3rd December 2006
Corporate Friends Launch new
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
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;
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
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."