Performing with Horns of Plenty

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Performing with Horns of Plenty


Music in Oxford - performing with the street band 'Horns of Plenty'


I have played the alto saxophone since joining the Horns of Plenty street band in February 2008. The band kindly gave me some free lessons with professional saxophonist / flautist Pete McPhail to get me up to speed. After a couple of years I changed to baritone, a bigger Eb saxophone and moved to the rhythm and bass section of the band.

I was with the HOP for 3-4 years performing personally with the band at over 50 gigs; although the band did many more than this. One of the biggest events I was a part of was 'Street Band Gathering'. Jo Ross organised this for us as part of an Oxford Contemporary Music initiative. Jo invited street bands from all over the country to come and join us in Oxford for the weekend. On the Saturday we did workshops at a hired educational centre and then performed at Oxford castle quarters in the evening.

On the Sunday we were joined by the Ambling Band from Bristol. They played for us at the educational centre on the lawn as well as performing with us on Broad Street with all the other bands as part of a mass gathering. We played a symphony together which had 5 verses. The sound was amazing!

The attraction of playing with the HOP was being exposed to a lot of vibrant music and the excitement of going on trips out and meeting other bands. The HOP were and still are a street band comprising 12-20 people, playing a lively mix of township, jazz, New Orleans, Afrobeat, Soul, Reggae and Balkan music.




Graham West


Museum of Oxford

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people in red outfits playing brass instruments outdoors around Oxford

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