Big band’s blue over lack of brass

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FOR the past 33 years they have delighted audiences throughout the Borders and beyond re-creating the swinging classics of the 1930s and 40s.

But the sounds of legends such as Glenn Miller at local concerts could soon become a distant memory.

For a shortage of musicians in the trumpet section has put the future of the renowned Borders Big Band in serious doubt.

Jim Main from Galashiels - one of the founder band members in 1978 - said the current crisis even mean they have reached the end of the line for the band which has raised thousands of pounds for charity over the years

He explained:”We are short of two trumpet players. We got possibly get by without person who plays the fourth trumpet but cannot without the second trumpet and we are just hoping there is someone out there who can fill the gap.

“The second trumpet is a very important role as they play a solo and we cannot do without it.

“If we cannot get anyone to come forward then it looks the end.”

Band secretary Ted Wheadon added:”Due to a combination of circumstances we now find ourselves with a vastly reduced trumpet section and unless we can find a replacement trumpet player (or two) the future of the band is in doubt.

“As we have built up a very loyal following of supporters over the years, this end result would be very disappointing for them. At our last concert in June at the Wynd Theatre in Melrose we played to a sell out audience.

“We are sure that there may be a few trumpet players (including “jazzers”) hiding in the “Borders Woodwork” who may have hung up their trumpet in retirement years ago but have been quietly waiting for an appeal such as this to justify dusting it off and bringing it back to life.

“Also brass band players may feel the need to widen their horizons. Big Band playing requires a whole new approach to the interpretation of music in order to produce a Big Band Swing Sound, which is currently enjoying a renaissance.”

The band have asked anyone who could assist to contact their professional musical director, Chris Achenbach, on 01896 757574 or Jim Main, chairman, on 01896 753533.

The band rehearses every Tuesday evening at Galashiels Academy from April through to end November (excluding school holidays).