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SIPS Music and Arts - A Trip Through Our Past!

Updated: Dec 10, 2022

Tuesday 6th December was an extremely festive evening...

On Tuesday, Anna, Helen and Lloyd got tickets to go and see the musicians of tomorrow!

We attended 'December delights' at West Bromwich Town Hall, which is, if you've never been, a beautiful venue. We sat upstairs because it's just cool to be up high and you feel well posh.


Featuring Intermediate and Training Strings, Intermediate and Youth Brass Band, School Choirs, a visit from Santa and a round of audience participation we reckon we'd struggle with, the night was a huge success.


So, why did we go?


Interesting fact! Anna and Helen grew up in Sandwell, and learned their instruments through Sandwell Youth Music, nowadays under the banner and title of SIPS Music and Arts.

We have extremely fond memories of our time growing up in Sandwell Youth Music. Many of our previous teachers are still dedicated to the music of tomorrow, providing their tuition, support and shining examples for each generation of up-and-coming musicians. We're also now old enough to be able to see some of the people that we have had the pleasure of playing in bands with again, having returned to the music and arts service to teach and conduct & direct various ensembles in the service.


I'm not going to say I didn't cry, especially when the primary school children's mass choir sang their Christmas songs, because I suppose at our age, Christmas is supposed to be all about the magic for children. It was an immense walk down memory lane, remember sitting there and being so nervous playing in front of a town hall full of people, and feeling so proud when we got to show off what we'd been doing since September!


The students get to dress a lot cooler now than we ever did. I suppose it's a sign of the times. They donned very eye-catching Cadbury purple t-shirts with the SIPS logo on. When I played in Youth Brass Band we had wing-collar shirts and Dicky bows... Not so cool, but we did look smart, I must say! Trying to find a wing-collar shirt to fit a 15-year-old girl's neck size is an absolute pain, though, so I can see why they've moved away from that. It was great to see that they still wrapped their instruments in tinsel, and now you can get battery powered fairy-lights so cheaply there was one lad wrapped in lights! Spectacular.



The overall quality of the music was superb. I'm sure they're much better than we ever were, to be honest. When you reflect on how difficult the last few years have been, especially for young people, it's nothing short of a wonder to see a concert of this calibre being put on for parents, friends and family, and some past members that were proud to say that this is where we came from... For many musicians, this was their first public performance, and for some of the older ones, this is the first large-scale concert they've been able to perform since the pandemic.


We had a beautiful time being entertained by these talented musicians. Proud to be a SIPS Alumni!


Helen has been invited to play with the Youth Brass Band on Thursday night at Guardian House in West Bromwich (in the car park) to play some carols with them!!

 

If you'd like to find out more about SIPS Music and Arts, you can check what they do in Sandwell and the Black Country here: Music & Arts » SIPS


If you'd like to see where you can go and see these promising young people making music, look here: Events | Sandwell Music Education Hub


If you'd like to attend Carols in the Carpark, you can find the event underneath Guardian House in West Bromwich (opposite the big Tesco carpark)... just follow the sounds... There will be hot drinks, a few nice stalls and some beautiful brass band music.






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