With a history that dates back to the 1890’s, the Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band is today, perhaps, the oldest musical institution in Reading.
As such, the band welcomes the renewed interest in our town’s heritage, arts and culture following the daring escape of an inmate ‘captured’ in paint on Monday (1st of March). Of course we are referring to the latest artwork created by the illusive street artist Banksy titled ‘Create Escape’ which appeared on the high red brick wall outside Reading Prison.
Banksy has again helped to create public conversation that has brought renewed focus for the prison’s potential use as an arts centre.
(Banksy – thank you!)
Access to, and the wider support of local arts and community music is of great importance to the survival of our town’s cultural heritage.
Local organisations, such as the Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band, have experienced challenges in their efforts to make a difference and contribute to the heritage of the town. This is particularly so, in terms of ‘grass-roots’ financial support and participation in the arts.
The artistic and cultural life of our town must not be taken for granted and as such, the band will continue to actively support community arts and culture in Reading.
Throughout this coronavirus crisis the band has been a part of a wider initiative launched by Brass Bands England to save the many UK brass bands who are struggling to survive. Historically, brass bands have been the core of their local community, and many risk disappearing altogether.
Time will tell, but here’s hoping Reading can look forward to a new Arts Centre with a performance from its town band at its opening!