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Here are some Frequently Asked Questions with their relevant answers......

Where do the sessions take place?

All our sessions take place in The Ballroom at The Guildhall, Dartmouth.


When are the sessions?

Our sessions are scheduled for every Wednesday evening and are organised into two groups, the timings are as follows:


First group (Trinidad): 6.30pm - 8pm  

Second group (Tobago): 8pm - 9.30pm 


There are 36 sessions scheduled throughout the year. We publish our annual programme at the beginning of each calendar year so that you'll know when the sessions are taking place and to help you plan your lives around them. Our timings may change in the future as Shine continues to develop but we'll give you plenty of notice before we change them and will always aim to meet the needs of everyone. Our sessions will always be on Wednesday evenings.


What kind of music do we play?

Shine is a Reggae and Ska Steel Band. Steel drums (sometimes referred to as Pans) were developed in Trinidad and Tobago in the heart of the Caribbean, the home of Reggae music. Therefore, we'll be playing all the popular Reggae tunes that everyone recognises and loves including, Red Red Wine, Jamming, Three Little Birds, Don’t Worry Be Happy and of course the Band’s signature tune Shine! We have also added in some favourite Ska tunes such as, Lip Up Fatty by Bad Manners and Gangsters by the Specials. There are loads more and we'll continue to add to our repertoire as time goes on and as we develop as a band.

Do I need to be able to read music to join Shine?

The simple answer is no. We have developed a learning methodology that will guide you through from novice to as far as you'd like to go. We'll teach you everything you need to know including, reading and understanding music, rhythm, melody and counter melody, harmony, dynamics etc. We make the learning journey enjoyable and interesting and we go at your pace. So no need to worry. 


How can I practice at home?

If you'd like to practice playing at home and would like to borrow the drums, this can be arranged with prior consent from us. We can provide you with more information upon request.


Are there any other times when I might be able to play or perform?


Weekend Workshops

Occasionally, we like to offer you weekend workshops which normally take place on Saturdays when we can all get together and have some concentrated fun playing through all the music and ending up with a few drinks in the pub afterwards.


Band Engagements

Looking ahead, as the Band continues to grow its repertoire there will opportunities for you all to perform at local engagements including the Dart Music Festival, Dartmouth Food Festival, Dartmouth Royal Regatta and even private functions including Weddings etc. We won’t force anyone to perform if they don’t want to but it'll be fun, exciting and very fulfilling and rewarding.


How much does it cost to join?


£30 per month (equals £10 per session @ 1.5 hours) payable monthly in advance by standing order.


If you'd like to join us then all we need you to do is set up a monthly bank standing order to reach our bank account on the 1st day of each month. If you need financial assistance, please talk to us about it and we'll do our best to help you.


How do I join Shine?

We will invite you to a free Induction Session where we'll meet you, have an informal chat, explain the workings of Shine and show you the musical instruments and find out a little bit more about you. The induction session will also include a basic assessment of your understanding of rhythm and group playing.


What else do you need from me before I join?

We need you to be committed, enthusiastic, punctual and to maintain a sense of humour at all times!


What happens if I miss a session?

Shine is all about team work and so we need you to commit just 90 mins of your your time every Wednesday to learn to play your instrument, learn the repertoire and to foster that all important team spirit which is so vital to the success of every band. Of course, there'll be times when you simply can't attend e.g one-off family commitments, illness, unscheduled work commitments or unforeseen circumstances and we completely understand this.  However, due to the group nature of the sessions we will not be able to refund you. If a session is cancelled by us then we'll make up the missed session with a credit. Joining Shine means you are joining a team where each member relies upon the others for their support and commitment to make it a success. A football team cannot function without its goalkeeper, similarly Shine cannot function without its musicians. Therefore, we allow up to a maximum of three absences per term and anything in excess of this may result in you being asked to leave Shine.

What happens if I decide that I want to leave?

If you decide that you'd like to leave Shine, we'll be very sorry to see you go. Of course, we understand that there maybe all sorts of reasons why you want or need to leave us and therefore, it's fine as we only want the best outcome for everyone. All we ask for is a month's notice to leave and then we'll wish you all the best.

We hope that we've provided enough information for you, but if you'd like any other information, please call us or get in touch via our email or contact us page.

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