Concert for Christian Aid Saturday 16th November

Loxley Silver Band has had a long association with Christian Aid and has supported their annual ‘Busk Aid’ event for many years.

This year Loxley Band is combining its talents with the West Side Singers to promote a concert at St Andrew’s Church, Psalter Lane S11 8YL on Saturday 16th November in support of the work of Christian Aid tackling world poverty. You can expect to hear a wide variety of toe-tapping tunes, memorable melodies and sing-a-long songs.

The West Side Singers is a relatively recently formed group for aspiring, or inexperienced, singers, who would like to enjoy singing with increasing confidence. They sing songs of many types and styles: songs from musicals, folk, jazz, classical, opera, pop and rock songs, rounds, religious songs & songs from across the world, both in unison and in parts.

Loxley Silver Band has been around since 1889 and has its roots in the social culture of the area. Brass bands in general have long thought to be the domain of the male working class and have largely evolved out of the mining community, but Loxley (and other brass bands) have evolved over the last 120 plus years; in the modern brass band you could easily find a company director playing alongside a plumber, or a nurse sitting next to a policeman or teacher.

Some of our home grown brass bands have nurtured players of international standing and many local bands themselves are of world renown: Grimethorpe Colliery Band, for instance, who recently played at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. For the most part, although the brass players are amateurs and the bands non-profit making organisations; they could easily hold their own in any professional orchestra on any stage in Europe, but that’s not why they do it.

Brass band players love the music that they play; agreed, much of it is ‘traditional band music’ specifically written or arranged for the brass band format, but also there are a host of contemporary brass band composers who provide modern challenging pieces of music that is conspicuous by its absence in any other genre. Loxley’s programme at this concert may well include some surprises and show the breadth of what can be achieved with music in a brass band format . . . . and they’re only touching the surface.

At the end of the day, it’s all music, it’s all entertainment. For many of the Loxley Silver Band members, their brass instrument isn’t their main musical instrument and you will find people who are also members of rock groups, folk groups, choirs and other classical music ensembles etc, proving the true depth of their all round love of music and empathy with their co-hosts, The West Side Singers, for this evening.

So even a lesser known ‘local’ brass band like Loxley Silver Band can step up to the mark. A look at Loxley’s website will show you what they’re doing; they are providing a cultural service to the local Sheffield community, and they, and many others like them, deserve more support, because, not only are they continuing to maintain and enhance a local tradition, they are nurturing and developing the lives of the younger members of our community by providing the opportunity for them to learn to play a musical instrument, be part of a team environment, grow in confidence, increase their self-worth, have fun and enjoyment while creating outstanding music and ultimately putting something back into our local community; how many other ‘hobbies’ can do all that? Loxley are members of the recently formed ‘Sheffield Brass Network’, which aims to create a vehicle for Sheffield bands, brass players, volunteers, Committees and Musical Directors to work together for the benefit of all brass bands in the Sheffield area.

The West Side Singers meet on Wednesday nights, 7.45 – 9.30, following school terms, at St John’s, Ranmoor, Parish Centre (Annexe). £4.00 per session. First session free of charge. Conductor: Martin Lightowler

Tickets for the concert at St Andrew’s Church, Psalter Lane S11 8YL on Saturday 16th November are £10 (£7 concessions, £4 students, children U12 free) and are available from Robert Jackson Tel: 0114 269 5263 or email: caidsheffconcert@btinternet.com