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Composer is asked to write town tune
LEDBURY could soon be marching to its own tune at future civic events, thanks to a plan to commission an internationally renowned composer to write a town march for the community.
The idea is the brainchild of the Ledbury Community Brass Band’s musical director, Stuart Essenhigh.
An appeal has been launched for local organisations and businesses to fund the cost of the commission, to the tune of £200 or so, to give Ledbury its very own “theme tune” at civic and public events in the future.
Mr Essenhigh said he got the inspiration from the march ‘Slaidburn’, one of the pieces that is at the heart of the band’s repertoire.
He said: “Slaidburn, which is played by brass bands all over the UK, was written during the early 20th century by brass band composer William Rimmer, specifically for the silver band in the Lancashire town of Slaidburn.
“The history of ‘Slaidburn’ gave me the idea that the town of Ledbury should have its own march to be played at town events.
“And with John Frith being an internationally successful composer living right here in Ledbury and being involved with the band, there is no doubt that he should be the composer of the march.”
With the forthcoming anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War in 2014, the band is hoping that the Ledbury march will form a special focal point for future Ledbury Remembrance Day Parades.
The band will be writing to local businesses in the new year and welcomes sponsorship of any amount, no matter how small, to contribute towards the commission.
Band spokesperson Helen Bloomer said: “It would be great if the brass band march for Ledbury could be funded from local sources; what could be a more positive contribution to the local community than to be involved in this exciting and creative project and hopefully ‘Ledbury’ will prove as enduring as ‘Slaidburn’.
“Ultimately the band aims to get the Ledbury march published, to really put the town of Ledbury on the map.” Ledbury Community Brass Band is now two years old and has a membership of nearly 30 local brass players of all ages.
The band’s membership is split half and half between young people and adults and all brass players are very welcome to join.
Over the Christmas period, LCBB has played for the switch-on of Ledbury’s Christmas lights, has put on its own Christmas concert and has played for patients and residents at St Michael’s Hospice and Stanley House, Bosbury.
Last year, the band played alongside the band of the Gurkhas in Ledbury recreation ground and enjoyed a prime spot at the Queen’s Diamond Day in Hereford during the summer.