Bradwell Silver Band has a hero hidden within their membership who has been playing with the band for 20 years.
The band itself is formed entirely of volunteers from the players to the musical director, bookings secretary and librarian. It relies on the goodwill, dedication and love of music by a large range of individuals. And part of this force of individuals are groups of families – playing groups comprising mum, dad, daughter, son, in-laws, grand-children – creating a network of players, social connections within the band, and a flow of ‘next-generation’ players.
The Wilson clan is one of these Bradwell Band families, and ‘son’ Luke has shone through for the band, creating a reputation as a hidden hero. For more than 100-years, the band has performed Christmas carols on the streets of New Bradwell, starting at 6am on Christmas morning, with a tradition that the children not being allowed to open their stockings until they’ve heard the band. In 2021, with covid still rife, government directives banned the group from playing but Luke, on his own, with is massive Bass, headed out to keep that tradition live.
This year, he’s been at it again. Spotting that the bands website was no longer up to the job and the mobile version so old it had become inactive, set about designing and launching a new site for the band. And what a triumphant job he has done. He has sourced 15-years of the bands newsletter ‘The Bugle’ to create an online archive of band news, creating a fresh professional digital face for the band: www.bradwellband.co.uk
The website has launched in time for the band to head to the regional brass band contest to play against bands from London and the South East of England. Winning the 4th section in 2018 and the 3rd section in 2022, the band are hopeful of a good result playing Stephen Bulla's 'Chorale and Toccata'.
Bradwell Band is a community of brass players who rehearse twice weekly together, performing for the community at fetes, events and celebrations. The players also give their time to provide tutoring and mentorship to aspiring musicians through their 36-player strong Development Band.