Lincolnshire concert band hunting for student players

The Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue Concert Band are looking for student musicians to fill in some empty seats, within the band.

band playing at Lincoln Cathedral

The band playing at Lincoln Cathedral (Photo: Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue Concert Band)

The 35-strong voluntary band, who were formed in 2009, all play woodwind, brass, or percussion instruments, but come from a variety of skill levels and ages.

Alastair Kirk, the band’s manager and tuba player, told The Linc: “We’ve got varying standards throughout the band, varying from beginners who have just picked up the instruments, ranging right up to the grade 8 players who have been doing it all their life.

“There’s some ex-serving military personnel who have played for military bands and people who have played in professional orchestras.

“We’re of various ages too, ranging from teenagers up to a couple of members who are in their eighties, and we come with a huge library of music – we can basically cater for any event. If somebody requests something, chances are we’ve already got it.”

But the growing band is searching for student talent to fill some key seats, Alastair said, as they’re often having to borrow players from other bands or pay for deputy players to fill in at performances.

“The particular seats we’re looking for are oboe, bassoon, clarinet, solo cornet, second cornet, tuba, and trombone,” he explained.

“We do have players who currently play those instruments, but certainly with the clarinets you’ve got first, second, and third players – the first parts are quite difficult, but we basically take anyone who plays a wind, brass, or percussion instrument are welcome to come and see how they get along.”

cornet playing sheet music

The band have a wide variety of music (Photo: Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue Concert Band)

The hunt for new instrumentalists comes as the band are on their way up.

They helped open Lincoln’s celebrations for the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, Alastair said: “Our most impressive gig was playing for Princess Anne this year at the official opening for Lincoln Castle. We also played for her a few years ago in London with the other fire service bands in the country.”

There’s also opportunities for travel with the group. “We’re twinned with a band in Neustadt, which is Lincoln’s twin town in Germany. If you join the band, we have regular trips abroad to Germany,” Alastair pointed out.

“Next year, we’re hopefully going to go to Belgium and get involved in remembrance services in Ypres, playing under the Menin Gate.

But it’s not all princesses, castles, and trips abroad – the band do a lot of ‘normal’ gigs as well.

“With us being the fire service band, we do a lot of their ceremonies for things like bravery awards and long service awards, but we can get hired out too.

“Most of our concerts are nothing to do with Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue; we get hired out to do things like military dining-in nights, remembrance services, weddings, and Christmas concerts. Mainly evenings and weekends, so good for students.

“If they want to get involved, they can contact me through the website, which is, and we’re on Facebook and Twitter – you can easily find us if you Google ‘Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue concert band’.

“We rehearse at the Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue headquarters on South Park in Lincoln, about two miles down the road from the University, every Thursday from 7:15 to 9:30pm.”