young people and its support for charities in the Stalham area.
The instruments will be put to good use as the band is always looking for new members. Not just players and not just musicians though. Stalham Brass Band is recognised as being an important part of the country's living heritage, and as such must be handed on from generation to generation in good condition. This requires a special person to be part of it. A Bandsman - in the true sense of the word - has to be a good team member and to work hard for the good of the band, and will always stay the course with the band, however difficult the going may get. Flexible, adaptable, dependable and dedicated to their band and community - that sums it up, and is why 'banding' can never be just a hobby, it is a community commitment with great responsibility not only to the present, but also the future. In return, bandsmen deserve the best instruments to play on.
Donations such as this to a band are rare said Dr.Thirst. Two so close together is overwhelming. This year however has been unprecedented in that local people have openly made known to us how much they appreciate 'their band'. As a member of our audience said to me just yesterday;
 There is a great affection for the Stalham Brass Band throughout the area - even more so than ever before.
"It is possible" - said Dr. Thirst - "that that compliment was the best Christmas present of all for the band."



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