Tour Organiser – Tapton Youth Brass Band
Speaking with Melanie to find out about the band, touring history and musical career has been a hugely emotive and inspiring experience. Her commitment to her band members and the emotional aspect of creating such spectacular touring experiences for them time and time again is very real and relatable. She describes the journey in a way that only someone who has dedicated their life to raising the bar so significantly can do. She’s been arranging tours in partnership with Rayburn Tours for more than 20 years, and regardless of the immense responsibility, every year the rewards and memories continue to grow.
Melanie and her partner formed the band in 1994 and began touring in 1998. They have had hundreds of children play under their tenure and have an enviable list of tours under their belts including tours to Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria and Germany!
She doesn’t shy away from the monumental nature of the task, but speaks honestly and openly about the rewards, “for me and my wife it’s the best thing we ever do! Our band has a history and reputation of being a touring band and that is why we’re oversubscribed year after year. What we do inspires children to play brass instruments. It’s what makes us who we are.”
For her and the band the touring experience and the associated rewards don’t exist in isolation whilst out on tour. “We work with parents and students to make the experience play a much wider role in their development as a young person and performer. Raising around £12,000 for each tour, we subsidise the cost of each child travelling by around £300 per child. We have to if we are to ensure the trip is inclusive and accessible to all. When a family signs their child up for the trip they have to make their child aware that they are signing up to playing an active role in a hefty schedule of fundraising initiatives. We’re not just giving them the money – they need to feel like they’ve earned it. The rewards are 10 fold.”
She talks candidly about her dedication on tour and the weight that is lifted when the coach returns home with all children delivered safely back to their parents. “You cannot imagine how seriously we take the safety of the children while out on tour. We and Rayburn tick all the boxes to ensure safety is the number one priority. So, when the coach doors open and parents greet their children home the relief is immense. We sleep for a week, bask and revel in the memories created and then, do you know what, the brochures come back out and we’re quickly planning the next tour! There really is nothing like it and every year we are hounded by our members and parents to start planning again!”
Melanie deserves to be admired for her work – she is without a doubt an inspiring women. The Brass Band Community have a gem in their midst!
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