Band retains family values
7:00am Mon Mar 20, 2017
Bingham Wind Band has members from across Nottinghamshire, including Newark.
Bingham Wind Band has members from across Nottinghamshire, including Newark.
A wind band founded by a musically-talented family is still going strong a decade on.
Bingham Wind Band started with six members and today has 26.

The band, which recruits from across Nottinghamshire, plays three or four concerts a year in the East Midlands and has raised hundreds of pounds for charity.

It was formed by tuba player Sarah Parnell; her husband, and the band’s conductor, Ashley Parnell; and their daughters, Lauren, who plays the oboe, and clarinetist Aimee.

The family lives in Flintham and the girls attend Toot Hill School, Bingham.

Sarah said: “We had played in other wind bands and realised when we moved to the area ten years ago there wasn’t really a lot of local amateur music about, other than at Toot Hill School.

“We thought we would have a go at starting something — and we have still got four members from a decade ago.”

The four musicians still with the band are Jo Wright, Sarah Whelan, Paul Giles and Simon Hopper.

The band attracts sponsorship from local businesses to pay for its venue costs and donates money from ticket sales to charity.

It has members from Newark, Bingham, Ollerton, Nottingham and Grantham.

Sarah said: “I’m pleased we have attracted people from a wide area.

“They show dedication to come to play and they love their instruments.

“They are a lovely group of people.”

Sarah said the band accommodated wind instruments and some percussion.

She said they had all wind instruments covered, apart from the euphonium, which was like a smaller version of a tuba.

'People don't tend to have many bassoons'

She said the most unusual instrument in the band was a bassoon — a large woodwind instrument with a reed.

“People don’t tend to have or see many bassoons,” she said.

Sarah said many band members played more than one instrument.

“Some play saxophone and bass clarinet and some have learnt to play percussion,” she said.

“It’s quite a multi-talented group and there is a good mix of people.

“We will take on youngsters who want to come and practise their music.

“We don’t charge children for concerts. We want to make music accessible for children because we see them as the next generation.”

Sarah said it was difficult to recruit new band members.

“We have a big banner we put out when we perform and we always say new players are welcome,” she said.

“We have grown over the years and we need to keep letting people know that we are there and are available.

“It’s about letting people know that we like to play and when we do play we like to raise money for charity.”

The band’s next concert is in the summer and will raise money for the Nottingham Hospitals Charity.

The band meets every Wednesday during school term-time from 7.15pm to 9.15pm at Robert Miles Junior School, Bingham.

Anyone interested in joining should contact Sarah Parnell on 07710 561982, email bing or go to its Facebook page.

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