Members’ Handbook


Welcome to the Ipswich Hospital Band, St. Peter’s Band and the Training Section.  This Handbook has been produced to help you to get to know more about the Band, its aims, and how it functions.  It explains what it has to offer you as a member and the level of commitment needed.  We hope you will enjoy being a member and make many new friends.


The Board are responsible for the recording, safekeeping and periodic checking of all band-owned property.  Members are expected to maintain items on loan in good working order.


The Band has adopted the S.A.F.E. Child Protection Policy.  All members involved in the Training Section have completed S.A.F.E training and have had the appropriate DBS screening.

Photos, and occasionally videos, of members are taken for the Band Archives, publicity and website. When pictures of young members are shown on the website their names will be excluded.

If you are a parent of a young member and you do not wish for images of your child to be used for these purposes please inform the Membership Coordinators.


The Board aims to keep members well informed through emails, the Bugle newsletter, notice board, website and announcements.  Items for the newsletter are particularly welcome from members.  Minutes of committee meetings are kept in a folder which is available for members to read.  The “Who’s Who” of roles and responsibilities are displayed on the notice board and website.

Members are asked to keep the Band Membership Coordinators updated with changes of address, telephone numbers and any matters that could affect attendance or the smooth running of the band.


We request that members do not smoke when in uniform but to be discrete and remove identifying items of uniform whilst smoking in public. The consumption of alcohol should be in moderation whilst representing the band.

Any member whose general behaviour is disruptive and affects the smooth running of the band may be asked to leave.


The Band needs to process relevant personal data as part of its operation and will take all reasonable steps to do so in accordance with the Principles of the Data Protection Act 1998. Processing may include obtaining, recording, holding, disclosing, destroying or otherwise using data. All personal data will be treated as confidential and only be disclosed to third parties with the consent of the individual or the parent or guardian of a young person. A full copy of the Band’s Data Protection Policy is available to all members.


The Bands undertake a variety of engagements each year, ranging from summer fetes to formal concerts.

One of the aims is to perform for the benefit of health-related charities. Annually, the proceeds of one or two concerts and carolling sessions are donated to charities proposed by members and chosen by the Board.

The Bands also take part in carol and church services on hospital sites, visiting wards and other venues to play.

Members are expected to do their best to attend all engagements.  Parents and Guardians are asked to ensure that transport is arranged to enable underage members to attend rehearsals and engagements.  Engagements lists and players availablity are sent to members by email and sign up sheets are displayed on the office door. Anyone who cannot attend an engagement should inform the Musical Director, Engagements Co-ordinator and someone in their Section, giving as much notice as possible so that their part can be covered.  At any time players may be asked to move to another part to provide an even balance.

Everyone is asked to help with the publicity and selling of tickets for concerts and to assist with the loading, unloading, setting up and dismantling of equipment.  Members are asked to attend weekly rehearsals whenever possible and in particular during the weeks preceding a concert.  To gain the most benefit punctuality and remaining seated throughout the duration of each rehearsal session is important.  ‘Tootling’ and busking before or between pieces during a rehearsal or performance is not permitted.

Anyone who is unable to attend a concert may be asked not to attend the preceding rehearsal at the discretion of the MD.

If at any time personal circumstances prevent a member from attending regularly they are asked to inform the Band Membership Co-ordinators and Musical Director.



1.The Board of the Ipswich Hospital Band is committed to establishing and promoting Equal Opportunities in all areas of its activities and is aware of its obligations under the relative Race Relations and Sex Discrimination Acts.

2. The Band is opposed to unlawful or unfair discrimination, and works to ensure that no existing or potential member receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, marital status, disability, age, race, religion, nationality, or sexual orientation, or is disadvantaged by conditions of membership that cannot be justified.

3.  All members of the Band are made aware of the policy, through the Members’ Handbook.

4. Any member who has a grievance relating to conditions of membership, or any matter relative to discrimination, may raise this with the Board.

The Band is particularly concerned that its facilities and public performances can be accessed by all who wish to do so.

To achieve this, the Band will undertake to:

  1. Ensure that no disabled member or prospective member is unable to access our rehearsal facilities.
  2. In so far as it is within our control the Band will ensure that public venues for performances comply with the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 and will use the following check list:
  3. Use fully insured venues.
  4. Ensure access for the disabled.
  5. Charge equitable admission charges.
  6. Ensure there are induction loops for hard of hearing, where possible.
  7. Ensure there is appropriate advertising.


Members are asked to involve their family and friends to support the Band by: publicising and attending concerts, being involved in social and fund-raising activities, helping with Front of House duties and taking part in a rota to keep St. Peter’s open to the public during the summer.


Members, their family and friends are asked to volunteer to help the Front of House Manager with activities such as selling tickets and programmes, ushering, serving refreshments, selling raffle tickets and promoting St. Peters’ by the Waterfront for both Band and external events.


Guest players may be invited to play at rehearsals and engagements at the discretion of the Musical Director and Section.


There are a limited number of Band instruments available to hire for a nominal annual fee or a pro rata short term loan.  Permission in advance must be obtained from the Instrument Curator. The Band Insurance Policy covers only Band instruments, not those owned by members, for accidental damage. Members are asked to inform the Instrument Curator of any servicing or repairs required so they can be arranged.  Band instruments may be used with other groups as long as this does not conflict with the interests of the Band.


New players can apply to the Band Membership Co-ordinators via the website, telephone or in person.   Players will be accepted directly into the Ipswich Hospital Band, St. Peter’s Band or the Training Section, depending on their level of competence, ability and experience and if a vacancy exists. Alternatively, if there is not a vacancy, applicants can be put on the waiting list.

Past members who left to take up further education at University/College are welcome to play with the Band when they are home.

All new applications for membership are subject to a three month trial period and the approval of the Board and Musical Director.

Anyone wishing to rejoin after a break will not necessarily return to their original position and may have to go on to the waiting list.  Members who are on maternity leave will be given up to one year off.


Anyone leaving the Band should inform the Membership Co-ordinators and Musical Director giving as much notice as possible. All Band equipment should be returned ASAP.  This includes: uniform, music, and instrument(s) where applicable.


The Bands are managed by a Board of Directors who are elected by members and governed by the company’s Articles of Association.  A copy of the Articles is available to all members.  Directors are also Trustees of the Band and are responsible for its welfare, smooth running and financial stability.

Band members over 18 years of age are eligible, and encouraged, to join the Board.  All Band members are asked to support the work of the Board by attending the Annual General Meeting and helping with various practical and administrative tasks.

Suggestions towards improving the way in which the Band functions are welcomed, and help with administration or practical tasks is particularly needed.  Offers should be made to the Directors.


The Band has a policy requesting members not to use mobile phones during rehearsals unless they are on call for work or there is a crisis at home.


Each member is responsible for their own folder of music, which may be taken home for practise. Anyone who will be absent for a forthcoming engagement or rehearsal should leave their folder at St. Peter’s. Suggestions for new music to buy, or pieces to play from the library, may be given to the Librarians or Musical Directors.


The Ipswich Hospital Band is unique in its origin and structure.  It is one of two Health-Service-based Concert Bands in the country.  It aims to perform and promote “Music for Health” for the benefit of the community. It is non-profit making, financially independent and dedicated to raising money for health-related charities.  It is not part of, and therefore receives no funding from, the NHS, relying solely on grant aid, fund-raising, sponsorship, subscriptions, fees and donations for its finances.

The Band was formed in 1976 as part of the local Health Service recreational facilities aimed at giving enjoyment and pleasure to staff, by a small enthusiastic group of members with no resources.  Most of the founding members were beginners, with only a few able to play and teach the others, two being ex-military bandsmen.  Through fund-raising and a loan of £1,000 from the Health Authority Staff Sports and Social Club, enough money was raised to purchase second-hand instruments in order for tuition to begin.

Although the Band was formed originally to provide the opportunity for Health Service Staff to make music, membership has gradually widened to include children and is now open to all sections of the community.

The first public performance was playing carols around local hospital wards in December of 1976, a tradition that continues every Christmas Day. The first Band Concert was proudly given in May 1977.

Over the years, with a great deal of hard work and dedication, the Band has developed into a popular local amateur organisation with a reputation for music to entertain a wide variety of audiences and raising thousands of pounds for health-related charities.

In the past the Band has made tours to: France, Holland, Belgium, Guernsey, Cornwall, Eastbourne and Ireland.  This resulted in reciprocal visits from host bands.

In 1999 the Band was awarded a National Lottery Grant and Charitable Status for its activities. The concept of “Music for Health” was launched with a new logo.

The Training Section also began in 1999 and at the time consisted mainly of complete beginners and a few who had limited playing experience. With tuition from experienced players in the Ipswich Hospital Band the group progressed and in Year 2000 an award of £2,200 from the Lottery “Awards for All” enabled the purchase of music and instruments.  In 2003, with a further grant of £2,000 from Suffolk County Council we were able to purchase more instruments and take on more beginners.

Since then the Training Section has grown from strength to strength and membership has more than doubled.  We now have three bands: the Ipswich Hospital Band, St. Peter’s Band, the Training Band and 3 ensembles.

The Training Section plays an important part in the future of the Band.  Its existence and development was also a contributory factor in the successful “Heritage Lottery bid for the St. Peter’s project in 2006 to convert St. Peter’s Church into a rehearsal venue and a Centre for Music and the Arts.

A more comprehensive history of the Band can be read in the 30th Anniversary Booklet which was compiled in 2006.


Members are encouraged to take part in the social activities of the Band. These include Band dinners, solo evenings and tours at home or abroad. Members are asked to help with fund-raising events, such as trivia evenings, to raise money for band projects. The Band is always in need of funds to expand and develop its activities and one way of assisting the Band financially is to consider amending your Will to include a legacy for band funds.  Because the Band is a registered charity any legacy left to the Band will be free of Inheritance Tax liability.  Anyone who would like to leave a legacy can ask their solicitor to name us as “The Ipswich Hospital Band Limited – Registered Charity Number 1116233”.


For the first 30 years of its existence the Band had been looking for a permanent home. In 2006 it secured a Heritage Lottery Grant to convert St. Peter’s Church into a Centre for Music and the Arts.  Work was completed in 2008 and the Ipswich Hospital Band performed its inaugural concert at St. Peter’s Church in May 2009. St. Peter’s by the Waterfront is now our home for rehearsals and major concerts with its 200 seater auditorium, facilities for storing

For the first 30 years of its existence the Band had been looking for a permanent home. In 2006 it secured a Heritage Lottery Grant to convert St. Peter’s Church into a Centre for Music and the Arts.  Work was completed in 2008 and the Ipswich Hospital Band performed its inaugural concert at St. Peter’s Church in May 2009. St. Peter’s by the Waterfront is now our home for rehearsals and major concerts with its 200 seater auditorium, facilities for storing


Members pay an annual subscription and hire charge for band instruments. They are asked to complete and return renewal forms by 31 January each year so that band records can be kept up-to-date. New members are required to complete a membership form and pay a subscription on approval of membership which will be backdated three months to the date of joining. Taxpayers are asked to Gift Aid subscriptions and donations which will enable us to reclaim tax.


The Band runs a Training Section for beginners and improvers. Membership is open to adults and children.  For young people under the age of 18 years parental support is required. Tuition is free of charge, although there is an annual membership fee.

The aim is to create an enjoyable learning environment where learners of all ages can gain a sound and thorough knowledge of reading music and gain experience of ensemble playing.

For anyone receiving lessons, either privately or at school, the aim is to complement tuition being given. For those who are not having lessons, the aim is to help them achieve a similar standard.  All learners have the opportunity to progress to the required level to join the Ipswich Hospital Band or St. Peter’s Band when there is a vacancy.  There may also be the opportunity for members to further their individual development by taking part in brass, wind and saxophone ensemble playing.

All enquiries regarding learners who would like to join the Band should be made to the Training Band Co-ordinator.


Female                                                        Male     

Outdoor Jacket                                            Outdoor Jacket

Band jacket (IHB)                                         Band jacket (IHB)

Band tie                                                        Band tie

Plain white shirt (button neck)                     Plain white shirt

Plain black knee-length skirt                       Plain black trousers (not jeans)

or trousers (not jeans or leggings)

Plain black tights/socks                                 Black socks

Black shoes (not sandals or trainers)           Black shoes (not trainers)

Shirts should be worn tucked into skirts or trousers. The band jackets and tie will be provided; other items are to be provided by individual members.  When representing the band at events members are asked to comply with the correct uniform policy.

Members are responsible for arranging cleaning of their own jacket

A discount is available at Anglia Dry Cleaners on Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, quoting “Ipswich Hospital”. Outdoor jackets can be machine-washed as per label.