As a responsible organisation, your brass band has a duty of care to its members. When someone new joins your band, either as a player or a volunteer, their experience will be more positive if the band adopts a formal process for welcoming them to the band. This includes making them aware of policies and procedures, showing them the facilities, explaining what their role in the band involves and the level of commitment expected of them. This includes making sure they can do the job both safely and competently.
Becoming a band member
Whatever your band’s specific policy on the audition/adoption of new members is, it is good practice to give a formal introduction and welcome to new personnel at rehearsal by the Conductor or Chair once things have been made official. Introducing them to other band members will make new members feel more at ease.
A good way to help a new member become familiar with your band is through a Welcome Pack, which could contain the following information for them:
Key Contact Details
Health & Safety
Code of Conduct
The information in your Welcome Pack only needs to be brief. This can be kept/sent electronically or in print.
Membership Form –
This should include the titles and names of your new member, their contact details, age and date of birth and any special circumstances or needs such dietary/medical requirements, and who should be contacted in an emergency.
[See BandSafe 2 – Membership Information]
Key Contact Details -
A list of email addresses and phone numbers which should include your Chair and Secretary, as well as any other relevant contacts (Venue Caretakers/Key Holders, Concert Manager, Welfare Officer, Player Rep etc.).
It is good to be clear from the start about expectations. You should explain what the band expect of band members and also what members can expect from the band in return i.e. How often a member is expected to attend and what they will need to bring with them and be responsible for - instruments, sheet music etc.
Band Ethos -
This should just be a short paragraph about your band outlining the aims and character of the band, it’s past, present and future, the type of music you perform and what kind of events you perform at. Try to convey the general sprit of your band as described in your band constitution. You could even include a copy of your band’s Constitution (or equivalent document) if you wish and information about any sponsors the band may have.
Domestic Arrangements -
Let your new member know of any key information regarding to things like when and where you rehearse, parking, venue access, subs/expenses, and what happens when you go to concerts/contests etc.
As well as any information specific to children and young people such as policies about picking-up, DBS requirements and how these checks are made.
Health and Safety –
Information about First Aid - who the First Aiders are and where equipment can be found.
Information about Fire Safety – fire exits, extinguishers, muster points etc.
Any information pertinent to the specifics of your rehearsal space e.g. The path to the doorway is slippery in wet/frosty weather.
Information sources for information about general Health and Safety e.g. hearing protection etc.
[See BandSafe 7 – Health & Safety Plan]
Information about safeguarding i.e. who the band’s Designated Safeguarding Officers are and the procedures members should know.
[See BandSafe 5 – Safeguarding]
Complaints Procedure -
This should just be a short paragraph explaining who complaints should be made to, how they may be informally or formally resolved and how long it may take to deal with a complaint.
Full details about your bands complaints procedure should be made available to view online/by request.
[If you are a BBE member - See BBE’s Complaints Procedure Template]
Code of Conduct -
It is important to make new players aware of the relevant policies they may wish to familiarise themselves with and where they can find them. This should include the Code of Conduct but may also include others, such as your Safeguarding Policy and Health and Safety Procedures.
A Code of Conduct outlines the expectations of the band about the conduct and behaviour of its members. This document should be concise and give new members all the information they need so they can fit straight in.
[See BandSafe 3 – Code of Conduct]