Author Archives: Gavin Holman

Rabbits and antimacassars: raising money for band funds

Concert fees, contest prizes (where lucky), carol playing and busking, and sponsorship (either through corporate patronage or individuals’ subscriptions) have always been the traditional main sources of income for brass bands. Many other mechanisms have been used over the years … Continue reading

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Brass and tobacco

While there is a clear link between brass bands and alcohol – either in the various bands that supported the temperance movement, or the enjoyment of beer, in particular, that slaked the thirst of players – a similar association with … Continue reading

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Test piece blues

Don’t you just love it when the MD rolls out a new test piece for an upcoming contest – perhaps even one you’ve heard before and enjoyed – until you see your part. All those notes and accidentals! Never mind, … Continue reading

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Brass band concert programmes on postcards

Many of the times that a brass band has performed a concert, a printed programme has been available for the audience, giving the details of the pieces played, their composers and arrangers and, where appropriate, the names of the conductor … Continue reading

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The brass bands of Boroughbridge

There is no longer a brass band in Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, but it did enjoy the music of a number of local bands in the town from around 1855 until the last one disbanded in 1955. Aldborough is a village … Continue reading

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Hot air and brass bands

A number of postcards were produced in the early 1900s which would have been insulting to the recipient – likening their verbal utterances to an extreme amount of hot air – i.e. a “brass band”. One assumes, like the later … Continue reading

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Brass bands on screen

Over the years the brass bands in the UK, and elsewhere, have appeared numerous times on screen, whether in feature films or on television programmes. In most cases they are small appearances fulfilling the role of a “local” band in … Continue reading

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