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Bassingbourn Village Band

Dreams can come true. Back in 1997 Les Houghton dreamt of a village band in Bassingbourn. Les didn’t play an instrument himself, but felt that the village was lacking something and would be the better for having a little bit of music at its heart.

Les put a shout out for interested musicians and in January 1998 approximately 8 people and their brass, woodwind, stringed and percussive instruments came together to form the band and make music together. These included triplets on trumpet, clarinet and violin. The band has been making music ever since and at the start of 2009 consists of 15 assorted woodwind and brass players and a bass guitarist. There is a mixture of ages too; with the youngest players attending local schools and the oldest displaying a grey hair or two, the band provides an invaluable opportunity for young players to develop their skills, whilst allowing older players to rediscover theirs. Rehearsals take place on Thursday evenings at the Parish church and new players are always made to feel very welcome.

 Village Band Rehearsal 2000 - photo from Patrick Byrne

Rehearsals in Bassingbourn Church – 2000

Les Houghton retired to the West Country, but the dream he had 12 years ago has become real. Under the baton of Glenn Thomas, Principal clarinettist for The Minden Band of the Queen’s Division based at Bassingbourn Barracks, the band has played for a variety of local events over the years including the celebrations to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in June 2002 and Bassingbourn Village College’s own 50th Birthday celebrations. Last year they played at various neighbouring village fetes, the Scarecrow Festival, Bassingbourn-cum-Kneesworth Remembrance Service, the Parish Carol Service, Knutsford Road Community Centre, Kneesworth House Hospital and carried on the now longstanding annual tradition of playing carols in Bassingbourn High Street just before Christmas.

 Christmas Carols outside the bakers - Photo by Alison Chapman

Carols in the High Street - 2008

A similar programme of activities is being arranged this year and anyone interested in joining the band or inviting the band to play at specific village events should contact Steve Fisher on 01763 852811 at the earliest opportunity.