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Crystal Palace Progress Band

Frequently asked Questions

1. How good a player do I have to be?

The skill range is quite wide including those who have played in the past and those who are relative beginners. Most of our members are somewhere between grade 2 and grade 6 even if not formally taking exams. At a minimum level we expect someone who is having lessons or can play several scales over at least an octave and half and is capable of reading and playing music at about Grade 2 level. Enthusiasm is the key qualification. More advanced and developing players are given opportunities to develop their solo playing skills and may move to the Main Band as positions become vacant. Some players play in both bands i.e. front row cornet in the Progress and back row cornet in the Main Band.

2. Does the Band provide lessons?

No. There is a lot of friendly advice from the Musical Director and more experienced players and we can put you in touch with potential tutors. Rehearsals are designed to improve everyone's ensemble playing abilities.

3. Do I have to apply to join or wait for a vacancy?

No, we have an 'open door' policy and welcome all players. It helps if you contact our secretary in advance so we can arrange instruments etc. (Margaret Larkin - margaretalarkin@hotmail.com Tel: 020 86537537)

4. Is there a child protection policy?

The Music Director, Chair, Secretary and a number of members have Disclosure and Barring Service clearance. Children are not allowed to be supervised by other than the above and must be brought to and taken away from rehearsal/gig by their known parent or carer. The band secretary (Margaret Larkin) is the band's Child Protection Officer.

5. Can the band provide instruments?

Whilst many players use their own, we have a full set of instruments which are lent out subject to availability, to players, particularly those converting from trumpet to cornet or playing instruments specific to brass bands e.g. Baritones, Eb Horns and Eb/Bb Tubas. We can arrange for an instrument to be available on your first visit if we know what you need. Borrowed instruments must be looked after and returned by the member according to the terms of a lending agreement.

6. What clef do you play in?

Brass Bands traditionally play from the treble clef with instruments pitched at Bb/Eb. This allows players to switch easily between instruments using the same fingering. Playing in two clefs is an important skill to develop as a musician. Our ability to provide parts in bass clef is limited.

7. What sort of music do you play?

The brass band repertoire is wide ranging from traditional marches and overtures to film music like the James Bond theme, jazz and popular music arrangements. A mixture of difficulty is used to cover the range of abilities in the band whilst encouraging everyone to advance from the pieces in their comfort zone.

8. Can I try you out before joining?

Yes, we are happy for players to come along to try the band before a few weeks before making a commitment to joining the band.

9. What does it cost to join?

The annual subs are 90, half price for the unemployed, children & students in full time education and the retired. In addition there is a 20% discount for members of the same family. Arrangements can be made to pay in half year instalments

10. How committed do I have to be?

We know that school, job and family commitments make attendance at all practices and gigs impossible. However we expect members to make an effort to support the activities of the band and advise absences in advance using the website gig and practice lists. We perform about 6 gigs a year with weekly practices. We generally take a break during school holidays.

11. Where and when do you meet?

We meet on Wednesdays 18.30 to 20.00 at the Crystal Palace Museum on Anerley Hill, Crystal Palace, London SE19 2BA . This is convenient for Bus, Overground and Rail connections. On street parking is normally available on Anerley Hill

12. What do I need to bring?

Instrument and music stand plus any commonly used items like mutes if you have them. Tea and coffee are served at the end of rehearsal prior to the Main Band practice. Cost is 20p
The Crystal Palace Progress Band www.crystalpalaceband.co.uk


Wednesdays 6.30 - 8.00pm The Crystal Palace Museum Anerley Hill, Crystal Palace, London SE19 2BA

Hon Secretary:

Mrs Margaret Larkin 58 Downsview Road Upper Norwood London SE19 3XB. margaretalarkin@hotmail.com 020 8653 7537

David Charlesworth d.charlesworth@a-mesc.com 020 8289 5218