Soprano Cornet- Sarah Sanders


I began my musical journey when I was just 7 years old. My brother played in the Warrington Youth Band and as a small child I went to lots of their concerts etc and was desperate to learn to play, yet I had to wait until I had adult teeth!!! Len Andrews tought me the basics, of course my brother tried and declared that I was impossible to teach! I finally joined the band when I was just eleven. Later on that same year the band went on tour to Malta, a country that I became to love over the years almost as much as my music.

During my time with the Youth Band I met my husband Ian, he wandered into rehersals one night with a broken arm! Together we toured Austria, Germany, Malta and to Hilden, Warringtons twin town. The band was made up of young players from 11-18, with most leaving as I did to attend university or college. I initially played tenor horn but moved onto principal cornet when I was 15. I had a break for studies and returned to the band which had then become Warrington Brass, mainly due to a lack of interested children the band had to allow adult players, in order to survive. Once again we went on tour to Malta and had some wonderful playing experiences there.

After a short break due to work commitments I was invited to play for Skelmesdale prize band. They opened up a whole new world of contesting, which I found I loved!! I stayed with that band for around a year. After a while not playing I was coerced into playing Soprano for the newly formed Wire Brass, clearly they couldn’t find anyone who would fit the bill and I allowed myself to be sweet talked into the position with the promise of playing Bb again once they found a replacement! However I found I liked playing Soprano and thoroughly enjoyed the contests that we took part in. My favorite test pieces during this time was Spectrum and The land of the mountain and the Flood, both had lovely soprano parts. The early years of Wire Brass were filled with successful contest results and it was lovely to be part of a brand new band which of course is now very successful.

I left wire in 2004 to have my first baby, Jack was closely followed by his younger brother Arran and neither Ian or I played for a while. I didn’t miss playing at all, I would insist to anyone who asked! Then when the boys grew a little and became more independent I slowly started to miss playing. Early in 2007 I returned to playing and joined Birchwood Community Brass Band, they are a wonderful group of players with mixed abilities who all just love to get together. They didn’t have many engagements and having been used to a busy band schedule it wasn’t long before I yearned for more. Again fate played a hand, during one rehearsal at Birchwood two ex Youth Band players appeared looking for players for their brass group. Little did I know that night that I was to gain not only two great friends but an introduction to the Cheshire Constabulary Brass Band.

After listening to the band play I joined on front row cornet at the end of 2008. Since that day I have thoroughly enjoyed playing in a band filled with the most wonderfully friendly and professional people. Due to a few changes around the stand this summer I have once again found myself playing Soprano Cornet.

I live in Warrington with my husband Ian, who plays Principle Euphonium, my eldest son Jack who adores Lego and my youngest son Arran who is destined to be a drummer