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BRASS DRUMS TRAINS – a Westmorland Dales Project

BlueJam’s Director Jilly has been commissioned to write a piece of music, create a teaching resource and make a video with soundtrack linking two parts of local heritage – steam trains and brass/silver bands! BlueJam is lucky to be working in partnership with Julie Hoggarth from Drum and Brass to deliver the project.

We’ve had a fantastic time at Orton Farmers’ Market on 13th August 2022, 10am – 1pm, where BJamba HORNS were joined by Melody Makers young performers from Tebay plus shoppers to create a great impromptu performance of drums and horns! We played ENGINE, one of the sections from the piece and people also made recycled train-sound instruments with Julie and used Samplr on the iPad to create atmospheric railway sounds from their instruments and voices with Jilly. Mike (who has the most AMAZING model railway installation), lent some of his train paraphernalia as well.


On 24th September 2022 we will be having a picnic for brass players, drummers and steam enthusiasts at the amazing Stainmore Train Museum in Kirkby Stephen. All are welcome including families and young children. We will be playing the piece through, plus creating more atmospheric sounds and getting some serious (and funny) video footage for the final film. We will also be premiering a new piece by Isla Gordon (a BlueJam work experience student from Sedburgh) written specially for this project.


The piece is designed to be easily adaptable for different sizes of groups, playing experience and intending performance. So far two local bands – Kirkby Stephen Silver Band and Appleby Town Band have rehearsed it, plus sections have been performed by BJamba HORNS involving a live samba drum section! We are looking forward to its first complete performance at Kirkby Stephen School in October with young people performing a spoken word accompaniment.

Here is a demo of the horn parts.

DEMO: BRASS DRUMS TRAINS piece – Instruments played by Katie Hodges, Matt Warwick and Geoff Bartholomew.
(Drums and spoken word to be added later)