The day the music died? Long-running band needs support

Musical schoolgirl Charlotte Langford has never forgotten the day the girls from Warwick Show Band led the parade at Disneyland Paris.

It was the summer of 2011 when girls from throughout the district strode out in front of Mickey Mouse and company, thrilling thousands of young visitors at the theme park.

But these days the number of eight to 25-year-olds wanting to learn to play instruments seems to have dwindled dramatically.

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And bandmaster Ron Everett admits: “We are going to have to wind-up if we can’t attract some more players.”

It was back in 1979 that Mr Everett founded what was originally a corps of drums in Kenilworth.

Gradually a girls’ marching band emerged along American lines with more than 100 players, flag wavers and ribbon dancers.

They entertained at events throughout the UK, performed before international football matches at Wembley and in the Royal Albert Hall, as well as being invited to festivals in Italy, France, Germany, Norway and America.

Today, the number of players has dropped to less than a dozen, meaning after each rehearsal Ron has to take home large numbers of spare trumpets, clarinets, sousaphones, euphoniums and other instruments.

Charlotte, aged 11, who attends Aylesford School, said: “We just haven’t got enough players at the moment so I really hope more girls decide to give the band a try and we don’t have to close.”

Ron added: “We have our own headquarters in Hampton Road, next to Warwick Racecourse and are holding an open evening there at 7.30pm on October 22 when we hope young women who think they might be interested can come along and try out the instruments and find out more about us.

“There are no auditions and you don’t have to be able to play already. We’ll also be offering a month’s free membership and tuition to anyone who wants to have a go.

“We’re keen to put the fun back into the band - we used to perform in three or four competitions a year but perhaps that was too much when youngsters have so many exams these days.”

Charlotte added: “I loved playing during that Disney parade - they’ve done it at least four times now as well as playing all over Europe and in America. There are no auditions and everyone’s really friendly and helpful.”

To find out more contact Ron on 492327 or John Morton on 07866 459564, check facebook, or visit www.
warwickshowband.org.uk