These are some statements from past and present members as to how being in the Corsham Windband Association has helped them in their future lives and career choices.
At seven years old I went to a CWA open morning at the Pound, where YCB members encouraged me to try all the different wind instruments used in the band. I chose the cornet, joined training band and started lessons with Chris, a member of YCB who also led training band rehearsals on Saturday mornings. Being part of the CWA was really special, offering the opportunity of playing in a large band and progressing musically whilst making new friends and developing as a person.
From aged seven to eighteen, I progressed from training band to YCB, culminating with a DipABRSM performance certificate and an offer from Oxford to study music. A great deal of this was due to the selfless efforts of volunteers, conductors and fellow members of the CWA. I always looked forward to weekly rehearsals, met many friends, and continue to benefit from the performance opportunities and new experiences that the windband offered.
Since leaving the band I have played principal trumpet in the Oxford University Orchestra, Wind Orchestra and Sinfonietta, as well as being part of various jazz and funk groups. Since graduating with a first, I will shortly travel to East Africa to embark on an Afro-fusion recording project and to work with a brass band foundation, transferring the skills I gained from the CWA to a new community.
Many young people in the UK today face mental health problems and educational issues. Yet so many are priced out of playing a musical instrument, despite the transformative educational benefits it brings. In a time where social media exerts an ever-greater influence on our behaviour and attention spans, organisations like the CWA provide a crucial service to our communities that is often unrecognised. So, support the CWA and get involved - you never know where it may take you!