When Easebourne musician Alistair Gibson decided to put together a musical event for Midhurst’s MADhurst festival he never imagined he would end up with a 60-strong brass band.
But the opening musical event of this year’s festival will be a concert by the MADhurst Brass Band which will include 20 cornets, eight euphoniums, six horns, eight tubas, nine trombones and four percussionists.
“I have always thought it would be great to get all our friends together to see if we could get a brass band.
“As we planned it, more and more people heard about it and wanted to get involved and we ended up with players coming from as far away as Manchester and Yorkshire,” said Alistair aged 19.
They include students at the Royal College of Music, members of championship section brass bands such as the world famous Black Dyke Mills Band and many more.
“My garden is going to end up as a campsite over the weekend of the concert,” he joked.
Most of the players will be aged between 16 and 21 and will meet for a day of rehearsals under the baton of conductor Alistair, followed by the open air concert to around 150 guests at Capron House in Midhurst’s North Street on August 21.
Alistair who got the idea of forming a festival brass band after becoming a MADhurst committee member, is principal trombone at the junior department of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
He is also a member of the National Youth Wind Ensemble and will next year begin a degree in classical trombone studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
The event is being put on with the help of the Midhurst and Petworth Rotary Club and the profits will go towards the MADhurst festival and to the recently established James Watson fund dedicated to the legendary trumpeter and bandsman James Watson.
“I am very grateful for the help and support of the rotary club,” said Alistair, “as well as the members of the band who have given their time to raise money for two fantastic causes.
“This is a trial run this year,” he added, “but we hope to make the concert a regular item on the MADhurst programme.”
Tickets are just £5 and there will be a car and raffle, hot food will also be available for members of the audience.