The Worship Band makes a big contribution to worship at Broadstone Methodist Church. They give a strong and rhythmic lead to the singing at most of the regular family services, yet the seven members of the band are of a wide range of ages and of musical skills. Here are extracts from some of their stories.
Linda came from a musical family, and learnt to play the clarinet while she was at school, joining various school and county orchestras in Somerset. But like many of us, playing an instrument was squeezed out of adult life by other pressures. As Linda says ‘I am so grateful for the encouragement of home, school and church and I regret the way my adult life-work balance has pushed the clarinet to the back of the cupboard. So it is really good to be part of the Broadstone Worship Band.’ And we are very grateful that the clarinet has come out of the cupboard!
Jon was introduced to the guitar at the age of 15, and was hooked! But ‘I’ve never had formal lessons, though I did go to evening classes for a couple of years going both classical and flamenco. But I can’t remember much from either of them and I can’t read music properly. Before joining the Worship Band, I had never played in a group, and found it a bit of a challenge to start with ~ and still do. I thoroughly enjoy it, and only wish I could play better with a bit more confidence.’
Isabel, born into the Flute family, feels that she was destined to be musical! While she was at school she learnt to play recorder, guitar and piano, as well as singing in local choirs. Again, music went by the board when she started work, married and had children. When she joined the Worship Band, in her own words, ‘it had been many years since I had played either my guitar or piano regularly, and therefore I was very rusty on both. Playing as a group was helpful as it provided support and meant that I was able to learn from other instrumentalists. I joined the band as a guitarist, never thinking that I would end up as the pianist. I still need to practice hard and regularly, but I am still learning and improving, and importantly enjoying it ~ despite the nerves playing in front of a morning congregation.’
Katie, now at university, started to learn the flute when she was seven years old, and has now passed her grade 7 flute exam. She was a founder member of the Broadstone Worship Band. While at Corfe Hills School, she was a member of the school orchestra and has also been a member of the Broadstone Community Concert Band. Katie says ‘my development as a musician has been largely thanks to my music teacher who supported me throughout GCSE and A level music.’ Katie is now expanding her musical interests in her new life at university, but we are always pleased when vacations allow her to be part of the band.
Anna started her musical career with the recorder when she was four. Since then she has taken up the violin (with a spectacular lack of success!), the keyboard and the piano. As she says ‘joining the Worship Band has allowed me to develop my musical skills, not only playing the recorder but as a singer as well.’
As these stories show, belonging to the Worship Band is an enriching and encouraging experience, whatever your age and even if your musical skills are rather rusty.
If you are interested in that possibility please do talk to Isabel or one of the group.
Anna sums up the essence of being part of the band ‘the one important thing is that God is our conductor and leads us.’