The Forest has a rich and varied musical heritage, producing notable musicians and composers such as Herbert Howells. It also has a long tradition of local participation in music through brass bands and choirs. The brass band tradition is particularly strong and thriving and this project will encourage and help people of all ages to be a part of these musical traditions and join in with them.
The heritage of brass bands in the Forest is over 160 years old and represented in the current vibrant tradition that engages over 500 volunteers in musical activity and has encouraged many young people to learn how to play musical instruments.
The project will look to increase participation in music making and appreciation of the musical heritage of the Forest, which is in danger of being lost and unrecorded as documents, instruments and photographs are lost.
There are currently ten active brass bands in the Forest which have been invited to be part of this project:
The project will bring together each of these bands in a series of concerts that promote the landscape and reflect the connection of brass bands to the land based occupations of the Forest, particularly mining.
It is anticipated that there will be on average, six concerts each year, each will be thematically organised to promote the landscape and feature some landscapes that have hosted concerts before, but also ‘new’ places, that have previously been undiscovered or not used for many years. The concerts will also feature other musical genres, choirs (including school choirs) and youth bands.
In addition to the concerts it is also anticipated that each band will help in the recovery, copying, cataloguing and archiving of historical assets from each band, with the artefacts stored and available at the Dean Heritage Centre.
There are plenty of opportunities to get involved, why not join a local band, learn to play an instrument, or if that’s not your thing come along and listen at one of the concerts.
Click here to go to Forest of Dean Brass Facebook page.
You might be surprised what you find!
From creating habitats for our wildlife or improving our waterways, to recording oral histories or finding old photos, there’s always something going on to get involved in!