Southampton Concert Wind Band has a current membership of around 50 or so players but new members are always welcome provided a suitable vacancy exists.
We do not hold formal auditions for new recruits but players should be of at least Grade 6 standard or equivalent. However, there is no requirement for any exams to have been taken, this is purely a guide as to the approximate standard you would need to be in order to get the most out of playing with our band.
Unfortunately, due to changing safeguarding requirements, we do not accept players under the age of 18 - younger players may wish to consider one of the Youth Bands in Southampton, for example, Southampton Wind Band.
New band attendees are given up to three weeks (subscription-free) to find out whether he or she and the band are mutually compatible. After this, players are expected to become fully-fledged members of the band.
Please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in becoming a member. It would be helpful if you would include details of your approximate standard and previous playing experience.
The band rehearses every Thursday (with very few, notified, exceptions) from approximately 7:30pm until 9:30pm at St. Anne's School, Carlton Road, Southampton, SO15 2WZ (see map).
Members are encouraged to attend as many rehearsals however they should notify their section leader if they cannot attend as this helps with rehearsal planning.
Members pay a weekly subscription of £2.50 even if they do not attend a rehearsal. A concessionary rate of £1.25 per week applies for certain other members (students, unemployed or retired, for example). In the case of extended absence this subscription may be waived. Specific cases can be discussed with the Treasurer.
The band typically performs two or three formal concerts each year and also undertakes engagements during the summer months at a variety of venues across the region. These are almost always on a Saturday or Sunday and we normally play for about 2 hours each time.
External engagements are a commitment - the band's reputation stands or falls by the way we fulfil them. Players are requested (via the e-news) to give as much notice as possible for their availability. This enables concert planning and organising of deputies (if required) to be undertaken in a timely nature. If a player's availability subsequently changes they should inform their section leader as soon as possible.
Members are encouraged to take home the music pad for their instrument for individual practice. Check availability in advance with other members of your section and if you are new to the band please ensure that your contact details have been provided to the membership secretary or other committee member. If you cannot attend a subsequent rehearsal and the pad is likely to be required by another player, arrangements should be made to get the pad to the rehearsal.
Music parts represent a significant investment for the band, therefore players are respectfully reminded that music in their care should be looked after. This includes not marking parts in ink (pencil may be used); not trimming, cutting or hole punching parts; keeping the music neatly stored in the folder provided (to minimise creasing or dog-ears); and returning the music and pad to the librarian at the end of a formal concert. If additional pads or parts are required then these may be obtained from the librarian.
Members are required to purchase a blue polo shirt (embossed with the band logo) to be worn at outdoor engagements during the summer months. These are supplied by the band so see a committee member for more details, approximate cost £15. Black fleeces are also available for those more chilly occasions, approximate cost £18.
Uniform for formal concerts consists of black shirt with black trousers for men and black blouse/top with black skirt/trousers for women and black shoes for all.
The band has several instruments that are available for loan; please see a committee member to arrange this. Instruments are a valuable band asset so members must agree to take reasonable care of them. Members who borrow an instrument are financially responsible for that instrument whilst it is in their care so we recommend that sufficient insurance cover be arranged for it; many home contents policies provide cover but this should be checked. Click here to read our instrument care guidelines.
The band holds at least one official social each year. Partners are more than welcome, the more the merrier!
The Christmas Social involves a well-lubricated meal in one of the more tolerant restaurants in Southampton. Previous years have seen Budweiser, burgers and boogying at Uncle Sam's and medieval merriment at the Red Lion. The Summer socials range from barn dances and skittles to a night at the dogs.
An Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held during or around the second week of February each year in order to elect the committee and to make decisions regarding the running of the band for the coming year
An electronic news letter (e-news) is regularly distributed to members who provide us with an e-mail address; this contains a variety of information including upcoming concerts, social events and rehearsal information. For those without e-mail access a paper copy is available.
The success of any band depends on the commitment of its membership. If you can help out in some way please offer your assistance - the band does not run itself. Even simple things can help spread the workload. How about organising a social event for example?
Click here for a copy of the band's formal constitution.
The band is a member of BASBWE (British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles). One of the benefits of this membership is that they arrange events which may be of interest to either individual members or the band as a whole; please see a committee member for details.