Formed in September 2014, Concrete Calves Wind Band is a place for adult woodwind players to come together and share in the joy of playing in a group. Adult beginners who can play 3 notes, to those of around grade 5 standard are all welcome. Members should have an understanding of written music - this is best learnt and practised through lessons.
Trish Evans - Founder and Musical Director
Trish is a music teacher, arranger and performer living in Milton Keynes. She has played with a number of amateur bands in the past and founded Concrete Calves Wind Band having identified a need for a group for adults to come together and play in a band where they are not intimidated by talented 16 year olds who have achieved high grades.
Trish has helped out running events in the past in Wales and at Benslow Music Trust for exactly this type of group and has seen the joy and confidence that comes from being part of a group such as Concrete Calves Wind Band.
This work has been supported by funding from MK Community Foundation.
Made to Measure music scores donated by Dr Downing Music
Concrete Calves Members
The group is made up of beginner and amateur adult woodwind players aged from 18 to 70 who can play anything from 3 notes up to grade 5. Currently, we have members playing the following instruments: flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, and tenor saxophone.
We are currently looking for new members to join, in particular clarinet, bassoon and oboe players although all woodwind instruments are very welcome.
Members will need to be committed to attending weekly rehearsals in Milton Keynes on Tuesday evenings during term time. If for any reason they are not able to attend they need to give as much notice to Trish as possible, as rehearsals will be based on the people and instruments available.
Members will receive parts to practise at home. Members are responsible for looking after the music they are given, as it will cost the band money to replace lost scores. Music is to be returned at the end of each term.
Testimonials from some of our members
"Concrete Calves has given me a great environment in which to grow my skills and confidence on a new instrument. I really enjoy the community spirit and supportive environment as well as the great choice of music across different styles." (Mandy, Flute)
"I used to play the flute at school and after 13 years decided it was time to pick it up again. Having music lessons is great, but you learn so much more by being part of a group like Concrete Calves Wind Band. You're made to feel immediately welcome and everyone is supportive regardless of your ability. The range of pieces covered caters to all - I personally love anything from film or TV. Trish has so much experience to share and playing with CCWB can only improve your playing further." (Maisie, Flute)
"I always wanted to have a go at playing the clarinet and had looked into it when I reached the age of 50. However I thought that I would never be able to get to a standard where I would be able to play with other people and I didn’t follow through. Six years later my daughter arranged the purchase of a clarinet and my first 6 lessons. A year later I started playing with Concrete Calves at their first session and have continued to play with them for the past five years. Playing together with a group adds so much to the whole learning experience, helping with timing, rhythm, dynamics and sight reading. I enjoy it so much that I have also recently taken up playing the alto sax. How I wish I had begun my musical journey many years earlier! Everyone starts with lots of nerves but the group is very welcoming, and before you know it, and whatever your ability, you’ll find yourself playing in a concert." (Delia, Clarinet / Saxophone)
"I started the clarinet at eight years old and continued until life/work just got in the way around twenty-two. Then my brother thought it would be good if I tried the saxophone so bought me an old tenor, which I tried for a short while. A friend who was already a member of Concrete Calves persuaded me to join, so I took it up properly and have now been playing for a year come January 2018 and am 58 pushing 59. Playing on my own is fine but not nearly as good as in a group. I’m glad I joined Concrete Calves as this has given me a real reason to play. There is always someone to help and the motto of accepting members who can only play three notes means just that, but in no time there’s more to follow. The group is a mixed bunch from different walks of life and we have a laugh doing it. Trish, the musical director (I can put this as she won’t see it) has great patience and keeps us all going with lots of enthusiasm. The music has lots of variety but my passion is for the stage musicals. I’m glad I gave it a try." (Barry, Tenor Saxophone)
"As a very new clarinetist, I have found that playing with the band has added a whole new dimension to my enjoyment of my music, plus being able to interact with other like-minded people. Nobody seems to mind that I am not able to add a great deal musically, I have been made to feel an integral part of the group.
My message to anyone thinking ‘I would like to try it, but I’m not good enough' is give it try, you will be surprised at how much you get out of it." (Mike, Clarinet)
"I borrowed a friend's flute for a short time at secondary school but didn't take it any further. Some 20 years later thought I would buy a flute and start again! I joined Concrete Calves in January 2017 after the band was recommended to me. Joining Concrete Calves has given me the motivation I need to practice and has resulted in me learning more quickly than I had thought possible bearing in mind I could only just remember how to play a few notes when I started. The range of music is good (I particularly enjoy film scores and musicals) and I enjoy not only my own development as a player but being part of a group of musicians who are all learning together." (Jenna, Flute)