Through my life, there has been one dream. That was to play in a band, any sort, just to get up there and play a musical instrument. I played in a recorder group as a child and that gave me the desire to perform. I progressed to clarinet and played in the school Trad Jazz band. Then of course I left and went to work. I joined the Metropolitan Police Cadet Corps, met a couple of musicians and played for enjoyment but that was all. I went into the Regulars at 19 so the instruments went into retirement.
On my 50th birthday, my wife had my saxophone renovated and I played it for a brief spell but that was all. Five years later I discovered that a number of saxophone enthusiasts met locally, and I was tempted to join them but my lack of confidence got the better of me and an opportunity was lost. On retirement I joined Cheshunt U3A and leapt into various activities. In a short space of time found myself running four of them, one of which was Musical Appreciation. At the end of one of those epic meetings I was approached by Bud Leech, now our trumpeter, who asked if we were aware of any musicians within our U3A who might be interested in forming a Jazz band.
That sparked a very distant light and for the first time I thought that just maybe I could fulfil the dream.
I made enquiries within our Organisation without success so branched out to local U3A’s. This led to several people contacting me interested in the proposal. Four of that group I subsequently discovered were members of the saxophone enthusiasts mentioned earlier. We have been together for three years performing two or three times a year but now intend to increase that number considerably.
I am living that dream although I have to say it’s not as romantic as I first thought. My admiration goes out to all those professional musicians who do this for a living.
None of this would have be possible without the U3A banner. It generated the catalyst for what I believed was an impossible venture. I cannot be the only one with this latent ambition. If you out there wish to follow a similar dream, firstly don’t believe you are not good enough. OK, probably you aren’t but practise and belief will change all that. There are many good musicians who are only too willing to help.
Within U3A there are Ukulele, brass, country and many other groups. If you cannot find like-minded souls within your U3A look further afield, afterall our band consists of members from four local groups.