For the last time, it’s NOT a trumpet, it’s a CORNET!!
Just to clear up any confusion.
Hi, I’m Liv and I am a cornet player based in the the North West of England. I currently play in three different roles in three different bands:
Repiano Cornet for Eccles Borough Band
Principal Cornet for North West Youth Band
Solo tutti Cornet for Foden’s Youth Band
I have been enjoying playing in brass bands for well over ten years and it’s a hobby that I am so grateful I became involved with as it has given me many skills, memories and amazing performance opportunities I’m never going to forget and this blog is a way of me expressing my enjoyment and gratitude to this awesome past time (not to mention the social life is a-m-a-z-i-n-g– obviously not the main point though). ‘It’s Not a Trumpet’ is (hopefully) going to entertain those who are involved, want to be involved, or want to find out more about what brass banding is really all about.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my college music teacher for repeatedly calling my cornet a trumpet as this annoyance provided me with a name for this blog. Whilst I’m on the subject, to the girl who insisted on calling it a trombone as I walked through a park in Liverpool with it in my hand- you were way off, but good try, you could have been worse and said it was a clarinet, but I shall leave my feelings on woodwind instruments for another post.
The aim of ‘It’s Not A Trumpet’
As a young player (18 is still classed as a young player isn’t it?) I have come to realise that brass banding is a musical art form that often goes under the radar of TV programmes, newspapers/ TV reports, radio and film. Yes, I am aware there is ‘Brassed Off’, the odd report on Whit Friday and ‘Listen to the Band’,and a couple of online and non-prime time local radio shows, but when you put it into perspective, one film, an occasional 5 minute news report, and a half hour national radio show from 11:30- midnight on a Thursday, although better than nothing, is a drop in the ocean in terms of getting the joy of banding to the masses.
More importantly there isn’t a lot of accessible information and promotion of brass bands especially for the younger generation. I know this from personal experience when asked in high school what I do in my spare time and my response might as well have been ‘I watch paint dry whilst playing scrabble’ (apologies to paint-watching, scrabble enthusiasts), safe to say my hobby was regarded as a bit of an ‘grandad past time’ rather than something a teenager should be enthusiastic about. It is absolutely vital that younger people discover and become involved with brass banding, as without young people being inspired to play, conduct or compose for brass bands, it may meet the same fate as the dinosaurs.
For many the image of a brass band is basically a group of old men with beer bellies and nerdy band geek teenagers who sit around playing nothing but marches and hymn tunes. Whilst some members of brass bands can meet the above description (me currently being the latter), this form of music is massively underrated and the skills and enjoyment it can provide a young person cannot be overstated.
So what exactly is ‘It’s Not a Trumpet’? In short I have four main aims that I hope to achieve with this blog.
To stop the people of the world confusing cornets with trumpets, before I hit someone about the head with said cornet.
To promote banding, solo playing and general musical endeavours to a younger generation.
To make the stereotypical image of brass bands being middle-aged men with a pint of ale playing a million renditions of Colonel Bogey, The Floral Dance and the William Tell Overture extinct and replace it with achievements of younger people excelling in seats in championship section bands, taking a hoard of trophies away from solo competitions, and playing amazing music, that people outside of the banding world may not expect (e.g. Pharrell Wiliams’ Happy for instance).
To entertain those already enjoying playing in bands with (hopefully) humorous and relatable experiences, as well as inspire people from my generation and younger and those who think they’re maybe too old to learn an instrument, that anytime is the right time to get involved. There is so much information on the internet, it’s now easier than ever to find a local band or ensemble, and hopefully this blog will be useful in providing information to help anyone to do that.
If this blog inspires even a few (preferably more obviously) people to take up an instrument I’ll be happy, even if it is a trumpet rather than a cornet (if you must).