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Players sought for new Muswell Hill and Highgate brass band

PUBLISHED: 13:03 10 January 2018

Band members from Highgate and Muswell Brass Band. Picture: Martyn Stogden

Band members from Highgate and Muswell Brass Band. Picture: Martyn Stogden

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A bandmaster is calling for players of all ages and abilities to join a new Highgate and Muswell Hill brass band.

Martyn Stogden was inspired to set up the Highgate and Muswell Brass Band when cornet players 11-year-old Lulu and her father Philip, from Highgate, urged him to appeal for players.

Mr Stogden explained: “I don’t think there’s been a band in Highgate for ever and a day. I was looking for areas where we can do some good for the community.”

And now Mr Stogden is searching for players of brass instruments to join the community band which meets for the first time on January 17.

“We want as many people to come along as possible to our weekly rehearsals. We don’t put any pressure on players, but if people come they will learn more. We welcome anybody of any age and any ability,” Mr Stogden said.

“We want to make music accessible to everybody. We’re a bit more laid back compared to some established, high-pressured bands,” he added.

At the moment there are eight members, including a septegenarian tuba-player, but Mr Stogden, who set up bands group North London Brass in 2010 in a bid to revitalise grassroots brass-banding, says there are no limits on the number of people joining.

And musicians can expect to make new friends from across different generations and backgrounds as they enjoy practising traditional marches, hymns and movie tunes inlcuding the theme from Star Wars.

“Playing in a band is all about teamwork,” Mr Stogden explained. “It’s like a family. Everyone works together. It’s different to playing on your own. There’s team spirit. It helps players develop because they have other people’s encouragement. You get to play some exciting events as well.”

Events which might include the famous Whit Friday brass band competition in Saddleworth Moor – where Mr Stogden has competed with groups in the past – and the New Year’s Day parade where bands from the North London Brass family have performed.

Highgate and Muswell Brass Band will meet every Wednesday with practices alternating between Pond Square Chapel, in Highgate, and Muswell Hill Methodist Church in Page’s Lane.

For more details email Mr Stogden at martyn.stogden@yahoo.co.uk or call him on 07481565166.

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