Vintage Brass is a musical group that we feel is unique among its peers in the area. From an idea of Jeff Bloom a Brass Instrument Group was started within Christchurch u3a with just four players on 6th January 2004. In May 2005, it became called Vintage Brass and grew to today’s fully-sized Concert Band under the direction of our Musical Director for ten years – Peter Guntrip. In September 2016 Peter passed the baton to our current Musical Director, Steve Chislett. In 2023 Vintage Brass ceased to be part of the u3a and instead became a fully independent band with greater opportunities for developing and flourishing.
Vintage Brass comprises an eclectic group of musicians in two bands – the Concert Band and the Training Band. Some could not read music and had never played an instrument before joining us and being taught. Other band members have a wealth and depth of experience that comes from playing for most of their lifetime; this they willingly share with those just beginning to enjoy making music. Experienced players are always welcome as are those that want to take up their instruments again after a ‘lay off’.
Both bands perform in the local community with concert performances and ’carolling’ at Christmas. Since formation we have raised several tens of thousands of pounds for local and national charities such as Richard Ely Trust for Young Musicians, Bournemouth Hospital Trust, Cystic Fibrosis for Kids, Dorset Air Ambulance, Julia’s House Children’s Hospice, Cancer Research and Macmillan Caring Locally (Christchurch Hospice).
In the past we have organised successful events to inspire people to take an interest in brass band music, such as workshops and Taster Days.
Each year our principal concerts are in the Spring, Autumn and at Christmas. The Band also performs at other events and concerts throughout the year such as lunchtime recitals at local churches which have included Wimborne Minster and Christchurch Priory. For a full list of our current events please see the ’What’s On’ page of this website.