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Amersham: A banding inspiration

Thursday 21 October, 2021

At a time when banding is often pilloried for being out-of-touch, inward looking and rife with short-termism, the Amersham Band organisation is bucking the trend. The Buckinghamshire setup comprises a host of bands and ensembles, each of which are settling into their new, purpose-built facility following a mammoth fundraising effort.

British Bandsman editor Mark Good finds out more from Amersham’s director of music, Paul Fisher.

 

The current climate is a challenging one for the world of brass bands, as they continue to navigate their way through (and hopefully beyond) the COVID-19 pandemic. From attracting and retaining players to finding a COVID-secure home in which to rehearse and making up for lost time with fundraising, the hurdles are considerable.

Take a trip to Buckinghamshire, on the outskirts of the M25, and you’ll find an organisation which provides plenty of grounds for optimism. The area may be home to ITV drama Midsomer Murders but there’s no grisly tale here – quite the opposite, thanks to a quite fascinating journey which began several years ago in, of all places, the pub.

Director of music Paul Fisher explained: “About five years ago, we had just done a concert in the town and we were maxing out our rehearsal facility. At the time, there was one band attached to the organisation, which played in the Fourth Section. The people were great and the band was fine but it became a question of moving to the next level and what would be required to make that happen."

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Issue 6113 digital October 21, 2021