Mixed emotions at Abbey Brass


During lockdowns and banding moving to online Zoom calls to keep in touch the bandroom owned by Oxfordshire based brass band Abbey Brass suffered a collapsed roof, on closer inspection the damage was found to be worse than first thought and the band were unable to continue using the building. Thankfully the contents were un-damaged and the band were able to remove everything to safe storage and are now on the very long road of demolition of the old building and getting plans submitted for a new build to replace it. 

The 3 bands within the organisation all found temporary homes to use for rehearsal from June 2021, village halls and scout huts being the best available solutions, but now the band are relocating back in their hometown of Abingdon and will be based at one of the Secondary schools in the town. A spokesperson for the band stated, “It will be good to have all of the groups back under one roof again and all rehearsing back in Abingdon, while work continues to find the best solution for our own bandroom again this is a step in the right direction as we start 2022.”

The contesting band is also delighted to announce some changes in personnel as they prepare to play ‘Argos’ at the London and Southern Counties Regional Qualifier in March: Rebecca Lake has moved from Flugel to 2nd Trombone and replaces Graham Salsbury who needed the time to devote to teaching; Hannah Tompkins from Repiano to Flugel; Malcolm Ross from 3rd Cornet to 2nd Baritone; Joanna Sparkes returns to the band on Solo Cornet and replaces Sarah Rupprechter who has moved to Switzerland and the final change for now is Louise MacKay who comes in on 2nd Cornet. Louise is one of the organisation’s Adult Learners and has moved up from the Training Band.

Abbey Brass MD Rob Tompkins said, “Losing the bandroom was a massive concern, the committee worked tirelessly to ensure all the groups had suitable rehearsal premises when we were given the ok to start rehearsals again in 2021, we have now got the move to Fitzharrys School to look forward to at the start of February, then we can all start working towards our summer programmes and for the contesting band we can continue the work on Argos which the band are enjoying. It is great to see some new faces in the bandroom, sad also to lose players and we will miss both Sarah and Graham and wish them all the best for the future. I am delighted that Louise MacKay has made the step up from Training Band to the Main Band and very much look forward to working with her and the other new players over the coming months as we prepare for the regionals.”


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