HITTING NEW HEIGHTS - Glenn Van Looy talks exclusively to British Bandsman

Issue 5977

FRANKLY SPEAKING - The first of a new series by Frank Renton, this month focusing on musical education

THE GREAT TRIUMVIRATE - Tim Mutum looks at the life and times of John Gladney 

Looking fabulous on a budget with Big Band Stands

Friday 8 September, 2017

Fed up of carrying heavy cumbersome stands to and from gigs, trumpet player and graphic designer Derek Lawton wanted stands that are not only good looking, but easy to transport, carry, set up and store. So, he designed and made a set of lightweight prototypes, using ‘off the shelf’ polypropylene sheets, cutting the shapes by hand. After testing them with local bands and music professionals, the design was perfected. People asked him to make sets for their own bands, but Derek wanted to do even better than that - something far stronger than could be achieved with off-the-shelf material.

Derek’s wife Lorraine loved the idea. They found the highest grade material that allows the stands to fold flat for storage, but also remains super stable in use - there is no wobble! An investment in professional tooling resulted in units with slot-in tops finished with a welding process for reliability and strength, but no sharp edges. Lighter than a bag of sugar, easy to set up in seconds - the BigBandStand was born. Word spread quickly and these very practical stands are now seen on stages in every corner of the globe.

Lorraine is naturally proud of the business they built together, serving musicians, schools and colleges worldwide. She commented: “Every day we receive messages from customers who love the ease of using our stands, the design ideas we offer and our responsive service. Our new product is really exciting and there’s a real buzz about how refreshing and vibrant our new music banners look on any traditional music stand. Best of all, any band can give themselves have a proper facelift without breaking the bank.”

In conversation with a concert band leader early last year, Derek learned that they wanted a more contemporary feel for their band. Back in the BBS studio he created a prototype for a new kind of music banner. Using the latest latex print technology for sharp images and vibrant colours, in addition to strong and flexible banner material, he added an integral durable header board which easily fits over the back of any traditional music stand. Kept securely in place with a magnetic strip, the BBS Music Banner is the latest number in the BigBandStand repertoire, a vibrant, cost effective and simple way to refresh the image of any band!