Monthly Archives: April 2020

Where do all the old brass band instruments go?

With all the brass bands there have been in the British Isles over the last two hundred years (nearly 20,000 of them), even allowing for multiple hand-me-downs on the one hand and occasional sets of new instruments on the other, … Continue reading

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Sutton Scotney Brass Band and its instruments

Sutton Scotney is a village between Winchester and Andover in Hampshire. The band was probably formed in the 1890’s. There are some photographs of the band which are tentatively dated 1910, and an extract from the parish magazine of 1919 … Continue reading

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The Crystal Palace and bands

The Crystal Palace – a wonder of south London from 1854 until it burned to the ground in 1936. It had been constructed in Hyde Park for the Great Exhibition of 1851, then relocated to Sydenham in 1854. Brass bands … Continue reading

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A Souvenir of Grieg

A manuscript bringing together two bands, an arranger and a professional conductor on a singular occasion. Alexander Owen conducted two bands at the 1908 British Open Brass Band Championships, when the test piece was “Souvenir of Grieg” – Stalybridge Borough … Continue reading

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The first National Brass Band Contest – 1860

In 1855 John Enderby Jackson organised a series of contests in the Zoological Gardens at Hull, and went on to carry out successfully many contests in various parts of the country. It was under his direction that the great national … Continue reading

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Coughs and sneezes spread diseases – so do brass instruments…

In 1890 the British Medical Journal warned against the microbes lurking in brass instruments. Given the potential breeding ground of the hundreds of dormant (or a least more rarely used) instruments throughout the country, we obviously need to heed this … Continue reading

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Concert programmes – a rapidly closing window into the music performed in the past

Some more brass band ephemera that tend to be discarded after the event, perhaps stored and forgotten, then thrown away in a purge. So it is rare to find examples of programmes of past concerts. This is a shame, as … Continue reading

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